Bloor Street extension update, Ride for Safe Streets wrap-up, and more!
Ride for Safe Streets wrap up, upcoming Danforth Complete Streets consultation, Staff Updates, and more!
The Cycle Toronto team having fun after the Ride for Safe Streets
Updates on our Bloor, Danforth and Yonge Campaigns
Bloor Street West Extension
The bike lanes on Bloor are heading west in 2020! The City plans to extend them to High Park and is now studying whether they can continue on to Runnymede to connect to existing bike lanes. We’ve been advocating for an extension to High Park and continuing just a bit further to Runnymede could be a game changer for neighbours in Bloor West Village.
Our friends at Bells on Bloor have been speaking with businesses along the extension about the study underway. Hear what these residents, business owners, and employees have to say about the Bloor Extension:
“I support bike lanes on Bloor because at least 40 percent of our customers come by bike, a lot of people have found us by bike, and that is the way the world is going. I see it as nothing but a positive thing,” says Shelly, owner of Town.
A car-free Yonge Street may be coming to downtown Toronto
Three options for the YongeTOmorrow project have been shortlisted: a car-free Yonge, a one-way street with one lane of traffic, and a two-way street with two lanes of traffic. Currently no bike lanes are planned for any of these options. We’re supportive of a pedestrian-first car-free Yonge Street, but for everyone’s safety, protected bike lanes must exist wherever private vehicles are allowed unrestricted. We deputed at this month’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) and outlined Cycle Toronto’s position on the YongeTOmorrow project. Thank you to the hundreds of people who responded to our action alert and wrote to IEC!
Not on our Action Alert list?
Danforth public meeting Thursday, November 7
Do you live or work along the Danforth corridor? A pilot bike lane on Danforth could soon be a reality as part of the City’s current Complete Streets study, but only if that’s what the City hears that residents and stakeholders need. Show your support for a true complete street as part of this study at the City’s upcoming public consultation at 6:30 PM on Thursday, November 7 at Monarch Park C.I. Tell the city that Danforth Loves Bikes!
Don’t forget to sign our Danforth Loves Bike pledge:
City Council has proposed changes to the intersection of Dundas Street and Jones Avenue. These include: no right turns on red lights, lane narrowing, adding flexi-posts (bollards), and adjusting the TTC stop location. Cycle Toronto is pushing to use concrete curbs with bollards on top as a physical barrier. We also recommended that physical protection continue onto Jones Avenue and Dundas Street.
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is looking at a kick-style e-scooter pilot across Ontario. The City of Toronto is also considering the impact of how introducing e-scooters to our streets would be managed. We are supportive of all kinds of active and e-mobility on our roads and provided a formal submission to the Province and the City on what policies should be implemented to manage an e-scooter pilot safely and optimally on our roads. We support allowing e-scooters where bicycles are permitted, regulating parking locations to ensure e-scooters are not left on sidewalks, and a maximum speed comparable to bicycle speeds (24 km/h).
Cycle Toronto submitted comments to the Ministry of Transportation to allow Automated Speed Enforcement cameras in Community Safety and School zones. We know that speed kills. Almost every person walking or biking who is struck at 50 km/h will be killed, while most would survive if struck at 40 km/h. Automated Speed Enforcement cameras will be able to issue thousands of tickets every day to speeding drivers in an efficient and effective way. We would like to see this technology deployed across the city for maximum impact.
The City of Toronto will be undertaking a Street Audit of Yonge and Eglinton following the death of a person walking in the area on September 10. Cycle Toronto Midtown and Cycle Toronto Don Valley Midtown called on the City to build safe streets, phase out outdated heavy trucks that compromise pedestrian safety, and increase enforcement of traffic laws.
Friends and Families for Safe Streets (FFSS) also advocated for City Council to make improvements to heavy trucks to ensure vulnerable road users’ safety. Their recommendations included: using smaller trucks with better visibility and prohibiting dangerous large trucks in Toronto, making side-guards on trucks mandatory, developing a Safe Fleet Transition Plan for all City vehicles, and working with other levels of government to develop standards to produce safer heavy trucks in Ontario and Canada.
Sunday, November 17 is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Friends and Families for Safe Streets (FFSS) will be hosting a walk and vigil along Yonge Street in North York to remember and honour victims of road violence, which has disproportionately affected residents living in suburban Toronto.
