Bike union takes mayoral candidates on ride
Eight mayoral candidates accompanied the bike union on a downtown bike ride on Monday (oops, stale news!). Three of the main candidates didn't go for the ride: Smitherman hoped to arrange a one on one ride; Thomson was probably planning her exit strategy; and Ford was afraid to look like a big hypocrite (he was probably also thinking about lurking nearby with his SUV, the "road shark", ready to pounce). According to the bike union, the half hour ride gave the candidates a full experience of downtown cycling:
...allowed candidates to experience almost the full range of scenarios faced on a daily urban commute by bicycle. The ride took candidates on arterials with bike lanes, without bike lanes, on roads with construction, roads scarred by utility cuts, on minor arterials, and on side streets, though because of time constraints, candidates did not experience the less welcoming suburban cycling environment where traffic speeds are higher and few if any cycling facilities currently exist.
Pantalone, because he never learning to ride, got a nice rickshaw ride by his assistant Mike Smith. (Rickshaw looks like it was provided by Streets are for People).
It appears that Rocco Rossi used the event as an opportunity to provide a more nuanced view of his no-bikes-on-arterial-roads plan (though he still fails to address the fact that even his chosen lanes of Richmond, Sherbourne and St. George are all arterial roads; and that even his new plan covers only a tiny part of the city):
Rossi's proposed safe bike network consists of four new major lanes separated from traffic by a curb.
An east-west lane would run from Parliament to Bathurst Sts. along Richmond St., another would see the existing Wellesley St. -Harbord St. lane completed and separated from traffic between Parliament St. and Ossington Ave.
Cyclists would see the existing Sherbourne St. bike lane separated between Elm Ave. and Queens Quay and a second north-south lane would see the existing St. George St.-Beverley St. lane extended to Queens Quay and separated from traffic.
"I oppose bike lanes on arterials like Jarvis and University and I continue to hold that stance," Rossi said. "As an active cyclist myself, we need a solution, a network that is connected and separated to be safe."
A good summary of the main candidates plans. Most of the plans are inferior to the existing official Bike Plan, though Joe Pantalone, in my opinion of the main candidates, provides the most thoughtful responses on how to improve cycling and livability through a Complete Streets strategy. See all the candidates' responses. Ford didn't bother respond.