Ring & Post November: Winter is Coming

Snow Big Deal: Could snow clearing improve this winter?

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Winter is Coming

Riding a bike is a year-round activity and this winter it could be easier than ever to ride your bike in Toronto.


Contents 


Year-End Fundraising: Introducing Move365

The words Move 365 hover over a stylized light blue map. The "V" in "Move" resembles a pin for a map. The orange, circular Cycle Toronto logo is at the left.

Do you believe in making Toronto a healthy, safe and vibrant city for all?

Move365 is an education and encouragement campaign that will co-power community leaders with the knowledge, expertise, and tools to create possibilities and change transportation infrastructure in their communities — to grow the culture around alternative forms of transportation with their community. The pandemic has inequitably impacted the city’s most vulnerable residents, who also face the biggest transportation and mobility challenges. With your support, we will have the capacity to support local priorities in those communities especially outside the downtown core.

This is one of the biggest responsibilities in the history of this organization. That is why this #GivingTuesday we are launching Move365. Look out for more information Tuesday morning.

Click on the button to go to our partner CultureLink's website. Under “Fund” select “2 - Cycling Program - Move365”.

Donate to Move365

You will receive a charitable tax receipt if you donate $30 or more.


Overlea Boulevard: Still no ActiveTO

Reads: Overlea Boulevard, still no Active TO. Image of a wide bridge busy with cars. Image of dozens of students crammed onto a narrow sidewalk. Image of two women exchanging a bike with smiles. Image of an orange Cycle Toronto tent.

Images courtesy of (in order): Google Streetview, Muriel Draaisma / CBC, Holly Reid / Leaside Life, Cycle Toronto

“Thorncliffe Park parents are asking the city to have the Overlea Bridge ‘reimagined’ during the pandemic to ensure their children can physically distance when using its narrow sidewalks on their way to and from school,” states CBC News.

The Overlea Bridge connects Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, two designated Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. Overlea Boulevard was listed as an ActiveTO installation “under consideration”, but there has been no progress made since May.

Now, COVID-19 cases are at or near record levels and Thorncliffe Park has an infection rate more than 5 times that of the highest surrounding neighbourhoods (Flemingdon Park excluded).

We wrote about Overlea, Thorncliffe Park, and Flemingdon Park in July and we’re still touching base with local groups to try and make ActiveTO headway. In the meantime, the Women’s Cycling Network has matched 75+ donated, used bikes with area residents. Residents’ desire to ride a bike or simply have space to safely walk continues to grow.


Keep ActiveTO

Youth ride bikes in a bike lane. On the right there are icons of people using wheelchairs, walking, and biking. Text: Keep Active TO

It’s been less than a month since we launched the petition to Keep ActiveTO and we’ve already gained over 3,000 signatures without being able to do in-person outreach due to the pandemic. That’s 3,000 of your fellow Torontonians that want to see our new bike lanes remain in place past 2021, and the return of Major Road Openings and Quiet Streets. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, put your name on it so our progress isn’t ripped out next year.

Sign the petition: Keep ActiveTO

Already signed the petition? Use the buttons on the page to share it with your friends and family on social media and email so that we can expand our reach. The more people that sign the petition, the stronger our voice at City Hall!


Danforth Study Consultations

The City of Toronto will be hosting two community consultation events for the Danforth Study which includes the temporary ActiveTO bike lanes and Destination Danforth pilot. So far, the details for the first are available, with the second meeting to be announced at a later date.

Complete Streets
Meeting 3A: will provide a brief update on the three study components with a focus on presenting the Complete Streets project, Destination Danforth, that was implemented over the summer and the City's plan for monitoring and evaluating this initiative.

Date: December 1, 2020
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Link to join the meeting

An online survey will also be available from December 1 to 24. The city encourages all survey participants to participate in a community meeting or watch a recording before completing the survey.

