Ring & Post October: Keep Active, Toronto
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ActiveTO is temporary; let’s keep it going
ActiveTO brought us Quiet Streets, Major Road Openings, and temporary bike lanes. Now, we need your help to keep ActiveTO and help expand it in the future. Sign and share the petition now.
New bike lanes on Danforth Avenue, University Avenue, Brimley Road, and more; major roads open on weekends and free of cars for people to walk, roll, and ride; Quiet Streets set up in many neighbourhoods: all of this is ActiveTO. Launched by Toronto during the pandemic, these programs make it easier for people to move around the city and get exercise for their mental and physical health in a safe, physically distant manner. All of this is temporary.
Quiet Streets have already been removed. This could be the last weekend you’ll be able to use Lake Shore Boulevard W & E and Bayview Avenue to go outside and get active. The bike lanes have less than a year before their fate will be decided; they could be ripped out faster than they were installed.
Our streets cannot return to the status quo when the pandemic is over. Active transportation is essential for the social and economic recovery for the city. Let City Council know you want to keep and expand ActiveTO by signing the petition now.
Nearly 40 km of new bike lanes were built this summer. Now, thanks to Cycle Toronto’s dedicated advocacy, City Council voted 19 to 3 for City staff to examine transforming midtown Yonge Street from Bloor Street to Lawrence Avenue as was done for Destination Danforth: with bike lanes, patios, greenery, and parking by spring 2021. It took years of work by many people to get to this point and it is going to take a lot more work to make sure neighbourhoods on Yonge get the transformation they deserve.
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild’s report on the impacts and opportunities of COVID-19 was recently completed and discussed at City Council. The report was approved by Council as a guiding document for the future of Toronto. Among the many fantastic recommendations and findings, there is a key emphasis on the importance of cycling and public transit in pandemic recovery and the report focuses on how to set up the city to achieve a sustainable future. It recommends expanding cycling infrastructure, ActiveTO, and investments in the Toronto Transit Commission to make sure that residents can get around the city in a way that is safe and healthy.
The final section of the Bloor West Bikeway Extension remains incomplete from Indian Road to Symington Avenue, but there has been a recent update to the timeline. The Bloor West Bikeway Extension webpage on the City of Toronto website now includes the following construction updates:
Indian Road to Dundas Street W
Painting is scheduled to begin imminently, once pavement restoration is completed. Physical separation will follow once the pavement markings have been completed.
Dundas Street W to Symington Avenue
Toronto Hydro work is expected to be completed around the beginning of December and painting is scheduled to follow shortly after. Physical separation will have to wait until an unspecified time in 2021 due to rail bridge rehabilitation that will necessitate lane restrictions in the area.
We were happy to hear that CaféTO has been extended through the winter in order to support businesses and allow people to dine safely all year round. However, this has not been extended to on-street patios around the city. Starting this week, the bike lanes on Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue will be moved curbside as the patios are removed. This will make it easier to facilitate snow removal and allow people to more easily use the bike lanes all winter long.
Accessible loading platforms have been installed throughout Bloor and Danforth to make it easier for people with accessibility challenges to load into vehicles. These asphalt platforms are similar to those on Roncesvalles Avenue; bike riders are to ensure that no one is waiting to load into a vehicle before cycling over the raised asphalt.
Cycle Toronto and the City’s Cycling Unit have received reports of people parking in front of the asphalt ramps and blocking the bike lane. The Cycling Unit is aware of the issue and is studying the problem.
We want to take a moment and thank the City’s transportation staff and in particular the Cycling and Pedestrian unit. They've done great work this year managing big cycling infrastructure rollouts, ActiveTO, and even taking upon themselves to find additional places for infrastructure like Lansdowne Avenue and Runnymede Road.
Last week, installation of painted low concrete walls began on Scarlett Road. Crews took a momentary pause to work on other projects this week and should return to work on Scarlett this week. This functional outdoor art gallery is already looking great and safely separating people on bikes from car traffic. Thanks to all the wonderful artists, StreetARToronto, City Staff, and contractors that made this happen!
Photo courtesy of Kanchan Maharaj
One of the Scarlett's installation crews left for Lansdowne Avenue earlier this week; low concrete walls have been installed at the rail underpass just south of Dundas Avenue W. Tight and often dimly lit spaces like this are key areas where increased safety measures are needed.
Photo courtesy of Kanchan Maharaj
Another rail underpass, another set of low concrete walls; Runnymede Road saw barriers put in place this week north of Dundas W. The barriers at this location are located at the inside edge of the bike lane to ensure emergency vehicles have enough space in the underpass.
Photo courtesy of @theBikingVet
Shuter Street was recently reconstructed, repaved, and upgraded from a painted bike lane to a cycle track with curbs and flexi-posts. The much-anticipated project offers an incredibly smooth and comfortable experience.
Toronto Centre Cyclists is celebrating the upgrade and resurfacing tomorrow. Join them for a physically distanced get together and ride the new lanes.