FFSS will host a walk and vigil in the afternoon, commencing at 4:45 PM. Make sure you’re updated on this international event for our most vulnerable road users.
This year’s Ride for Safe Streets presented by Bike Law Canada sold out all of our available spaces for the first time and we exceeded our fundraising goal before the ride even began — that’s more than $63,000 to fund our advocacy and education work! 320 people and 16 teams turned out for the escorted group ride, followed by a reception, with some great food from the Regent Park Catering Collective. It was a unique experience getting to safely ride on some of Toronto’s busiest and most iconic roads like University, Front, and Yonge. Here is a hyperlapse of the 10 km route. Thank you to all the volunteers, fundraisers and riders that made this event the huge success that it was.
The NACTO Designing Cities Conference wrapped up in September. Our Interim Executive Director, Keagan Gartz, helped lead a ride for attendees about building a downtown bike network. The highlights can be seen here:
For our annual Get Lit! education campaign, we’ve been setting up our tent near busy cycling routes across the city on Tuesday evenings. It’s getting darker earlier so we’re talking to people about the importance of seeing and being seen while riding at night, handing out Toronto Cyclists Handbooks, and handing out free lights to people biking without them. We’re also sharing information about our campaigns on Danforth, Yonge and Bloor. Stay tuned for the last Get Lit! station on October 29 from 6-9 PM. The location will be announced on the day of the event.
Cycle Toronto staff and board members from left to right: Kevin Rupasinghe, Adrian Currie, Eric McGoey and son, Robert Zaichkowski, Francesca Allodi-Ross (kneeling), Keagan Gartz, Claire McFarlane, Tamara Nahal
On September 27, Cycle Toronto staff and board members marched in the Climate Strike. Cycle Toronto also joined the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) and more than 50 other organizations that successfully called on the City of Toronto to declare a Climate Emergency.
The City of Toronto’s TransformTO climate action goals include having 75% of trips under 5 km made by foot or by bike by 2050. The Climate Emergency Declaration aims to accelerate this process.
The City is looking for public input by November 11 on their TransformTO update. Let the City know it needs to fast-track the Cycling Network Plan to beat its current completion target of 2041. Attend the public meeting on October 30 at 6:30 PM at St. Lawrence Market Temporary North Market.
A new crossing was opened at Poplar Plains Road and St. Clair Avenue, allowing people riding bicycles to cross St. Clair and continue westbound to Dunvegan Road.
On October 1 the Garrison Crossing opened, linking Ordnance Park and Garrison Common just east of Bathurst Street. This provides a much-needed connection in the Fort York neighbourhood.
A grade-separated cycle track is currently under construction as part of the Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration in Etobicoke. Cycling infrastructure is planned for the intersection itself and will include Dundas, Bloor, Kipling, and Dunbloor where the roads intersect.
Cycle tracks are also planned on Scarlett Road and will include concrete walls (similar to Lakeshore in Etobicoke), bollards, and curbs as separation.
Want to learn more about infrastructure, both planned and under construction?
We’re pleased to welcome our newest staff member Ryan Shissler as our Communications Lead. Ryan is a longtime member who has worked with us as a Ward Advocate, Ride Guide and Cycling Educator, assisting with many of our events. He has spent more than a decade working in broadcast television behind the scenes. His passion for cycling as a vector for societal change came together with his media experience when he created a series of videos known as Low Velocity Cycling.
Manager, City of Toronto Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit
Becky Katz is the new Manager of the Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit with the City of Toronto. Becky is an Environmental Engineer. Throughout her career, she has combined her passion for collaborating with communities with planning and designing high-quality public spaces and multi-modal transportation infrastructure. We got the chance to have a Q&A with Becky:
Toronto Hydro has been a Cycle Toronto business member since 2016 and has been supporting our work ever since. This year, funding from Toronto Hydro was instrumental in creating our Road Rules videos, the goal of which was to help people understand what it’s like to move around the city from the perspective of a bike seat. Toronto Hydro has also sponsored two Get Lit! stations this year which helps us continue to provide free lights to people biking without lights every Tuesday in October.
The Share the Road Cycling Coalition is looking to hire a Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) Program Coordinator. This position is for three days per week for an initial six month contract with opportunity for extension. Take a look at their job posting for more information.
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