More Information on the Danforth Study


Brimley Road Bike Lane Town Hall

Reads: Join Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson and Councillor Gary Crawford

Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson and Councillor Gary Crawford are hosting a virtual town hall for people that live or work near the temporary ActiveTO bike lanes on Brimley Road. Attend the virtual town hall to share some positivity about the growth of cycling infrastructure and learn more about the project.

Date: Monday, November 30
Time: 7-8PM

To register, contact your councillor. If you don't know in which ward you live or work, find your ward here.

Deputy Mayor Thompson
(Ward 21 Scarborough Centre)

Councillor Crawford
Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest)

councillor_thompson@toronto.ca
416-397-9274
councillor_crawford@toronto.ca
416-392-4052

REimagining Yonge Street in North York

Cross-section of a streetscape. It shows a complete street with bike lanes, wide sidwalks, foliage, 4 car lanes, and a subway.

The REimagining Yonge Street Environmental Assessment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for residents of North York Centre and surrounding neighbourhoods to shape their future and change Yonge from a six-lane highway to a vibrant four-lane main street that better connects the neighbourhood.

By November 30, please write to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) and the Mayor telling them that you support REimagine Yonge and complete streets designed with everyone in mind.

Write IEC and Read More


Recent Infrastructure Upgrades

Huntingwood Drive Parking Protection

Flexi-posts line a bike lane. In the distance, after the flexi-posts end, a vehicle is parked in the bike lane.

A section of the new parking-protected bike lane with flexi-posts in front of Bridlewood Park. Photo by Keenan Mosdell.

This week, our friends at Toronto East Cyclists reported that a stretch of the Huntingwood Drive ActiveTO bike lanes were upgraded to parking protected bike lanes with flexi-posts. The area adjacent to Bridlewood Park has been a constant frustration for people riding in the lanes. People have often illegally parked in the bike lane to access the park. Due to the width of the road and size of the bike lane, City staff and crews have been able to realign the road to accommodate for parking to the left of the bike lane. Allowing high-desire parking spots to exist while simultaneously using them to protect the bike lane is an ideal solution. Adapting and improving infrastructure to increase safety and compliance should always take priority over enforcement.

We’re advocating for further protection along the length of the painted Huntingwood bike lanes as well as a reduction of the 50km/h speed limit in this residential area to improve safety for all road users. And remember that these Scarborough bike lanes are a temporary part of ActiveTO.


University Avenue Protected Intersection

Reflective flexi-posts stand out in a dimly lit night shot. They outline the intersection beyond the crosswalk and to the left of the bike lane.

Photo courtesy of David MacMillan

When the temporary University Avenue bike lanes were first installed paint outlined a protected intersection concept at the Elm Street intersection. Recently, flexi-posts were installed to help ensure adherence to the painted lines. 

If you’re unfamiliar with protected intersections, they are designed to slow drivers as they turn by reducing the radius at the corner. This also gives a driver a better view of people in the bike lane and the crosswalk. Watch as a driver on University begins their turn, recognizes they can’t proceed, stops, and allows the pedestrians and family in a bike to pass safely.


Dundas Street E Concrete Curbs

Map of Toronto. Dundas Street East is highlighted in orange and maroon.

Map of Cycle Track upgrades on Dundas St E. Map by Michael Holloway.

City crews recently began installing concrete curb and flexi-post upgrades on Dundas Street E. Work is scheduled to be complete within a month. These upgrades will make travelling on Dundas much safer in a very short period of time. Painting is being prioritized as adverse weather conditions have the greatest impact on this portion of installation. Physical structures will follow after painting is completed.

Consultations for a full upgrade to Dundas E are in the works further down the line.


Harbord Street Low Concrete Walls

Plain, short concrete walls line a leaf cluttered bike lane.

Low concrete walls have been installed on Harbord Street east of Bathurst Street in front of Central Technical School. Concrete curbs are expected to come to more sections of Harbord where space and road configuration allows. It's our understanding that the walls are surplus from other projects and are in very limited supply. Both curbs and walls increase safety while reducing the amount of illegal stopping and blocking of the bike lane.


