Ring & Post: April 2020
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|April 4, 2020|
Riding through a pandemic, bike lane construction, Bike Month, essential businesses, and more!
We urge our community to follow the most up-to-date public health recommendations around COVID-19 even if you’re symptom free, including avoiding non-essential trips and practicing Physical Distancing to help slow the spread of infection. When you do need to head out, biking is still a good way to get around.
If you are able to, please consider becoming a Cycle Toronto Member. Joining for even $5 a month helps keep our advocacy, education and encouragement work going. Your support means we are able to continue working with you to make Toronto a safe, healthy and vibrant cycling city for all.
Stay safe, wash your hands, and enjoy the Ring & Post.
Michael, Mark, Kevin, Tamara, Claire, and Ryan.
Advocacy from Home
Cycle Toronto continues to work closely (albeit remotely) with City Hall and our partners to advocate for people who ride bikes in Toronto. In many ways the scope of our work has grown and taken on a new urgency. City Staff continue working towards delivering their 2020 projects. While City committees, consultations, and council meetings remain postponed for April, we have been speaking with city councillors to identify ways to ensure work on transformational city-building projects can continue on our major campaigns.
While stressing the importance of following Toronto Public Health guidelines, we continue discussions with councillors and City staff about ways to make our city safer during our state of emergency. This includes conversations about closing streets to facilitate physical distancing for people walking and biking, and increased measures to prevent speeding to further avoid traffic injuries and taxing our hospitals. Safe and healthy cycling streets for essential trips and daily exercise are still needed in the current COVID-19 reality.
Cycling in the Time of COVID-19
Our daily lives have changed dramatically in the past few weeks as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world. Thankfully, it’s still OK to ride a bike for essential trips and exercise, but this shouldn’t be done without recognizing greater public health concerns. We reached out to Toronto Public Health and received guidance to help explain what the virus means for cycling in Toronto.
Read about Cycling in the Time of COVID-19
Eglinton Bike Lane Construction
Raised bike lane in front of Keelesdale Station (left). Artist rendering of Eglinton Ave (right).
While many of us are working from home, construction crews are still out working on projects across the city and recently we had a welcome sight on Eglinton Ave W: bike lanes under construction. Metrolinx crews are building protected bike lanes in front of the future Keelesdale Station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. While this is great news, these bike lanes are currently only planned to be built in front of stations. Cycle Toronto is advocating for protected bike lanes along the entire LRT corridor, from Mount Dennis to Kennedy Rd. Together with the existing multi-use path on Eglinton West, this would connect Mississauga to Scarborough through Midtown with nearly 30km of protected bicycle infrastructure.
Read Metrolinx blog about the LRT
Curbs on Bloor
Curbs installed beside bike lane on Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst
While we’re working toward the extension of the Bloor West Bikeway to Runnymede later this year, we’ve been following the progress of upgrades being made to the existing bike lanes. Over the past month, we’ve seen new curbs installed on the south side of Bloor St between Bathurst St and Spadina Ave to help prevent people from parking in the bike lanes. This is a welcome addition, especially near intersections, where parking in a bike lane is particularly dangerous.
The city is now installing concrete curb “islands.” These structures have been installed to allow for proper drainage, say from melting snow in the winter, and will feature ample space for bicycle parking!
We’re still pedalling toward Bike Month 2020!
We’re evaluating options for our celebration of biking and are still excited about the benefits of riding. As the current public health crisis evolves, we want to ensure every aspect is in the public’s best interest.
We’ll update you soon!
Toronto Bike Brigade
The Toronto Bike Brigade, launched by Toronto lawyer Dave Shellnut, is a group of volunteers on bikes ready to deliver supplies and friendship to vulnerable people on behalf of community organizations or individuals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto.
If you’re healthy and want to help out your community click one of these links:
Join the Facebook group or Fill out this form
Note: Cycle Toronto is in no way affiliated with Toronto Bike Brigade. Always follow the advice of Toronto Public Health.
Essential Trips can be Fun!
