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2010 Council Candidate: Bidawi, Fawzi
Ward 37 Scarborough Centre
1. Building Institutional Capacity for Pedestrian Projects
If Toronto is to make walking an essential part of its transportation policy, as indicated in the Official Plan, the City must fully implement the Toronto Walking Strategy. TCAT has identified two barriers to the full implementation of the Walking Strategy by 2019: staffing and funding. To ensure the Walking Strategy is fully implemented by 2019, the Pedestrian Projects Unit of the Public Realm Section must be fully staffed and funded. This is one of TCAT’s top three active transportation priorities for the next term of Council.
Will you fully staff and fund the Pedestrian Projects Unit of the Public Realm Section?:
Don't Know/No Opinion
I need more information about the budget requirements before I can commit to the funding model. I invite you to contact me with more information.
2. Full Implementation of the Bike Plan
While increasing substantially since 2006, the recommended and approved capital budgets for Transportation Services have not kept pace with the schedule required to complete the City of Toronto Bike Plan Bikeway Network by 2012. The initial target for the full implementation of the Bike Plan was 2011, however, by 2005, City staff acknowledged that the funding levels at only half of what the Plan requires and staffing shortages made that goal was unachievable. It is now widely accepted that if funding and staffing commitments remain constant, the City will not reach its new target. For example, in its first five years, only 48 kilometers of bike lanes were added; the Plan calls for almost 600 kilometers of bike lanes. To get the Bike Plan back on track and expand cycling infrastructure across the city, the Bike Plan must be expedited and fully funded.
What year will the Bike Plan be implemented?:
How will you prevent the delays that have plagued the implementation of the Bike Plan for the past nine years?:
I need more information about the budget before I can project a timetable for execution. I invite you to contact me with more with more information.
3. Develop and implement a Complete Streets Policy
The primary goal of a complete streets policy is to provide a process that ensures our streets are routinely designed to provide the safe travel of all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians. While complete streets policies are widespread in the United States, the idea of complete streets in the Canadian context is still in its infancy. This provides an exciting leadership opportunity for the City of Toronto and is one of TCAT’s top three active transportation priorities for the next term of Council.
Do you support the development and implementation of the Complete Streets Policy in Toronto?:
Why or why not?:
Private vehicles, rapid transit, pedestrians, and cyclists share the space and the responsbility.
5. Creating a bike lane on Bloor Street/Danforth Avenue
There is currently no safe and convenient way to get quickly across the city on a bike, and bicycle-motor vehicle collisions are concentrated mainly on central east-west arterial roads. Bloor Street/Danforth Avenue is a natural choice for an east-west bicycle lane because it runs right through the middle of the city, offers connections to the subway and the street is wide enough to add a bike lane, often without losing parking. The Clean Air Partnership’s “Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business” studies show that most customers already come on foot, by bicycle and on transit, providing a solid economic argument that adding a bike lane is good for business, even in those sections where parking would need to be removed. While there are many major projects to be undertaken to improve the Bikeway Network, TCAT has identified the Bloor/Danforth bike as one of its top three active transportation priorities for the next term of Council.
Do you support building a new major east-west bicycle lane on Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue?:
6. Improving pedestrian and cyclist access to public transit
Active transportation is a crucial link in any public transit system. The city must connect walking and cycling with all existing public transit operations and all new transit projects to improve the viability, safety and attractiveness of active transportation. This requires ensuring that all transit stops are in practical locations for pedestrians and near safe crossings. It means incorporating bike lanes and paths into transit nodes, providing secure bicycle parking and permitting bicycles on buses and trains.
Do you support integrating active transportation into the transit system?:
7. Improving safety on streets
Speeding and reckless driving are primary causes of cycling injuries and fatalities. Regulatory and design solutions that reduce speed limits and lead to more cautious and safe driving behaviour must be implemented. Supportive policies such as these eliminate safety risks and barriers to cycling. The city must advance our infrastructure, especially in areas with construction by providing safe and clear routes for cyclist and pedestrians. The widespread use of traffic calming designs is also necessary, such as bulb-outs at corners to narrow the distance in which pedestrians are vulnerable to traffic while crossing the road.
Do you support implementing street designs that encourage lower speeds?:
Will you eliminate the backlog of repairs for roads and sidewalks?:
How will you integrate cycling and walking into the winter maintenance program?:
I do not yet have first hand knowledge of the winter maintenance policies now. I commit to review the program if elected.
8. Creating more on-street bicycle parking corrals throughout Toronto
Any streetscape improvement must consider both cycling and walking, and ensure our streets are safe and accessible for the city’s most vulnerable users. Many of our sidewalks are not wide enough to accommodate bike parking and pedestrians. Additionally, riding bikes on sidewalks present obstacles to pedestrians and is a major cause of cycling injuries. On-street bicycle parking eliminates competition for space on the sidewalk, creates larger pedestrian spaces and protects both pedestrians and cyclists. In July 2010, Transportation Services installed Toronto’s first on-street bike parking corral on Spadina Avenue, creating 16 parking spaces for bicycles in what was previously a 2-car parking space. This innovative use of space is already popular in many other cities, including Montreal and Portland.
Do you support creating more on-street bicycle parking corrals throughout Toronto to improve active transportation?:
How many more on-street bicycle parking spaces will you create?:
9. Promoting Active Transportation
There are many ways to promote walking and cycling. Developing neighbourhood resources that include transit stops, local maps, list of businesses in the area, walking and cycling to key destinations is just one of the ways to promote active transportation that not only the community members can benefit from, but attract tourist and newcomers as well. The City of Toronto’s annual Bike Month raises awareness of the benefits of cycling and encourages people to ride their bikes more.
Do you support investing in cycling and walking promotion campaigns and resources to promote active transportation in the city?:
Ward Bike Lane Support
The City of Toronto Bike Plan was adopted by Council in 2001 and was expected to take 10 years to complete. The plan is seriously behind schedule. As of July 15, 2010, the Bikeway Network project status indicates that only 421.5 km of the proposed 1,004 km has been achieved. While increasing substantially since 2006, the capital budgets for Transportation Services have not come close to keeping pace with the schedule required to complete the Bike Plan’s Bikeway Network by 2012. Despite the new streamlined approval process and bike lane priority strategy, several bikeway network routes have not been supported by individual councillors. In 2009, 40% of proposed projects were deferred at council and not a single bike lane project was recommended in ward 10, 23, 35, 37, and 39.
Please let us know if you support the proposed projects in your ward.:
1. Brimley Rd. Bike Lane
2. Lawrence Ave. East Bike Lane
3. Pharmacy Ave. Bike Lane
4. Progress Ave. Bike Lane
Comments regarding these routes or the bike plan as it pertains to your ward.:
We need to implement more strategies of the Lawrence Ave. study before adding bike lanes to Lawrence Ave. East. Traffic moves too fast across 7 lanes of traffic to add bike lanes without also making other significant changes to the landscape.
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Walking and cycling is active transportation: healthy, sustainable, affordable.