ALERT: Mayor want cyclists' support - Jarvis Bike Lanes

Hi all,

Mayor Miller is is trying to capture the positive energy that occurs at the start of Bike Month and channel it to encourage council to pass the Bike Lanes on Jarvis. To do this Mayor Miller has asked for the Jarvis Street Bike Lanes to be the FIRST item of regular business on the agenda to be dealt with Monday morning.

The free breakfast in Nathan Phillips ends at 9:30 just when the City Council begins it's meeting. We have an excellent opportunity to fill City Hall with cyclists and bring the positive energy that cyclists have into the council chambers, and hopefully encourage some additional votes to go our way. As I'm sure you heard/read in the news today, the vote at council is expected to be just as close as it was for making TTC an "essential service."

Spread this far and wide and try to encourage people to fill in the seats in the Council Chambers on Monday Morning, right after the free breakfast.


Why is Jarvis suddenly the centre of the universe?

How about all the other bike lanes in the pipeline?

Personally, I haven't really followed the whole Jarvis saga that closely, so I don't know all the details...

However, the interesting thing to me is that Jarvis was never part of the Bike Plan. When the idea of completely renovating the street came up, cyclists banded together to make sure that our needs were taken into account.

Now that bike lanes are being pushed by councillors and the mayor, it's quite the change from just a few months ago when they weren't even on the table.

Seems like the cycling lobby is getting some recognition.

But you're right...we do need to keep track of other cycling projects that are in the pipeline. I'm also wondering what's going on with the Annette/Dupont lane that was approved last year, partially painted on some sections of Annette, and added to the Bike Map.....but is far from being completed.

When people at the city offer Jarvis, cyclists should turn it down because it isn't on their list?

Jarvis was going to be redeveloped to make it more attractive and more pedestrian friendly, why not see how cyclists can benefit? I'm glad Kyle Rae had his eyes open, it doesn't make up for his thoughtless ideas on the Bloor development but we should grab what we can.

I think one of the things that make Jarvis so appealing is that it exemplifies the trade off of car lanes for bike lanes.

The fact that it has been a 5 lane inner-city freeway makes that aspect all the more rich in contrast to other roads in the city.

Oh, Mayor Miller is our friend now? Right. Hey, re-election must be coming up soon.
Every road re-design should include bikes. Once that was even official city policy.
Now we have to spend our time at every council vote rallying for bike lanes.
The need for safe pasage for bikes has long been established along with everything else
that is great about them ... City Hall has heard from cyclists countless times.

Now it is the time for our elected leaders to do what's right. Vote for bikes.

Note: I will be re-presented by the Bike Union. Join.

As for Mayor Miller, he is not a friend of cyclists. He is a public transit Mayor, which he should be too.
Don't be fooled into believing otherwise.

You don't have to love David Miller, but please realise that he has allowed the following to happen:

-Bike racks to be installed on every bus by this year
-Continuation of the Bike Plan expansion (including bike lanes and bike trails)
-Opening of the Bicycle Station
-Opening of new Bike Lockers at TTC Stations and other locations

and non-cycling specific accomplishments like:
-New accessible buses
-Ever popular Green-bin programme (helping with waste-diversion)
-Proposal for mandatory Green roofs

These might not be all Miller's ideas, but he should still get credit for allowing these projects to happen. Get rid of Miller, and we have people like Denzil Minnan-Wong or Rob Ford ready to replace him. We wouldn't have any transit nor cycling initiatives. In fact, we'd have more cars, and possibly, new highways, since David Miller's worst enemies are big time car-freaks (and openly against cycling). And the environmental initiatives created under Miller could easily be done away as well, since they always complain that the city overspends on these things.

And what's so bad about being a transit-oriented mayor? Doesn't that help people leave their cars at home (and of course, the less cars, the better for cyclists)? And I'm sure if the City had the money, they would also diligently maintain bike trails and lanes during the winter as well, but unfortunately, people like Denzil and Rob would hate new funding allocated for these things, since it raises "unnecessary taxes".

