Congratulations to John Luton who has been elected as a member of the
Council of the City of Victoria, BC. Luton is the executive director of
the Capital Bike and Walk Society
and has for several years been deeply involved in many projects that
have added trails, bicycle lanes, better bike parking and signage
throughout the region. Victoria, BC has the highest active
transportation mode share in Canada, at 15.2% (the national average is
Last Thursday morning Toronto woke up to its first snow accumulation of
the year -- about 5-10 centimetres. By morning rush hour the major
streets were pretty clear due to the heat of the cars yet the sidewalks
remained icy. A jogger was spotted running with great style and
authority along the edge line on Spadina, making a vehicular-style hand
signal before turning right on Richmond. If only a TCAT photographer
could have captured the moment! If you see any examples of active
transportation that strike you as funny or wonderful, please send them
A last-minute agenda item at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) meeting last week surprised cycling advocates. PWIC approved 16.1 km of bike lanes for St. Lawrence Avenue East from Victoria Park Avenue to Rouge Hills Drive. This section of Lawrence Avenue will add 32.2 km to the Bikeway Network and increase the total length of the approved bicycle lanes in 2008 to 52.8 km.
Waterfront Toronto reports that the Martin Goodman Trail (Ontario Place) construction has started on reconstruction of the Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place. The existing trail, which runs along the water's edge, will continue to be open without disruption during the construction. The transformation of the newly aligned trail includes extending the trail from Marilyn Bell Park to the existing trail within Coronation Park at Strachan Avenue.
According to a recent Toronto Star article, David Miller calls employer response "overwhelming" to Smart Commute Toronto-Central. Smart Commute associations provide resources to help commuters shift from single-occupant car trips to sustainable modes of transportation. Smart Commute Toronto-Central launched on Nov 7th
Thousands of public bikes have hit the streets across Europe over the last few years. As reported in the New York Times a notable recent newcomer is Shanghai, which 10 years ago tried to eliminate bicycles from some of its boulevards to make way for cars. With bicycle sharing programs now getting going in North America (Montreal and Washington), hopes are high that Toronto will sometime soon have its own program.
1. As reported in CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking, a new browser-based presentation called "Barriers to Walking: What You're Up Against," has been posted on the Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) web site. This 10-minute audio-visual presentation describes some of the barriers that block people of all ages from being more active. To view "Barriers to Walking," click the associated link on this page.
1. Lawrence Avenue East Bicycle Lanes - Surprise!
2. Martin Goodman Trail (Ontario Place) trail reconstruction
3. Cyclist Awareness Tests
4. Employer Response to Smart Commute Toronto "Overwhelming"
5. The Explosion of Bicycle-Sharing Program Continues
6. New Active Transportation Resources
Cyclists who haven't had the opportunity to ride on Wellesley Street
lately are in for a pleasant surprise. New bike lanes have been
installed, all the way from Queen's Park to Parliament. The lanes are a
great new addition to the bikeway network - providing a good connection
to the University of Toronto and the Hoskin/Harbord bike lanes. See
photos posted here.
New and improved sharrows have been installed on Dundas East. The old
sharrow markings were difficult to see because the paint wore off so
quickly. The new sharrow markings have been cut right into the asphalt.
There are also more of them so they should be difficult for drivers to
miss. See photos posted here.
As reported in last week's TCAT News,
City Council voted to install bicycle lanes on Annette Street,
reversing the plan approved by the Public Works and Infrastructure
Committee to install "sharrows" instead. Sharrows are painted arrows on
the pavement reminding drivers to share the road, but they do not
provide the protected space on the road that bike lanes do. The Globe
The Transportation Futures Road Pricing Forum
takes place on November 13th with a stellar line-up of international
and Canadian experts. The organizers have just announced that NGOs and
students working on sustainable transportation issues can save 35% on
Transportation Futures regular registration fees. Since there are only
15 subsidized seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis,
The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is currently implementing its
award winning Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. At the
Places to Grow Summit held in Vaughan last week, successful "smart
growth" projects from local municipalities and around the world were
showcased. It's an exciting time in Ontario as municipalities
everywhere are working hard to achieve better transit-oriented, mixed
use neighbourhoods built to scale for active transportation so that
cyclists and pedestrians feel accommodated and expected. More info
Our neighbours to the south have a new President who likes to ride a bicycle.American
bicycle advocates are excited about the names being proposed for the
next Secretary of Transportation. Congressman Earl Blumenauer's
(D-Oregon) is reportedly a strong contender. Congressman Blumenauer has
worked for decades to promote bicycles as a means of everyday
transportation and his efforts were recently rewarded with the recent
passage of his Bicycle Commuter Act. This legislation allows employers
1. As reported in the Active Transportation Canada blog,
anyone interested in promoting walking and cycling may want to obtain a
copy of a new training manual that summarizes best practices in cycling
planning and design from around the world. PDF version of manual
As reported in TCAT News,
Fred Sztabinski, TCAT's current Project Coordinator, will soon be
leaving TCAT. The TCAT Steering Committee is pleased to announce that
Nancy Smith Lea has taken on the role of Research and Program Lead.
Nancy brings to TCAT over two decades of bicycle research and
advocacy experience in Toronto, and is quite prepared to take over the
reigns. Nancy has been involved with TCAT since the beginning, first as
a member of the Striking Committee and then the Steering Committee.
Last week cycling advocates witnessed the potential of a strong
political push for bicycling at City Council. Despite an initial
setback at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting,
pro-cycling councillors voted to reverse the committee's decision to
install sharrows, and instead directed staff to install full bike lanes
instead. Ward 13 residents and Annette Street users can now expect a
full bike lane to be painted from Jane to Runnymede.
Disappointing news last week for the Safe Cycling Coalition
and other cyclists hoping for a second chance to convince the City to
plan for full bike lanes on the transformed Bloor Street between Avenue
Road and Church Street.
As reported in TCAT News,
the group representing cyclists joined a group of Merchants led by
William Ashley China who petitioned the courts to reverse the City's
classification of the reconstruction project, which did not require a
full environmental assessment study and public consultation.
Though it was a big surprise, TCAT was happy to see a very significant
increase for cycling infrastructure in the city's 2009 Capital Budget,
released last week. This year's budget was set at $5.5 million and next
year it will increase to $7.9 million. Considering the difficult
economic times, and budget freezes and reductions in other areas, this
move shows that bicycling investments are a clear priority of the mayor
and budget chief. The budget will still need to move through the
consultation and committee process before it reaches City Council for
Last September, TCAT made a deputation to Toronto and East York
Community Council in support of a proposal to study an alternate
crossing for the current at-grade crossing of the rail corridor on
Strachan Avenue. We stressed the fact that any new crossing design
should meet the safety needs of cyclist and pedestrians first, since
this is a major connection to the waterfront.