April Advocacy Updates

April City Council Meeting

There were a few important items that impact the city’s active transportation network, including cycling projects, increasing fines for drivers who fail to pay for parking or blocking bike lanes, and improving the public realm under the Gardiner.  

While the city continues to defer and delay many decisions around parking, there was positive news from item IE11.2 that the fine for illegally blocking a bike lane was increased to $200 (up from $150). We continue to call for more increased automated enforcement for all our traffic rules, including parking in bikeways. If you’re interested in seeing an overview of the change in fines, Matt Elliott created a handy chart. In the 3rd quarter City Council will be debating whether to increase the fine for car drivers impeding traffic who illegally park during rush hour.

2022-2024 Cycling Network Plan

In a welcome sign that implementing cycling infrastructure is increasingly recognized as important to moving Torontonians safely and sustainably, City Council unanimously approved the cycling network projects recommended by city staff.

Read more about these projects here.

Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan

We were pleased that in a quick release, Council adopted this item and we can’t wait to follow  this work. An interdivisional advisory committee that includes The Bentway Conservancy and the Province are to provide guidance on the development of an implementation strategy for projects along the Under Gardiner corridor (from Dufferin Street to the Don River) to ultimately improve the public realm under the Gardiner.

(A rendering of the Under Gardiner project. Image: Under Gardiner)

Good Roads 2024 Conference

Alison Stewart, our Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, was a panelist at the 130th Good Roads Annual Conference. She joined other voices on the Pedaling Towards Sustainable Communities: Promoting Cycling and Active Transportation panel. She got to speak to elected officials and city staff from municipalities across Ontario on how to make their communities safer and more bicycle friendly by showcasing some of the successes (and ongoing opportunities) in Toronto. It was wonderful to see the support cycling across Ontario is growing.

(The Pedaling Towards Sustainable Communities Panel: from left to right: Lanrick Bennett Jr., Aison Stewart, David Shellnutt and Max McCardel)

Coalition to Reduce Auto Size Hazards (C.R.A.S.H) 

On April 18th, we joined the growing coalition at the launch of the Oversized Danger: Report and Recommendations to Address the Danger of Pickups and Large SUVs to Pedestrians and Cyclists in Canada. This report outlines recommendations to federal, provincial, and municipal governments for addressing the increasing dangers posed by pickups and large SUVs to vulnerable road users. For people walking and cycling, being hit by a driver of one of these oversized vehicles will overwhelmingly lead to death. We are thankful for all of the research and work by McLeish Orlando’s Patrick Brown, Sonam Sapra, Ryann Barr, Kelsey Pietrobon, and Melissa Dowrie to inform the recommendations which form the foundation of the report, in addition to the academic work of the University of Windsor and Toronto.

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