Ring & Post: November 2023

In November’s edition of The Ring & Post, we welcome back a familiar face, prepare to hear a new voice at city hall, and start composing a cyclist-friendly holiday wishlist. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

  1. Message from (recently returned) Executive Director
  2. Giving Tuesday Is Coming
  3. Cycling Network Plan 2025-2027: Toronto’s Next Bike Lane Depends on You
  4. The Alex Amaro Cycling Kindness Award
  5. November Advocacy Update
    1. What happened at IEC & Council
    2. Micro-mobility survey
    3. Vision Zero update
  6. Scarborough Southwest By-election
  7. Bill 40: Vulnerable Road Users Law
  8. Winter Cycling 
  9. Just for Fun
  10. In the Media
  11. Social Media Spotlight
  12. Events
    1. 401 Richmond Open House
    2. Bike Brigade Winter Riding Workshop
    3. Weston Cycling Connections Open House
    4. Community Bikeways Annual Good Cheer Ride

Message from (recently returned) Executive Director

Back at the end of August, I was in a high speed bike racing crash that put me in the hospital with two broken vertebrae.

Two months in a neck collar and back brace left me with comparatively limited mobility options to which I was accustomed. In addition to not being able to bike, which has been my primary mode of transportation through Toronto for over a decade, I was explicitly forbidden to drive. Walking was possible (and often enjoyable) with the help of a rollator, but I became even more aware of the hazards on sidewalks and at intersections. I noticed feeling anxious and catching myself wondering if approaching drivers would slow and stop as I ambled across. Using transit now required careful checking to ensure a given station had accessible elevators (and double checking that those elevators weren’t offline). Eventually I started adding a 10-15 minute buffer to Google’s projected travel times to account.

I don’t pretend that this experience compares to those of other people with disabilities or experiencing physical challenges. I’m very lucky. 13 weeks later and my prognosis for full recovery continues to be excellent, and I’m very much on track to be back on my bike (both commuting and racing) sometime next year. I’m optimistic that when that day comes, I’ll be traveling around a city that is safer for cycling from what I experienced before my injury.

I’m more passionate than ever about Cycle Toronto’s vision that streets are for people. And I look forward to continuing to build that outstanding cycling city together with you.

Michael Longfield

Executive Director

Giving Tuesday Is Coming

(A Cycle Toronto cycling educator addresses a group at our Learn to Ride program supported by donors like you.)

Giving Tuesday is the kick-off to many charities end-of-year fundraising efforts. This November 28, we need your passion for riding a bike top of mind to support our shared vision that Toronto can be an outstanding cycling city. We just need your help.

But you don’t need to wait until Tuesday! Donate today to unlock more cycling trips for more people across the city.

Did you know the City of Toronto has a goal to have 75% of trips under 5km be taken on foot, transit, or bike by 2030? That’s less than eight years away. In order to get there, we’ll need a lot more people riding bikes. Won’t you help today?

As a registered charity, your donation is vital to our work and eligible for a Canadian tax receipt.

Cycling Network Plan 2025-2027: Toronto’s Next Bike Lane Depends on You

Toronto has begun consultations on where to build its next bikeways between 2025 and 2027. 

Under Mayor Tory, the city committed to building 100 km of new bikeways between 2022-2024. But there are still too many parts of the city where a short bike trip can feel unsafe or impossible. With traffic violence and the climate crisis at a tipping point, we need an even more ambitious commitment from Mayor Chow to make 75% of trips walked, or transited, or biked by 2030 a reality.

(A map of proposed and suggested bike infrastructure.)

Cycle Toronto is working to make that happen.

We need your help:

1. Add your comments to the city’s interactive map by Sunday, December 10, and give “thumbs up” to those arterial bikeways and complete streets that would connect the growing downtown cycling network for people in Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough:

2. Complete the online survey by Sunday, December 10:

3. Register for and attend the virtual public meeting with city staff on Wednesday, December:

 

The Alex Amaro Cycling Kindness Award

Alex Amaro's family, Cycle Toronto, and Mcleish Orlando announce the Alex Amaro Cycling Kindness Award, which recognizes young leaders making a positive difference in the cycling community. 

Alexandra Mary Orme Amaro was 23 years old when she was killed in front of Dufferin Mall while riding her bike. A journalism student in her final year, a talented florist, and passionate cyclist, Alex embodied kindness, generosity, positivity and humbleness throughout her young life. Next Sunday, December 2, will be the third anniversary of her death.

The Alex Amaro Cycling Kindness Award was created to recognize an individual or group whose efforts exemplify a positive approach to making the city cycling friendlier, safer, more accessible, inclusive and environmentally healthier and sustainable for everyone. 

Applications are now open for Spring 2024; visit our website to learn more:

Advocacy Updates

Several pertinent issues were discussed at this month’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee. Navigating dangerous construction sites may soon become safer after a report is delivered in early 2024 on improved wayfinding around street or sidewalk closures. In order to diversify Vision Zero’s toolkit, amendments to the Highway Traffic Act were requested by the city to enable the city to use more automated enforcement technology.

(More automated speed enforcement cameras may be coming to Toronto’s streets in 2024. Photo credit: CBC.ca)

Residents of North York will be pleased to hear that a year-round connection from Earl Bales Park to the York Mills TTC station was approved at City Council earlier this month.

(A snowboarder prepares to take on one of the hills at Earl Bales Park. Photo credit: City of Toronto.)

We also received welcome news about Bike Share this month, as the Toronto Parking Authority confirmed they will be making Bike Share payment plans more accessible and affordable.

(A Bike Share bike ready to be ridden along the waterfront.)

The city is developing a strategy for so-called “micromobility” vehicles, which include e-bikes, e-scooters and e-kick scooters, cargo bikes and more. The strategy will outline guidelines for what micromobility vehicles should be allowed, where they can operate, where they can park, and whether to allow both personal use and shared vehicles. A strong supporter of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, Cycle Toronto also supports providing people more mobility options allow people to move about safely but shares concerns about larger, faster e-moped style vehicles on bikeways and multi-use trails. Your feedback in this strategy is essential to its success:

(Dockless shared e-kicked scooters. Photo credit: Reuters.)

Read a more detailed rundown of recent advocacy updates here:

 

Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest By-Election

On November 30, the residents of Ward 20 - Scarborough Southwest will have the opportunity to elect a new councillor. To help eligible voters make an informed decision, Cycle Toronto and our Alliance for Safe and Active Streets asked candidates several questions regarding road safety initiatives, and more specifically, if they would support implementing the Danforth-Kingston Complete Street project in 2024.

(An image showing the results of our Scarborough Southwest by-election survey.)

We are pleased to report that a majority of survey respondents agreed to champion our road safety policy priorities, and that four of the five respondents stated that they will vote for the implementation of the Danforth-Kingston complete street project.

To view candidate responses and comments on their survey answers, click here.

Residents of Scarborough Southwest - see you at the polls on November 30th!

(Members of the Alliance for Safe and Active Streets For All speak about the results of the survey at a press conference in Scarborough. From left to right: Marvin Macaraig, Alison Stewart, and Garnet Belik.)

Bill 40: Vulnerable Road Users Update

(Supporters of Bill 40 pose for a photo at Queen’s Park.)

Cycle Toronto has long been supporting Pat Brown, Bike Law Canada and allies to introduce new road safety measures to protect our most vulnerable road users.

new bill recently introduced by MPP Joel Harden would have ensured stricter penalties to apply to all driving offences under the Highway Traffic Act that result in the death or serious injury of a vulnerable road user including people walking or biking.

The penalties introduced by the bill would include:

  • community service;
  • license suspension;
  • driver re-education;
  • requirements for culpable motorists to attend court for sentencing and to hear victim impact statements.

Unfortunately, just one day after the Friends and Families For Safe Streets held a World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims vigil, the government voted down the bill on second reading.

Road safety is not a partisan issue. This is not over. We will keep pushing forward to make our streets safer for everyone.

Winter Riding Tips

As we reach the end of November, many of us are shuddering at the thought of the frigid temperatures around the corner. However, colder and darker days are no reason to put away your bike for the season. 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 refreshed and revived.

While it can be a little more tricky to ride in the winter, there are a few things which can help make it possible. Head to our site for some tips on winter cycling and be better prepared to winter ride this year.

(A man rides his bike on College Street on a slushy day. Photo credit: BlogTO.)

Just for Fun: A Holiday Gift Guide

With the holiday season upon us, Cycle Toronto asked our followers about their ideas of the perfect gift for a cyclist. We received all kinds of great suggestions, so it’s time to embrace your inner-elf. Head to our site to read about items on our followers’ wish lists.

Plus, for the Cycle Toronto fans on your list, get the scoop on the grand opening of our special back catalog section of our online store where you can find all kinds of T-shirts from years and events gone by.

(A selection of the back catalogue of Cycle Toronto T-shirts.)

In the Media

Hundreds of Toronto cyclists prove Doug Ford brutally wrong about bike lanes | Canadian Cycling Magazine

Alison Stewart from Cycle Toronto: Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 1364 | Toronto Mike’d

City to push vital cycling link under the 401 through Don Valley golf course | Streets of Toronto

Don Trail reopening delayed: ‘We’ve just come to expect that projects aren’t going to be finished on time’ | Toronto Star

Cities look to copy Montreal's ban of right turns on red, but safety data lacking | CTV News

Housing, transit among key issues as Scarborough Southwest byelection heads down to the wire | Toronto Star

Social Media Spotlight

Can’t get enough Cycle Toronto content? As we near the end of this month’s Ring & Post, you may find yourself already yearning for more. Although our newsletter is monthly, we post on our social media channels daily. Follow us on InstagramTwitter / X, or TikTok to stay up-to-date on Cycle Toronto news and events. Here are some highlights from this month:

(A post featuring Doug Ford’s anti-bike lane rhetoric. Click image to see original post.)

 

(A post showing the new cycle tracks on Bloor between Spadina and Avenue. Click image to see original post.)

 

Events

401 Richmond Open House

Ring in the holiday season this Thursday, November 30th at the 401 Richmond Open House and drop by the Cycle Toronto offices to say hello.

The 401 Richmond Open House features 17 galleries, 2 shops, and a licenced café with gourmet pantry. Find artwork, objects, books, toys, clothing, accessories, cards and much more.

Click here to find out more.

(An illustration of 401 Richmond. Photo credit: 401 Richmond.)

Winter Cycling Workshop with the Bike Brigade

The Bike Brigade and Cycle Toronto are hosting a Winter Riding Workshop on December 4 to give new and existing riders tips on how to ride safely in the winter. The workshop will be held at CSI Spadina, located near Spadina and Queen 192 Spadina Avenue. There will be a social held for all Bike Brigade volunteers from 5:30 – 6:30 pm and a Winter Riding Workshop from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. You can find out more and become a volunteer with Bike Brigade through this link.

(A poster for the Winter Riding Workshop.)

Weston Cycling Connections Open House

Learn more and provide feedback on the first on-street cycling facilities within the Weston neighbourhood.

Weston Collegiate Institute, Cafeteria

100 Pine St, Toronto, ON M9N 2Y9

Tuesday, November 28

Drop-in 6 – 8:30 pm (Presentation at 6:30 pm)

(A rendering of Pine Street in Weston. Credit: City of Toronto.)

Annual Good Cheer Ride

(Santa leading the Good Cheer Ride on Dec 18, 2022. Photo credit: Jun Nogami.)

Toronto Community Bikeways 4th annual Cycling Good Cheer ride along Yonge Street on Sunday, December 10.

Please note that the ride from Mel Lastman Square is for experienced riders only since the ride involves crossing the 401. To view the stops on the ride, view the event here. 


Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Ring & Post. Feel free to follow us on TwitterInstagram, and stay updated by checking our website.

And as always, every donation counts to help us continue the work you've read about in this newsletter.

Cycle Toronto
https://www.cycleto.ca/

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