Scarlett Road Cycle Track Art Gallery

Screen capture of Google Maps Scarlett Road Cycle Track

Since the last Ring & Post, construction crews returned to Scarlett Road to complete the installation of low concrete walls. People are out riding safely in the bike lanes and enjoying the outdoor art gallery so much it has been added to Google Maps as an art gallery. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the five star art gallery, it’s worth the trip!


Winter is Coming

Snow Big Deal

A person rides their bike through a blizzard. The bike lane has been partially cleared. Text reads: Snow Big Deal. Could snow clearing improve this winter.

Each winter, Cycle Toronto calls on the City of Toronto to improve snow removal strategies across the city. Now more than ever, we need to respond rapidly and adapt quickly to make our city safe and accessible this winter due to the pandemic. The quick planning and execution of ActiveTO saw Quiet Streets, Major Road Openings, and nearly 25 km of temporary bike lanes installed so that people are able to move about their neighbourhoods in a safe, physically distant manner. With winter approaching we need to enable people to continue to choose active transportation. 

Find out what snow clearing could look like this year


Winter Riding Tips

Dozens of smiling people ride bikes in a snow storm. Text reads: Winter Riding tips

Photo by Martin Reis

Colder temperatures and darker days are no reason to put away your bike for the season. While it can be a little more tricky to ride in the winter, there are a few things which can help make it possible. Indeed, cycling through the winter can be enjoyable, relaxing, and fun. Getting that extra bit of exercise can help get you through the darkest and coldest days, delivering you to work or home feeling fresh and revived. If you're thinking about giving winter riding a shot, we’ve put together a few ideas to help make it a good experience.

Keep riding all year


How to Report Snow in Bike Lanes

A mountain of snow blocks a flexi-post protected bike lane. The trails of bikes wind through the snow.

Even if there are improvements to snow clearing and you’re an experienced winter rider, there are going to be times when snow clearing is still an issue. Generally, 311 is where you would report issues with snow clearing, but that is not always the case. 

Read our guide to reporting snow in bike lanes


Maps, Maps, Maps

A person looks at a road map.

As the year winds down we’ve had a chance to look back and update some of our most popular resources to better reflect the current state of cycling in Toronto.

Types of Bike Lanes and Trails in Toronto

This resource is a primer for people new to cycling, Toronto, or how Cycle Toronto talks about infrastructure. 

Toronto bike infrastructure

Tracking ActiveTO

Our Tracking ActiveTO map highlights how the new ActiveTO bike lanes fit in with the rest of the cycling network. You’re able to see existing infrastructure, planned infrastructure, and ActiveTO bike lanes with the option to turn on the Major Road Closures and Quiet Streets that have now come to an end.

Track ActiveTO

Toronto Cycling Map

We have created a digital Toronto Cycling Map based on the City’s now-outdated version. It has been a historic year with fast-paced growth and we felt it essential to have an up-to-date map that reflects the nearly 40 kms of new infrastructure we spent long hours advocating to have installed.

Toronto Cycling Map


StreetSmartsTO 

Magenta background. On the left it reads: Street Smarts TO. On the right there are various mobility icons, a Cycle Toronto logo, and a City of Toronto logo all in white. At the bottom is an icon for a bike lane.

We are very excited to announce that we’re starting a new project with the City of Toronto that will help us expand our education programs through 2021. StreetSmartsTO will see Cycle Toronto delivering online and in-person education and encouragement events to promote safer streets for all road users year round with at least one event in every single ward. We’ll have more details on the program in the coming weeks and months. We’re looking forward to being able to help more Torontonians be safe and confident on two wheels!


Surface Transit Network Plan

Reads: A decade is too long to wait... 10 of the bus routes serve neighbourhoods with the highest rates of COVID-19.