If you really want to pick on somebody for not supporting the building of more Bike Lanes you only need to look to City Council and then to the respective Ward residents. Each Councillor has the power to vote on Bike Lanes, that's where we need to focus our energy – build interest at the community level; otherwise it’s like squeezing toothpaste back into the tube.

Blasting the Mayor doesn't really accomplish anything, and if he wants to play up the Jarvis element then that's just good politics - because it is after all, just politics.

There are two sacrificial lamb angles to this. Jarvis, the bike lane part only, is being put out there to fail. Done so the car supporters can save face and thereby being indebted to the mayor. Pretty far fetched, just putting it out there in case it plays that way.

The other angle is who will be the sacrificial lamb if it does fail. Cyclists will be blamed for not getting enough support for the lane therefore it is their fault. I would be willing to bet on this cause it has happened before. The Mayor's prodigy Giambrone is a master of this tactic.

It will be more fun though to see Jarvis approved.

How would the Lastman era with your yardstick? Miller only caught up to Lastman in the last little while in terms of bike lanes installed during their terms.

I'm trying - really I am.

But it shouldn't have been an either/or. Either a nice boulevard with wide sidewalks and trees, or put in bike lanes. Another lane could have been removed to do both, with one lane changing directions depending on time of day. But no, instead we'll have bike lanes on a wide street with fast moving traffic, not something to get particularly excited about. I didn't ask for Jarvis, I asked for Bloor. Yonge would be nice too.

So if I fight for Jarvis even though I don't think it's particularly needed - if only because I'm thinking ahead to when West Donlands and the Lower Donlands are completed (thinking waaaaaaay ahead), then Jarvis ends up adding to the "2009's km's of bike lanes" credit that could have been better applied somewhere else. That's the problem with supporting all bike lanes - any bike lane. Supporting the ones that have been poorly thought out means the ones that we really need now aren't going to go in. Because that's how the bike plan (or in this case, anti bike plan) is being implemented: one little disconnected stretch at a time. It's like watching a savant draw - the final picture may be breathtaking, but right now I'm just not seeing it.

I currently try to avoid biking on this street: it's pretty dangerous/tight. So yes, some changes for both peds and cyclists would be needed and appreciated.
But the carmudgeon in me suspects that Mr. Rae is keen on getting green cred for the bad showing on Bloor and the EAvasion, and this push helps many of his constituents who rightly wish to have more safe cycling routes.
However, there is a great need for repaving the Sherbourne St bike lane to ensure smooth passage as it's almost too rough to be biked on, and it seems nuts to be ripping up smooth pavement for bike lanes on Jarvis St., not that EAs measure this sort of materials use despite how the Escarpment is abused for our road systems.
But at least this EA for a major road did contemplate biking, and there was an EA in contrast to Bloor, though that was a $25M project avoiding bikes, and a horrible set of wheel-bashing conditions to ride through. Hopefully no one will be maimed or worse.
**** .

The more streets have bike lanes, the more bike traffic will be spread out instead of concentrated. I have the feeling the fight for more streets with bike lanes will get easier over time, and that getting Jarvis will not mean losing (for example) Bloor. Each street has its own issues, and votes are not interchangeable. We might be only getting crappy streets now, but it could lead to better streets later.

I'm all for it -- now where do I park my bike outside City Hall tomorrow? :P

I don't have a bike locker rented there. So whenever I go to City Hall I park at the racks on the East side of N.P. Square. From Bay Street, cross the sidewalk at the traffic light and go up the wheelchair ramp. Parking is at the top of the ramp.

I should be able to show up. But my question is this: How does anyone know that I'm a bike supporter?

The car addicts have yellow shirts. Do we have anything similar?

Bike supporters will be recognizable by their crazed eyes, grease tats on their legs and the bugs in their teeth.

Wear your helmet?

I'm definitely not going to show up with a helmet or any other Lance Armstrong "road warrier" Tour de France gear.

I've spent so much time in advocacy urging ordinary people to commute wearing their everyday nice work clothes. Cycling is for everyone, not a bunch of weirdo's wearing weird things like helmets which send a message that cycling is not safe. Not the sort of message I want to send.

