Position Statements

Infrastructure Creation

Cycle Toronto advocates for adequate funding and political support for cycling infrastructure. It should be well designed, well marked, and safe, with the goal of making a complete road system. We want the City of Toronto to encourage new cyclists, not just accommodate existing traffic.

Infrastructure Enforcement

Cycle Toronto wants the City of Toronto to enforce existing laws concerning infrastructure, such as ticketing and towing cars that park in the bike lanes. Those vehicles provided with special exemption from the City of Toronto to park in bike lanes, such as public utility vehicles, should use pylons to re-create a safe bicycle lane around them.

Infrastructure Maintenance

Cycle Toronto wants the City of Toronto to repair the pavement in the bike lanes, keeping it free of potholes, and repainting the lines when needed. In the winter, the lanes should be kept clear of snow and ice, and in the summer, clear of glass and garbage. The park trails should be opened and maintained all year round.

Making cycling easy: protected bike lanes

Riding on busy, crowded streets, mixed in with fast moving cars can be a stressful experience for anyone riding a bicycle. Ridership rises when biking is easy, safe and comfortable. Protected bike lanes and protected intersections help make that a reality. We believe protected bike lanes should be the default option for any new bike lanes added to streets with posted speed limits of 40 km/hr or above.

Sharrows aren't bicycle infrastructure: where we support the use of sharrows and where we don't​

We support the installation of sharrows as pavement markings in limited circumstances, only when used alongside other measures to improve the safety of people biking. The most common acceptable location for sharrows is on bike boulevards, where there is traffic calming (speed reduction) and motor vehicle traffic diversion (volume reduction). Sharrows are also acceptable as wayfinding tools on short stretches of on-street residential routes that connect dedicated cycling facilities.

We do not support the installation of sharrows on streets where traffic is moving quickly (over 30 km/h) or where traffic volumes are high, such as on arterial roads.

Cycling on sidewalks

We believe that cycling on sidewalks puts both people walking and biking at risk, and urge cyclists to avoid riding on sidewalks.

The law: in Toronto, children under the age of 14 may cycle on sidewalks. No person age 14 and older may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk. The City of Toronto's bylaw states that "The fine for an adult who rides a bicycle on a sidewalk shall be $60".

We encourage parents to teach their children safe, respectful and responsible cycling practices.

In some situations, the road may be so unsafe that the cyclist's safest option is to ride on the sidewalk. In such a case, we recommend that cyclists:

- reduce speed
- cede right of way to pedestrians
- warn approaching pedestrians
- pass pedestrians and others with the greatest of care and respect
- dismount and walk their bike when conditions warrant it
- return to the road at the earliest safe opportunity to do so

Bicycle licensing

We are opposed to the licensing and registration of cyclists on the grounds that it creates a disincentive to cycle, and creates unnecessary administrative burdens and costs to taxpayers while not providing any discernible benefit. Neither the City of Toronto nor the provincial Ministry of Transportation have supported such a scheme.

Cyclists, designated as vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act, are already subject to the same rules and fines for infractions as are motor vehicles. Existing legislation, by-laws, and police powers, if used rigorously and to their full extent, are sufficient to keep active transportation safe.

Helmets

We support and encourage the use of helmets by cyclists of all ages, but also recognize an adult’s right to make their own choice.  By law in Ontario, only those 17 years of age or younger are required to wear a helmet while cycling.  We are opposed to making helmet use mandatory for adults.

Active and e-mobility

Cycle Toronto supports all kinds of active mobility and e-mobility devices that allow people to move about safely. While some modes such as walking and jogging are more practical on sidewalks, we support the following devices using bike lanes, cycle tracks, and trails, based on their size, weight, and a maximum travel speed of 25 km/hr:

  • skateboards and e-skateboards

  • mobility devices such as wheelchairs

  • rollerblades and roller skates

  • pedal assist e-bikes including cargo bikes

  • other low-speed wheeled devices under 25 km/h

We do not support moped-style e-bikes using bike lanes, cycle tracks, and trails because of their excessive weight, design and high travel speed. Cycle Toronto supports M-class licensing for all ‘scooter-style’ e-bikes in Toronto.

E-bikes / 2-wheeled Electric Scooters

We support electric pedal-assisted bicycles (as distinct from electric scooters aka: scooter-style e-bikes) as an alternative to larger, less environmentally friendly motor vehicles, especially for people with impaired mobility.

We do not believe electric scooters should be permitted to use infrastructure intended for active transportation, as their speed, size and weight make them hazardous to others within those confines.

We encourage the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario to prohibit the use of electric scooters on infrastructure intended for active transportation, such as recreational trails and paths and bike lanes.

Shared Space

Shared space is a broad term for a street design concept whereby all street users, including motor-vehicles, share a space without physical or delineated separation. For example, curbs or painted lines are removed. Read more.

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