Advocacy Success: ActiveTO being extended into October
The Major Road Openings and Quiet Streets were first introduced in early May to create space for people to exercise safely and avoid crowding in parks and trails during the first wave of COVID-19 cases. This past Sunday was the final day for the ActiveTO Major Road Openings and the following day Ontario reported 700 new COVID-19 cases — the highest number yet and proof that we are headed into a second wave. We asked our Action Alert mailing list subscribers: is now the time to take away space from people to be outdoors and safely practice physical distancing?
We thought that ActiveTO could continue and the City of Toronto agreed, announcing today that Major Road Openings will continue into October.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to write in to City Council to show your support for ActiveTO. If you didn't get our email, make sure you subscribe to our Action Alerts mailing list.
ActiveTO has opened up the city to many first-time cyclists
By the city’s own numbers, the Major Road Openings were a massive success, with counts averaging over 25,000 people on bikes per day on Lake Shore Boulevard West, Lake Shore Boulevard East, and Bayview Avenue this summer.
The City will report back on all aspects of ActiveTO in early 2021 and vote on whether to make the temporary bike lanes permanent in late 2021. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Major Road Openings and Quiet Streets continue to have a role to fill by allowing people to get outside while keeping physically distant.
It's not too late to help: you can still email City Council to say that ActiveTO should continue throughout autumn. A recent poll shows 85% of Torontonians want the city to do more to protect vulnerable road users including seniors, children and students, people walking, and people on bikes. Quiet Streets and Major Road Openings can play a crucial role.
As always, the more you can personalize your message, the better!
The Future of an Equitable ActiveTO
We’ve noted before that the Major Road Openings have all been concentrated close to downtown and near the lake. Quiet Streets are an important piece of the ActiveTO puzzle because, while not perfect, they provide much-needed space to get around the city. We also need the city to look beyond the core and consider other roads with few entrances and exits like Black Creek Drive, the Allen Road, Highway 27 in the north-west, and Danforth Avenue near Kingston Road in the south-east.
Keep Riding Through the Fall
Although the days are getting shorter, you don’t need to stash your bike! You can continue cycling right through fall to enjoy the changing colours, get some exercise, and enjoy the city. If you’ve never cycled during the autumn, our Shoulder Season Riding Tips have got you covered!
Let's keep the momentum going
The pandemic has shifted a lot of our work, but we continue to advocate for safer streets and more cycling infrastructure while also embarking on new advocacy journeys.
Donors and members are crucial to our success. Your support helps us advocate to expand ActiveTO to accelerate building more bike lanes across the city this summer. Even $5 a month helps us work through the pandemic toward a safer, healthier and more vibrant cycling city for all.