While we’re all practicing physical distancing and spending most of our days inside that doesn’t mean you can’t ride a bike or have a little fun. Our staff has been working from home for three weeks now and we all took turns collecting our office supplies from work. Everyone rode their bikes to get the essentials from pens and paper to computer monitors. This video was the result of our Communications Lead, Ryan, turning their short but essential trip into a fun adventure.
Planning a New Bike Route
Photo by Nicholas Jones
Many people are thinking of biking for the first time or for new purposes because it's a practical way to maintain physical distancing when you need to head outside. If you want to plan a new route for yourself or share some tips with a friend, we’ve put together a guide to route planning.
Bike Repair Shops are Essential Businesses
Photo by Tom Conway on Unsplash
We wanted to make sure that bike repair was considered as an essential service. As everyone is staying at home, home delivery is now more important than ever, and cycling remains a good option to maintain physical distance if you need to get around the city. Although we were hopeful that the City would be articulating this position, we wanted to make sure this message was clear when the list of essential services was first released.
Read our letter to the Premier
We’ve also put together a summary of our partner bike repair shops and their current operations. This list does not include the numerous shops that participate in our Member Discount Program, though we will be working to expand this list soon. We encourage you to call or email your preferred shop ahead of time to find out what their current services are and to support local businesses that may be struggling at this time.
2019 Cycle Toronto Annual Report
While our staff and volunteers are already adjusting to a very different outlook for 2020 than we all expected even a few weeks ago, it's time to take a look back at 2019.
Monthly Members' Prize
The winner of February’s prize, a Revelo THINstem and pedal combo, was Godwin. Godwin has been an ER doctor for two decades and picked up riding during med school. He can typically be found on the streets of Etobicoke and North York where there’s little bike infrastructure. He supports us through his membership as a way of helping bring bike lanes outside the downtown core.
March quickly passed and a lot changed in the world around us, but the drawing for the winner of a $400 gift card from Urbane Cyclist still happened! We’ll be announcing the lucky member soon.
On to the April Prize... we’ve secured a prize thanks to Curbside Cycle in the form of an Abus Granit 53 London U-Lock with a retail value of $149.99! Curbside Cycle is the only retailer in North America for this lock that has the best security grade per dollar of any Abus lock.
Become a Cycle Toronto monthly member to be entered to win the April prize. After that you’ll be entered into the draw every month as long as your membership is active. Read the full contest rules here.
Ward group highlight: Ward 14 Bikes
Ward 14 Bikes is the Cycle Toronto ward group covering Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth. The year 2019 was their first year as a unified ward group; they were previously represented by ward groups Ward 29 Bikes and Ward 30 Bikes.
Ward 14 Bikes has a long history of participating in community events, such as the Withrow Park Farmers’ Market, Repair Café Toronto and the TD Festival of South Asia. Members regularly participate in planning and transportation consultations to ensure that cycling and mobility issues are considered in projects including separated bike lanes on the Prince Edward Viaduct, Port Lands Acceleration Initiative (PLAI), First Gulf and City East Harbour consultations, and Port Lands Flood Protection. They are also advocating for protected bike lanes as part of the Danforth Complete Streets Study and successfully pushed for more bike parking and bike share stations throughout the ward.
Ward 14 Bikes meets (virtually at the moment) on the third Wednesday of the month. Meeting dates are posted on the Cycle Toronto Ward Advocacy Calendar, which include the virtual meeting information.
One piece of advice for others on hosting a virtual meeting: complete a trial run with one or two people a day ahead to ensure that everything is working!
If you live in Ward 14, you can join them for their next meeting on Google Hangouts on April 15, 2020.
Check out Ward 14 Bikes for all their social media info.
Business member profile: CareerCycles
CareerCycles remains operational and offers new and existing clients weekday, weekday evening, and weekend sessions via Zoom/Skype/phone with any of their experienced career counselling and coaching professionals.
Cycling and Road Safety in the News
To join any of these events, click or tap the link. This will bring up a Google Calendar event where you can click or tap “Join Hangouts.” Once you’re set up click or tap “Join Hangout” and you’ll be able to take part in the meeting.
Platinum Business Members