Image courtesy of TTCriders

Last week, we cosigned a letter to the City’s Executive Committee calling on the City to expedite the creation of a more equitable and safe public transit system. While the new RapidTO priority bus lanes along Eglinton in Scarborough are a huge success, the timelines for the other proposed corridors are unacceptably far with only Jane Street due for delivery before 2023 based on the Council approved implementation schedule (page 8).

The letter focuses on increasing bus service to areas with high rates of COVID-19, which is disproportionately impacting Torontonians that are Black, people of colour, and / or have low-incomes. Other recommendations include not removing bus stops on RapidTO installations, mask distribution, and encouraging multi-modal transportation by installing secure bicycle parking, such as bicycle lockers, at bus stops.

This letter is in addition to our position that the City should create separated, protected cycle tracks or multi-use paths adjacent to bus corridors.

Combining cycling and transit for a multi-modal trip can be a great solution for Torontonians who wish to get around with a car.

Cycling & Transit: Complementary forms of mobility


E-Cycles and Incentivizing Micro-Mobility

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is requesting feedback for an updated regulatory and policy framework surrounding e-cycles and e-cargo cycles by December 19, 2020. This otherwise welcome move from the Province comes because the federal government and Transport Canada have made the decision to step away from defining and regulating e-cycles as of February 2021.

We joined a coalition of organizations from around the country, led by Vélo Canada Bikes, asking for a stop to the repeal of the federal definition to avoid different rules in every province, which would create more confusion and raise consumer costs in the end despite a growing market. The letter to the Prime Minister also asks applying the federal Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program to electric cycles and other micro-mobility vehicles.


Ward Group Highlight: Ward 5 York South-Weston 

Painted in pinks, teals, and white, a low concrete wall separates a bike lane from traffic.

Protected cycle tracks have been added to Scarlett Rd. How else could cycling be improved in Ward 5?

Thanks to a petition started by some local residents, a ward advocacy group is getting started in Ward 5 York South-Weston. The petition initially focused on developing cycling infrastructure on Weston Rd and Keele St and the group will be envisioning opportunities to improve cycling infrastructure across the ward. 

If you’re interested in getting involved, please get in touch with Tamara Nahal by emailing tamara@cycleto.ca. 

There are many ways to get involved: whether you have time to take on a role to help organize or if you just want to help occasionally, there is space for you to get involved!


Riding on Strava? Join the Club!

Last week's leaderboard. Displays athletes and how far they've ridden their bikes.

Do you already use Strava to log your trips, commutes, and rides? Join the Cycle Toronto Strava club and see how many kilometres our community is totalling every week! Will you make it to the top of this week’s leaderboard?

Join the Cycle Toronto Strava Club


Business Member Profile:McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers LLP

Text reads: McLeish Orlando Critical Injury LawyersOver the last 25 years, Patrick (Pat) Brown has represented fallen and seriously injured cyclists and other victims of road violence throughout Ontario.  
 
Pat is a Senior Partner at
McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers LLP, a Platinum Business Member of Cycle Toronto. In his long history with Cycle Toronto, both as a founding member, and as a former director, Pat has in the past and continues to help answer cyclists’ questions when it comes to their safety and legal rights on the road.
 
Pat is also an outspoken activist who has fought for safe streets and changes to our laws for many years. He initiated and was appointed by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario as an expert in the 
2010 Review on Cycling Deaths, which recommended lower speeds, penalties for distracted driving, and better infrastructure. He assisted in drafting a Vulnerable Road Users bill that would change the fines applied when a cyclist or pedestrian is killed.

Pat is a trial lawyer and past president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, he is also listed in Best Lawyers Canada, and is one of LExperts Most Frequently Recommended Lawyers. Pat is part of the Bike Law network of lawyers.


Cycling and Road Safety in the News


Upcoming Events

See public consultations in the Keep ActiveTO section.

Ward Group Meetings

To join any of Google Meet events, click or tap the link. This will bring up a Google Calendar event where you can click or tap “Join with Google Meet.” Once you’re set up, click or tap “Ask to join” and you’ll be able to take part in the meeting. 


Platinum Business Members

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