The holidays are fast approaching and a lot has been happening.
Bloor bike lane extension, snow clearing, biking while pregnant & more
Save the date! The Coldest Day of the Year Ride is February 1st. Photo courtesy of Martin Reis.
Every year, our Street Smarts cycling education programs empower people with bike riding knowledge. We produce The Toronto Cyclists Handbook, run Get Lit!, host dozens of workshops, and, in partnership with CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, support the Bike to School Project. We’ve even produced a series of videos that helps drivers understand what it’s like to be on a bike
We want to build on this in 2020 by developing a Biking With Your Family workshop, and running confidence-building, community rides in every ward of Toronto, but what we can achieve depends on how much funding we raise.
Donating to our Street Smarts programs allows us to help more people discover the freedom and joy of riding a bike you already know. When you donate this month, you’ll receive a charitable tax receipt, thanks to our partner CultureLink Settlement & Community Services.
We attended the Bloor West Bike Lane Extension Stakeholders’ Meeting on November 28th. Many attendees were excited to see bike lanes coming to their area, as they know that bikes mean business. Take a look at the City’s new research summary, Bikeways and Business on Bloor Street: Reasearch Summary, which shows what the benefits of bike lanes have been to local businesses on Bloor after the bike lanes were installed.
Infographic courtesy of The City of Toronto.
Public consultation on the Bloor bike lane extension is expected in late January. The best way to stay up to date on how you can show your support is to make sure you’re on the Bloor Loves Bikes pledge mailing list.
A bold, car-free vision for downtown Yonge St can be a reality with enough support, and there is a lot of support. Hundreds of people responded to our action alert, filled out the City’s survey, and attended the November 21st public consultation.
Stephen Avenue Walk in downtown Calgary is a thriving district without cars. Photo courtesy of Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia Calgary.
It’s clear that prioritizing people over cars is the way of the future. In an article about downtown Yonge St, Gideon Forman, a transportation policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation, wrote:
Imagine trying to get to a restaurant a few kilometres away. In the summer, that’s a long walk or a short bike ride. In the winter, that can mean navigating sheets of ice and piles of snow. If the roads and sidewalks aren’t clear, it can be completely unsafe.
Northbound Simcoe bike lane in 2018
If roads and sidewalks aren’t cleared, many people will choose not to bike. People, businesses, and event organizers all miss out if it’s not safe to travel.
What can be done to make Toronto’s streets safer in the winter?
The last month has been busy. There were so many public consultations related to bicycle infrastructure that there were some nights with multiple events. Asking our supporters to get out to all of these events was a lot, but you did it. You filled out questionnaires and took the time to help make Toronto’s streets safer. Thank you.
We’ve been working with the City to ensure the public consultation schedule is available to people well in advance, and there’s good news: they now have a webpage specifically for cycling and pedestrian projects currently open for consultation. There are several projects still open to online feedback and even more coming this winter. We’ll keep you up to date on the City’s events and details as they arise.
Here are a few consultations that are coming up:
Shuter St Bikeway Upgrades
Gerrard bike lane at pedestrian crossing
Event Date: January 21, 2020
Our Advocacy Forum is an event where people come together to learn about best practices in how to meaningfully engage with the community, residents, elected officials, and city staff, to create a better cycling city for all.
Save the date! More information to be announced soon.
Date: Saturday, January 18
Cycle Toronto couldn’t do all of our work without our volunteers. Every minute of time they give to us gets put back into the community. Our events like Bike Valet, Get Lit!, and Bike to Work Day can’t happen without volunteers. Volunteers also form ward advocacy groups, depute on local issues, and attend consultations to further our advocacy efforts. Our volunteers mean a lot to us, so we got as many as we could together this week and showed them a good time.
We were so grateful to have the Centre for Social Innovation host our crew, with Panago Pizza filling our stomachs and Steam Whistle Brewing quenching people’s thirst as the volunteers got to know each other a little better. Later, we played a cycling passport game where partygoers had to find people that matched their passport quests such as riding the same brand of bike. It was followed by up a slow bike race where the last rider to cross the finish line wins.
We also gave out awards to some of our most dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. They really went the extra mile this year.
If you’re interested in getting involved, our next volunteer orientation will be held in the spring, and our local ward groups are always looking for new faces.
Cycle Don Valley Midtown is our ward group covering Ward 15 and 16. They lead the way towards improving cycling on either side of the Don Valley south of the 401. 2019 was their first year as a unified ward group and they accomplished a lot.
Cycle Don Valley Midtown prepared many cycling related submissions on subjects such as Laird in Focus, lowering speed limits in Leaside, and the 2019-2021 Cycling Network Plan. They’ve also advocated for protected bike lanes as part of the Eglinton Connects, and successfully pushed for more bike parking at Lawrence Station.
June 2nd Family in the Park Bike Ride. Photo courtesy of Russell Sutherland.
The group has hosted several community rides, including one with MP Rob Oliphant. They did outreach at numerous events across their wards, set up the Cycling Commuter Coach program, and helped launch the Women in Cycling Network with Afghan Women’s Wellness Café and Gateway Bike Hub.
Cycle Don Valley Midtown meets on the last Wednesday of the month. Join them for their next meeting on January, 29th.
Our Interim Executive Director is expecting big changes in 2020, and we’re not just talking bike lanes. Keagan is expecting her first child, but that hasn’t stopped her from riding a bike. She took some time to share her experiences with us.
The Dark Horse Flyers are Toronto’s friendliest cycling club and a big supporter of Cycle Toronto. The vibe of the club is open and friendly: riders of varying cycling abilities are welcome and the culture is all about safety, fun, camaraderie and encouraging each other to improve throughout the season. They are primarily road and cyclocross riders, but mountain bikers, track racers and triathletes ride with them as well. Follow Dark Horse on social media to stay in the loop about the spring club meet and greet ride, where you can come out and see what it's all about.
Hannah was last month’s lucky winner, taking home a $150 gift card from Sweet Pete's Bike Shop. She’s thinking about picking up a new helmet with her prize, if she doesn’t upgrade her bike first. Hannah has been riding Toronto’s streets since 2008, but didn’t become a Cycle Toronto member until 2017 after returning from a few years living in New York. Hannah says:
December’s prize is a Knog Mid Cobber light set and 3M reflective tape set valued at $165 from Switchback Cyclery.
Every month we enter monthly members into a prize draw from local shops. As a monthly member you get all the same benefits as an annual member. Plus, it’s 20% less annually to reach the same level of membership.
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You're receiving this email because you subscribed online or at an event for updates or the "Ring and Post" Newsletter. Staying informed is the first step toward a better cycling city. Becoming a member is the next step.
Members play a critical role in elevating Cycle Toronto’s efforts to get protected, connected bike lanes on all major roads across Toronto. As the cycling community continues to grow, people need and deserve to be able to move safely. For just $5 a month or $30 annually, you can help make Toronto a cycling-friendly city for all. Your membership will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt.