This spring the City of Toronto released the new Exploring Toronto Parks and Trails map which features up-to-date trails and pathways along with a directory of clubs and associations. You can download a copy of the map here or call 416-392-1111 ext.5 to get a copy sent to you in the mail. It's a useful resource for planning a day of biking, walking or hiking and provides insight into how the City's plans for linking biking and walking paths are coming together.
Canada's Journal of Environmental Law and Practice recently published an article by Kristen Courtney titled "Sustainable Urban Transportation and Ontario's New Planning Regime: The Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe."
For those unable to attend Bike Summit 2009, or for those who want to review some of the excellent presentations, all but a couple (coming soon) have now been posted on the TCAT website. There are also photos from the day and media articles posted here.
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is in the final stage of its three-year pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles (also known as bikes or e-bikes) on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are allowed. On April 23, 2009 the definition of "bicycle" in the HTA was amended to include e-bikes.
On June 4th, the Ontario Government released Simcoe Area: A Strategic Vision for Growth. It lays out a strategy and directions to plan for more prosperous and sustainable growth in the Simcoe area. Based on provincial principles and policies, including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.
The second annual Bike Summit on Thursday May 28th 2009 was a great success. Again this year, despite a bigger venue, this one-day bicycle policy conference sold out in advance. About 220 registrants representing government, the private sector, non-profit organizations and the general public were in attendance. The purpose of the day was to share best practices and challenges in implementing bicycle policy, research, technical designs and advocacy campaigns.
On June 3rd, TCAT will be addressing the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on the following four issues:
1. Motorized Bicycles on Sidewalks. TCAT supports the Toronto Pedestrian Committee's recommendation that no bicycle that includes a motor of any kind be allowed to travel on the sidewalk. For more info, see this recent Toronto Star article.
A good reason to take the day off this Wednesday! Danish architect Jan Gehl is coming to Toronto to speak at the Design Exchange. Gehl is one of the world’s foremost experts on transforming public spaces and creating walking-friendly environments. He led the development of London, England’s ambitious pedestrian plan, and he is an important influence in New York’s recent transformation of its streets.
According to Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, the proposed Strachan Avenue super-bridge we told you about in a recent TCAT News has been averted. While the details of what the new structure will look like are still not fully worked out, Metrolinx's new proposed plans promises to address the issue of creating a cycling and pedestrian friendly corridor between the Waterfront and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The Transportation Association of Canada is in the process of surveying municipalities across Canada on their active transportation initiatives to discover who is getting things done and what has been effective. While the work is still underway, TCAT collaborated with IBI Group to pull together some preliminary findings to kick off discussion at the Bike Summit 2009. The next stage of the research will explore how these municipalities have succeeded.
At the May 11th meeting of the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee, Daniel Egan, Manager of Pedestrian Infrastructure, gave a 45-minute presentation about upcoming plans for improving Toronto's bikeway network. There are some very exciting options being considered, including...
Metrolinx is proposing a super-bridge going over the CN rail lines at Strachan Avenue. Strachan is a critical access point in the City's west end to Exhibition Place and the Martin Goodman Trail. Problems surrounding the proposal identified by a City of Toronto Oct 2008 staff report include closing important cross streets, concentrating all traffic on the King/Strachan intersection and creating an uninviting and undesirable environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
On May 6 TCAT's Program Director Nancy Smith Lea made two deputations at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC). The first was in support of the City's new walking strategy. The overall visionary aspects of the strategy got lost in the committee debate and subsequent media reports that revolved around one minor recommendation.
TCAT responded to media inquiries this week about Councillor Adam Vaughan's proposal to convert Richmond and Adelaide Streets from one-way to two-way streets. The proposal has the goal of improving both the livability and commercial function of these streets which is currently negatively impacted by the fast-moving traffic.