My vision of Toronto looks like these films of Dutch children cycling to school and Copenhagen adults cycling to work.

Normal people wearing normal clothing just going about life on a bicycle. Note that the bikes have fenders and chainguards to keep their nice clothing clean.

The Toronto Star poll on Jarvis has pro and con neck and neck:

I was under the impression that the "bike lane" alternative meant that sidewalk widening and tree planting would not be possible. However, according to a separate editorial in The Star, removing one lane of traffic will accomplish everything: "Sidewalks would be widened, trees would be planted, and there would be a bike lane." If I can have my cake and eat it too, then I'm all for it. Funny, the editorial was meant to convince me that removing the lane was a bad idea, but instead pushed me off the fence onto the pro bike lane side. Ha!



Helmets keep my brain from damage in the event I am in an accident - they are also law for any rider under 16.

I think the point of the helmet was to identify you as a cyclist in City Council.

why do you think that a helmet is weird?

The Toronto Star is reporting on this morning's council activities:

Toronto councillors began debate this morning on a proposal to remove one car lane from Jarvis St., and found themselves surrounded by cycling enthusiasts who had packed the public gallery to show their support for the move.

Residents of Rosedale and Moore Park, who drive down Mount Pleasant Rd. and then Jarvis St. to get downtown, disagree.

Sporting yellow T-shirts saying "Don't Jam Jarvis," they had packed a committee meeting three weeks ago, protesting the proposed loss of a traffic lane.

But the yellow T-shirts were far outnumbered this morning, with only two visible among the solid phalanx of cyclists who had filled the chamber.

...but has anyone heard what the actual outcome was?

they are recessed for lunch and will resume debate at 2:00pm:

On the other hand, the Meeting Monitor says the motion was adopted.

(Link didn't work, but there's a working link to it from the Twitter feed above, as well as a link to streaming of the meeting)

The Pedaler (whoever that may be) asked:
"why do you think that a helmet is weird."

Kevin's answer:
Because it sends a bad message, giving a false impression that cycling is dangerous. As demonstrated in Australia, nothing kills incipient bike culture faster. I try to set a good example by never wearing a bike helmet, and going to work in my nice work clothes. The intent being to demonstrate that cycling is a perfectly normal, mainstream activity. Something done by ordinary people wearing their regular clothing to work and just going about life on a bike.

Look at things from the perspective of a non-cyclist. Suppose he sees the whole "road warrier" Lance Armstrong look wearing helmets and lycra cycing clothing which the ordinary guy definitely does not have in his closet. He's going to think "that's not me. That's weird."

On the other hands, suppose he sees someone dressed just like him riding a bike. He can say "I could be doing that."

My benchmark for Toronto is cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam where cycling is mainstream. And the number of people who wear lycra or helmets is almost zereo.

The only exception for me is when riding an electric bicycle, where it is required.

If one is interested in safety, then there should be mandatory car helmets for everyone who steps into a car. Take a look at:

Hi all,

According to Adam Giambrone's Facebook page, updated via mobile 18 minutes ago : "I'm thrilled that Council passed the narrowing of Jarvis and addition of bike lanes.".

Looks like a pass. Congratulations Toronto, another move forward!


After reading the comments on the Star article, I find it alarming that there are so many misconceptions about cycling:
- Cyclists add to/are the cause of gridlock
- Cyclists don't pay to use the road
- Cyclists are the only ones breaking the law
- Cyclists are bullies
- More roads are the answer to traffic congestion

Naturally, these comments make cyclists cringe, but they represent some of the problems that are at the heart of the car v bike debate.

If our government is serious about providing safe, healthy, environmental and sustainable forms of alternative transportation to a growing urban population, then it will need to start doing a better job of educating the general public.

