Jarvis, transportation devices, three foot passing laws, trail speeds: recap Feb 22

Humans, it seems, all love to watch a fight. And our media is only too happy to oblige; this time it's a rematch for Jarvis Street.

In Virginia, R-Braddock District Transportation Supervisor John Cook says "I don't believe a bicycle is a transportation device. I think it's a recreation device. The big problem is people don't want to ride their bike in the rain or get sweaty before work." (Washington Examiner, Feb 21 2010) I think that it is good to know what kinds of attitudes we are up against.

It didn't pass in Virginia, but Iowa is considering a three foot safe passing law. (The Des Moines Register, Feb 22, 2010)

Trail speeds in Calgary won't be increased. (all from Feb 22 2010)
Increase biking options, not path speeds: Alderman
Bike speed review nixed (Calgary Sun)
Calgary bike path speed limit stands (CHRQ)
Calgary council rejects faster speed limit on city bike paths (Calgary Herald)
Pathway bike speed limits stay same (CBC)

Vancouver found that "If we give people the quality choices, if we re-allocate road space in the right places to give it over to pedestrians and cyclists and give transit priority like they have in Olympic lanes, then people are willing to get out of their cars," said Bracewell on CKNW's Bill Good Show. "So there's a lot that we're going to be learning from the Olympic Games." (CKNW(AM980), Feb 22 2010) This is exactly what transit, pedestrian, and cycling advocates have said for years!

Comments

I am becoming a real skeptic about all of these things. I don't really dislike bike lanes where they make sense, but they so often invite cyclists to ride in door zones and stuff like that. 3 foot laws are unenforcable and good riding gets you more than three feet anyway. Fast bikes belong on fast streets, not on multi-use pathways.

If bikes are indeed vehicles, often used for transportation, why can't people just ride them that way, right in the road? All this extra stuff just accepts the notion that riding on the street without all knds of separation and special protection is dangerous. Even If that is currently true, which I don't accept, how about changing the idea of what "traffic" consists of, rather than kicking me off the road or forcing me into some small slice of it that is more dangerous alot of the time? As a cyclist I don't want to be lumped into the "vulnerable" group with pedestrians and have special facilities constructed for me. I want to accepted and respected as part of vehicular traffic and ride on the street, outside of door zones and occupying a whole lane when it makes sense to do so.

I don't even know why I bothered writing this. My usual way of being is to ignore all of this and just ride my bike in whatever way makes most sense for my safety. Sorry for wasting your time. I'm gonna just go back to doing that. All I want is smooth pavement.

I think you're right about this: "If bikes are indeed vehicles, often used for transportation, why can't people just ride them that way, right in the road? " The way to make that reasonably safe is not a three-foot rule, it's a no passing bikes in the same lane rule. It seems to me that if a cyclist is supposed to be several feet from curbs or car doors, and any passing car should be several feet to the left of the cyclist, that's the whole lane! S.Ontario drivers have made it clear that they should not be allowed to interpret nuance in the law, as they interpret it selfishly, dangerously, and inaccurately. Take away the nuance: if you are not across the line when passing, that's a reckless driving charge. This is what we need, not painted lines that put us in reach of a door prize, and disappear at danger zones (taxi-stands, intersections, busy zones like Harbord/Spadina, Queen's Quay...).

I bet all these car advocates can afford $38,000 for a new hybrid car every 7 years and $5,000 a year to operate the thing.

Toronto is going to shoot right down the tubes, middle class options are disappearing.

Want to own a home?? hahaha... with gov't moves to ensure the gains of greedy investors who have basically priced the Toronto market out of reach to many younger people, 50% gains over 4 years? Maybe the natural correction is still coming....because

Pretty soon the only people left will be the lucky few wealthy people with political sway trying to further dominate the poor.

If the TTC dies out and there are no bike lanes, what will happen to your property values? How will people pay taxes if they can't get to their jobs because they can't afford a car and rent and a parking spot? There are lots of nice places near the 400 series highways which are far cheaper and you get a nice lawn, lower crime. People in Toronto are wondering why the burbs are kicking their butt? What does Toronto offer??

When will Torontonians learn to stop acting like crabs in a bucket. Probably never.

