October 6, 2009
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Recent TCAT activities and news items:
- Welcome back Fred Sztabinski!
- Your Chance to Improve Bike Parking Regulations
- Bike Items at Public Works - Oct 6
- International Walk to School Day - Oct 7
- Save the Date - Portland's Bicycle Coordinator in Toronto - Oct 21
- Complete Streets Working Group Update
- Electric Bikes Officially Allowed on Ontario Roads
1. Welcome back Fred Sztabinski!
TCAT is pleased to announce that Fred Sztabinski will be joining us this fall to assist us in reviewing and updating TCAT's platform.
We were extremely impressed by the amazing response to our posting for this contract, receiving over 90 applications. The quality of the candidates was very high making the selection process quite competitive.
Many of you will remember Fred. He was TCAT's first Project Coordinator and Clean Air Partnership Active Transportation Researcher up until his departure last fall to spend a year based in Amsterdam learning from and experiencing world-class transportation networks. He is extremely capable and knowledgeable and we have every confidence that he will handle this contract superbly.
Welcome back to Canada and to TCAT/CAP Fred!
2. Your Chance to Improve Bike Parking Regulations
TCAT was recently approached by Alan Heisey, a municipal lawyer and year-round Toronto cyclist for over 30 years. He has been reviewing the City of Toronto's new comprehensive zoning bylaw and believes that the sections pertaining to bicycle parking could be further improved.
Heisey's law student has prepared specific amendments (available here) and is seeking comments on this draft from various individuals and organizations committed to cycling. If you have feedback please send them to Ugo Popadic at PHM Law with a copy to TCAT. This is a great opportunity for citizens to have their suggestions converted into legal format.
If you prefer, you can also comment on the new bylaws directly on the City of Toronto's website.
The deadline for comments is November 30th.
Background: Since 2004, the City of Toronto has been working on harmonizing the 43 different zoning by-laws inherited from the six pre-amalgamation municipalities into one single comprehensive zoning by-law. The draft new zoning bylaw will govern land use and development standards within the City of Toronto using a common zoning language. Dylan Reid provided an interesting analysis of the new bylaw process in Spacing.
3. Bike Items at Public Works - Oct 6
The Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee (TCAC) put forward some recommendations to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee that will be heard today. These recommendations include:
- that Transportation Services attend the TCAC Oct 29th meeting to report on its plans for accommodating bike lanes on Bloor Street
- that Transportation Services provide PWIC with 1) a list of priority projects for 2010, 2) increase the fine for parking in bike lanes, and 3) consider the feasibility of re-visiting the Roncesvalle Avenue project in order to include bike lanes as part of the final streetscape design.
The entire letter that the TCAC sent to PWIC can be downloaded here. Martin Koob, one of TCAT's founders and the primary blogger at biketoronto.ca will be making a deputation to PWIC in support of the TCAC's recommendations. His deputation can be viewed here.
4. International Walk to School Day - Oct 7
October is International Walk to School Month (IWALK), the annual, premier event of the Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) program and a mass celebration of active transportation. Learn more about this international event and IWALK Day on October 7th here.
5. Save the Date - Portland's Bicycle Coordinator in Toronto - Oct 21
Roger Geller, Bicycle Coordinator in Portland's Office of Transportation will be in Toronto on October 21st. TCAT, in partnership with the Toronto Cyclists Union and the US Consulate General in Toronto, is happy to present a free public event to hear first-hand how Portland became the first major city in America to be designated as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community.
Stay tuned for more details coming soon.
6. Complete Streets Working Group Update
Convincing city planners and engineers to consider ALL users of a road when it's being redesigned or built from scratch shouldn't be too hard right? You may be surprised to hear all the nitty-gritty of what the Complete Streets working group is digging up about why such a simple concept isn't already common practice at City Hall. Read Val Dodge's recent Torontoist article to find out more.
The working group is organizing a public meeting to share some of what we've learned so far and to come together to find out how we can achieve Complete Streets here in Ontario as a matter of course.
If you would like to help out with this initiative, please send an email to be added to our contact list.
7. Electric Bikes Officially Allowed on Ontario Roads
Effective October 3, 2009, e-bikes can now share the road with cars, pedestrians and other traffic throughout Ontario with new safety requirements.
TCAT was one of the organizations invited by the Ministry of Transportation to provide input into these regulations. We were pleased to see that these new safety requirements have been legislated since MTO was hearing from many e-bike sellers who were pushing for no restrictions at all in the use at e-bikes.
However one key concern with the new legislation is that the province chose not to make a decision about whether or not e-bikes can be used in bike lanes and bike paths, leaving this to individual municipalities to decide. TCAT's position is that bike lanes and bike paths should be used exclusively for non-motorized human-powered vehicles. We will be working with the City to implement this restriction and encourage other municipalities to do the same.
The Toronto Pedestrian Committee recently passed motions requesting that the city implement by-laws that prohibit e-bikes from travelling on sidewalks and from parking on sidewalks.
The permitted weight of an e-bike is 8 times as heavy as a typical bicycle (a bicycle weighs at most about 16 kilograms; e-bikes can weigh up to 120 kilograms) and the speed limit for e-bikes (32 km/hr) is twice as fast as the average speed of a bicycle (17 km/hr).
Read the full release from the Ministry of Transportation here.
- Bikechain events calendar
- Biking Toronto events calendar
- City of Toronto cycling events
- I Bike TO events calendar
- Toronto Cyclists Union events calendar
- Heritage Toronto Walks
- High Park Nature Centre
- Jane's Walk
- A Stroll in the Park
- Toronto Bruce Trail Club
- Toronto Field Naturalists
- Toronto Ornithological Club
- University of Toronto Historical Walking Tours
If you know of other cycling or pedestrian related calendars to include, please let us know by e-mailing email@example.com
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