January Advocacy Updates
The new year saw 2024's first Infrastructure and Environment Committee IEC) meeting take place at City Hall on Tuesday, January 9th. On the packed agenda was Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) and Red Light Cameras, the first quarter cycling network updates, Vision Zero, bike lane snow clearing, and an update on Bike Share Toronto’s fee structure modernization.
First up was an item dedicated to the Administrative Penalty System for Red Light Camera and Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) Violations.
This item represents an important change in the current administrative penalty structure for Red Light Camera and ASE disputes. The new administrative penalty system will pave the way for the city to expand automated traffic enforcement for a myriad of traffic offenses that make our streets dangerous without requiring additional resources for problematic and costly on the ground police enforcement.
This said, increasing public safety must be the sole priority of all automated traffic enforcement. It must never be viewed as a source of revenue generation. Additionally, ASE must be implemented with an equity impact lens. Ultimately the most effective solution to improving road safety is to build streets that are safe by design. Therefore Cycle Toronto is calling for the city to develop a strategy to ensure all automated traffic enforcement is targeted directly to achieving the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan and eliminating serious injuries and deaths on our streets.
The 2024 first quarter cycling network upgrades of the year all carried at IEC and will be addressed at the first Council meeting of 2024 on February 6th. While these cycling projects are modest in kilometres, they will contribute to improving the city’s existing cycling network. In addition to bridging some key gaps, they will improve the riding comfort of people along some of the city’s oldest bike lanes and connect to important destinations. Read more.
(The 2024 cycling infrastructure updates as part of the 2022 - 2024 CNP.)
Next on the docket was the perennial issue of maintaining Bike Lanes that are Safe and Passable for Bikes year round, including all painted bikeways and busy contraflows like Shaw St. As a winter city, we can all agree that bike lanes must be cleared of snow to bare pavement. Unless this happens, it is not safe and passable for people riding bikes or other forms of micro mobility.
The final item on the agenda was an update on Delivering Improved Accessibility: Bike Share Toronto's Modernized Rate Structure Update. The Bike Share payment structure modernization item passed, with council recommending to authorize providing Bike Share's Reduced Fare Memberships to eligible Fair Pass Program clients. Fair Pass is a program that provides discounted TTC passes to low-income residents.
Thank you to those who deputed and wrote letters in supporting all these items. Thanks to you, Toronto is becoming a better cycling city for everyone.
All these items still need to be approved by the Mayor and City Council. We look forward to following these items as they go to the next City Council Meeting on February 6.
If you would like to join us and voice your support for a safer cycling city at a future IEC meeting, reach out to us at [email protected].