Time for the free ride to be over People! Bikes need to be Licensed. If the city has bike lanes everywhere at taxpayers expense then you need to pay your fair share. After all this city is broke and demands you pay for a car fee $60, a cat license, $15 to $50, a dog license $60, plus 5 cents for a shopping bag and garbage bin fees as well. Your turn to pay up. plus you need to pass a road test too many cyclists blow red lights and stop signs with no consequences. Not against bikes but fair is fair.

Maybe there should be a license required for people to post foolish and inaccurate posts on the site? That would be a better use of time & money.

Bicycle Licensing for Dummies

  1. Cyclists are taxpayers, and most are also vehicle owners - so we pay for the roads, but under use our fair share when we travel by bike.
  2. The cost to implement a system of licensing for bicycles would probably be greater that the money collected. There are already systems in place to process auto licensing fees, creating a whole new system for bikes would be a huge challenge, and it would accomplish nothing.
  3. If a cyclist runs a red light, it is their safety that is put at risk, so the laws are enforced to a lesser degree.

Maybe there should be a license required for people to post foolish and inaccurate posts on the site? That would be a better use of time & money.

Bicycle Licensing for Dummies

  1. Cyclists are taxpayers, and most are also vehicle owners - so we pay for the roads, but under use our fair share when we travel by bike.
  2. The cost to implement a system of licensing for bicycles would probably be greater that the money collected. There are already systems in place to process auto licensing fees, creating a whole new system for bikes would be a huge challenge, and it would accomplish nothing.
  3. If a cyclist runs a red light, it is their safety that is put at risk, so the laws are enforced to a lesser degree.

Some cyclists say things that make me cringe too...LOL Rode to work 13 km today on my e-bike.
Beautiful Ride. Didn't pedal. Dont see why certain people find it so offensive that I don't. Not exactly a full body workout on a bicycle either. On my way to work is not where I choose to get my excercise.
Did not see a cyclist for miles. Where is all this congestion I hear about? Thousands upon thousands of unused paths and roads across Ontario capable of transporting people to and from work instead of their car and yet certain cyclists object. The downtown "Torontocentric" attitude is so narrow minded it is incredible. A guy in Thunderbay or Smith Falls or Sudbury travelling to work on his ebike really doesn't care what people in downtown Toronto think. It is about choices. The more choices available the less cars.

Yeah its always dumb if you don't want to pay isn't it? I don't want to pay for these other license's but I have to. There's nothing inaccurate or foolish about what I have said. check it out those are the fees you have to pay if you live in TO! $70 million budget for downtown bike lanes but no licenses on bikes why???
Why do you need to license an indoor cat but not a bike? I have a bike imported from London England and guess what it still has a license plate on it! They require it over there so why not here.
Yes I don't like paying extra for bags or garbage or car's or pet's and double land transfer taxes if you buy a house! It would be great if you didn't have to pay! Like I said FAIR IS FAIR if the city is SO BROKE it can't pay for these other services without extra fees then Bikes need to pay extra as well.
TTC is environmentally friendly but I still need to pay to use it, its not free enough said.

For someone who takes such a harsh stand on bike licensing I am disappointed in your lack of awareness on the subject.

Are you familiar with the concept behind the licensing system soon to be proposed?

Do you know the reasons why previous proposals of this sort have been refused?

Did you even read any of the information provided on this thread? Maybe you should?

I find it difficult to engage any of what you are saying here because is so completely unfounded.

I'll take a crack at this:

  • there is a big difference between licensing bike or cyclists
  • the province and city found that licensing fees don't even pay for the licensing program. A sure money loser.
  • diverts police energy away from cracking down on traffic violations and to focusing if people have a bike license
  • leave kids out in the cold - how do tailor a license to meet both 10 year olds and adults?
  • do you require all tourists to get a license while they're in town? ridiculous
  • police can always require cyclists to identify themselves - they don't need a license to do that
  • commuter cyclists already overpay: they pay the same portion of property tax for the roads but use only a tiny fraction. Driver's who think they pay for roads out of licensing fees are dead wrong.
  • the $70 million budget for Jarvis is for the entire streetscape and only a small fraction is for painting bike lanes.

Tom is right: read the damn thread before spouting some BS.