Date: Sunday, November 1st
More details on the celebration
Photo courtesy of the City of Toronto
Sumach is now home to a contra-flow bike lane from Shuter to King Street. This neighbourhood route legalizes travelling in both directions by bike in the east end of downtown. At the southern end it connects to the Cherry Street bike lane which creates a continuous north-south cycling route from Queen Street to the Waterfront Trail.
Breaking Barriers to Biking presented by MEC is highlighting cyclists and community leaders throughout Bike Month. The series tackles what barriers to biking they’ve encountered, what they’ve done to keep pedaling, and how they’re helping others to do the same.
Kat is the type of person that looks at life’s challenges and thinks “I’m going to fight through this and I’ll be better for it.” Many times in her life Kat was presented with situations that could have put her off biking for good, but she has grown into an all-season rider.
Marvin is an everyday rider commuting by bike to Scarborough Cycles. The organization’s main goal is to break down barriers to biking while striving to be the leader in suburban cycling issues.
This year’s Ride for Safe Streets presented by Bike Law Canada was our 7th annual fall ride and our first physically distanced edition. Over 100 people and 14 teams signed up and hit the roads for personalized rides and stopped by our greet points to say “Hi!” A huge thank you goes out to all the riders that set out to explore the city, and spread the word about Cycle Toronto and our mission. These people along with our sponsors, Bike Law Canada and Uber Eats, raised over $48,000 to support our advocacy work. That money is going to go a long way toward ensuring we keep ActiveTO, expand the cycling network, and work towards a better cycling city for all.
We’d also like to extend a big thanks to our ride supporters Urbane Cyclist and Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop for providing prizing for the event. Like so many other organizations tasked with putting on events, we had to get creative about how to move forward during the pandemic and we’re already looking forward to growing next year’s ride into an even better event.
It’s been a month since Bike Month wrapped up; it was amazing to see people embracing riding bikes even though our celebrations looked different this year. Thousands of people attended webinars, came out to commuter stations, and, importantly, rode their bikes! You shared pictures and stories of your adventures and it was wonderful to see your faces even if your smiles were behind masks.
One of our Bike Month Bingo participants was so enthusiastic about the contest that they completed every single bingo square. Emma shared they're experience, saying it wasn't always easy, but it was a lot of fun.
Map created by Michael Holloway
A new ward group has started in Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York! They held their first meeting online this week and are looking forward to having their next one soon.
Ward groups are a great way to get involved in cycling advocacy as a volunteer. You can follow the progress of cycling infrastructure installation, connect with your community, and learn more about consultations and projects — all in your neighbourhood!
If you live or work in ward 10 and want to join, please email them to find out more.
Join us virtually to understand where we'll be focusing our advocacy efforts over the coming months, how you can get involved, and how you can be effective in working with businesses, councillors, city staff, residents' associations, and more.
We will briefly go over Cycle Toronto's major campaigns, including Bloor Loves Bikes!, Yonge Loves Bikes!, Danforth Loves Bikes!, and Protected Bike Lanes on Eglinton. The major focus of this session will be on tactics and methods for advocacy and discussing the new advocacy work that will go into building a campaign toward keeping and expanding ActiveTO for 2021.
You'll learn tips and tricks on how to be the best advocate, including:
Date: Monday, November 2nd
It’s the end of October and we’ve handed out hundreds of lights, but Get Lit! isn’t over yet! We’ve extended into the first week of November to link up with as many people as possible. Daylight savings time ends tonight, so it’s going to be even more important to make sure you’re visible. We’ll be set up with our orange tent this Wednesday handing out free lights and talking about road safety passing cyclists. If you want to swing by and Get Lit! yourself, Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updated on the location on the day.
Date: November 4th
Biking in All Weather Conditions is the final workshop in the series and will cover everything you need to know to keep riding through the winter.
Date: November 4th
To register or for more info, call 416-524-2137 or email Sam at email@example.com
<Cycling culture is about people on bikes, but supporting cycling culture also means safe streets for all. Safer streets are supported through well-designed infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks, speed limits and bike lanes. In 2020, Toronto Council approved a fast-track plan to install 40km of bike lanes, including Bloor bike lanes to Runnymede and Danforth bike lanes east to Dawes Road. In the last four months, bike shops have been busy and bike lanes filled with riders of all ages.
Whether you’re a cyclist, a driver, a pedestrian, or a transit user, EcoFair Toronto invites you to join us in a discussion on cycling culture in Toronto to accompany the film Bicycle (2014)! EcoFair Toronto will be offering a free screening of the film Bicycle (2014) from Friday, October 29 to Sunday, November 1.
Moderated by Yvonne Bambrick, and featuring The Biking Lawyer, Dave Shellnutt, Ed Mark of Gateway Bike Hub, and Cycle Toronto’s Interim Executive Director, Michael Longfield.
Date: October 31
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.
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