Rematch for Jarvis? Sure, go ahead, give the extra space to sidewalks instead. The tabloids have ignored that keeping the 5th vehicle lane was never an option.

I'm sorry, but I can't seem to figure what your point is, unless you're trying to scapegoat the great city of Toronto. Why would the TTC die out? Are you in favour of encouraging cycling as a mode of transportation, or are you convinced that a 400 series highway is the only way to get around?

How are the burbs kicking Toronto's butt? Toronto's doing just fine, with lower taxes for residents, a substantially better transportation infrastructure, history, culture, and has kept pace with social housing construction.

Doomsday proclaimers: go home.

I find it shocking that the media & political hopefuls have been able to twist this story time after time; it's getting to the point where it should be viewed as scandalous. Are we able to sue those that falsely report this story with slander? Somebody might want to pose that question to Albert.

  1. To me the TTC has fallen into a state of disrepair, corruption and it is still falling. If nothing is done it will die out just like MTA in NYC did decades ago until somebody did something.
  2. Taxes keep going up, typical, but city services don't seem to match their increase in costs.
  3. Property value has sky rocketed, thanks mainland china and other speculators.
  4. Mortgage rules to stop speculators now make it even harder to get into an appt with your family, if you can even find one that isn't astronomically priced.
  5. People still fight a bicycle lane so they can feel they're doing their best to get rid of riff raff who don't own a car or whatever rationalized reason they can come up with to save 5 minutes of commuting time.
  6. More crime due to the decreasing egalitarian policies and the increasing income gap in Toronto.

So with respect to these points, I might as well move to the burbs and buy a car and drive to work with my surplus cash. At least my family will have a home we can call our own and not be broke living in a Toronto ghetto. Lets face it, sometimes there is an appropriate time to not be optimistic about a cities prospects, to me I feel Toronto is turning towards a darker corner.

The city council likes to beam out sunshine and lolipops, and i don't blame people for lapping it up, but reality is different.

I find it shocking that the media & political hopefuls have been able to twist this story time after time; it's getting to the point where it should be viewed as scandalous. Are we able to sue those that falsely report this story with slander? Somebody might want to pose that question to Albert.

Quoth John Cook of Virginia:

"I don't believe a bicycle is a transportation device. I think it's a recreation device. The big problem is people don't want to ride their bike in the rain or get sweaty before work."

And here, all this time, I thought I was enjoying my rain-or-shine commute to work! I must've been wrong.

Clearly, I'll have to stop cycling, now that I know I don't want to ride in the rain or get sweaty before work (I guess the early-morning gym-goers will have to cease and desist, as well?).

Anthony, I apologize on behalf of the US. Last I checked, Canada is miles ahead of us (literally and otherwise) on most issues of public and alternative transit. I hope we're not providing too much fuel for the anti-bike fire.

Asher, don't apologize for your nation for what one crazy person, who happens to have some office in some state, says. We have more than our fair of crazies just here in Toronto, and they make up a (fortunately small) portion of our current city council. I wish we could send more of these nutters to Ottawa where they could do much less damage and, at the same time, take back a couple of the nice ones that went to Ottawa where they are busy doing nothing at all.

Not all of the US is represented by that Nutter. Washington is a glowing example of a state which, in my opinion, 'gets it;' Seattle is expanding their transit while Portland is expanding their bike network and other cycling facilities and infrastructure. The Governor of Colorado is still in the hospital because of a collision that occurred while he was riding his bike; and Denver has attracted a few employers because of the good cycling conditions there. The USA has The League of American Bicyclists which has a rating system for cities' biking friendliness, and holds National Bike Summits in DC. Streetsblog and the work Transportation Alternatives (TA) is doing in NYC is brilliant. I assure you that we here in Canada envy at least some of what you got.

Nothing, and no-one, is perfect. And news likes to exposes all of our warts. News media earns their audience by showing us (literal and figurative) train wrecks and fights; it's what we want to see. I pick and choose just some of the stories to appear here in order to share ideas with, and sometimes warn, fellow cyclists about what else is going on in the world with cyclists. We find out from many of these stories that we're not the only ones who have to fight the kinds of battles that we've encountered, nor are we the first nor last to have fought them. Perhaps we become a little wiser from these stories, or perhaps at least a little less lonely.