Help improve the Toronto bike map

Toronto transportation staff are conducting a survey on the bike map they produce yearly to find out what people use, what worked, what needs to be improved.

They are certainly aware that improvements are happening quickly elsewhere as Ride the City and Google Maps includes bike directions.

What could also be improved is their survey collection skills. There doesn't seem to be much movement for comments or details on just how people are using certain sections. But feel free to contact the staff directly.

Did you know that they produce 150,000 maps every year? As much information as a bunch of pamphlets and a lot more useful. In a previous job as "Cycling Ambassador" with the City we had the wonderful job of helping to distribute all of these maps. It was a pretty good gig for a summer job - lots of exercise, half-decent pay and benefits. It was good enough to put up with the smog, heat, car traffic and monotony of manning tables. But I digress.

Help make a better bike map!


Let the "Rob Ford's cycling map" spoofs (we hope!) begin.

If the Transportation staff at the city read this blog (and they should), here is my opinion of this stuff:

1) ONE-WAY streets!!! Why aren't they marked? What the hell kind of message does this map send - that it's okay to ride the wrong way on one-way streets, I guess?... They finally appeared on the downtown inset, but not elsewhere on the map.

2) Some of the bike lanes (especially the ones on "curvy" streets) look as if they've been drawn by a 5-year-old in MS Paint. Come on, are the City designers really THIS bad?

3) I loved the 2004 "pocket" version of the map. Still have a few of those around - unfortunately they tear very easily (so do the bigger ones though).

4) Maybe it's not directly cylcing-related, but it's still a city service, so... it would be wicked to have public library locations and a list with addresses and phone numbers. But then I do realize there are a lot of them and the map has limited real estate... Perhaps it's something to consider, and to see if many others want it too.

5) And yes, please, for God's sake, keep Scarberia on the back. Nobody cares if it looks "isolated" that way. But we do care about the stupid annoyance of flipping the damn thing back and forth all the time.

6) I recall being unpleasantly surprised once, after coming to what's marked as "pedestrian bridge" on the bike map, and seeing that it had some stairs (it was somewhere in Etobicoke, I think, but I don't remember where exactly). The number of steps is given for ravine entrances (and it's a great feature); same should be done for bridges. Perhaps that was just one unfortunate omission?

7) The choice of some insets is really odd. Some are good (showing confusing sections of trails, like the DVP/Don Mills), but, for example, what's the point of the Midland & 401 one? To show that there are no on-off ramps? It's pretty clear from the regular map anyway! And on the west side it's Keele & the 401 and Weston & the 401? What's so special about Keele and Weston??? I'd say Avenue & the 401 probably has more cyclists (since it's more central and a recommended route), and just as confusing a layout (if not more so).

P.S. I was surprised to read about "bike-accessible TTC stations". Aren't they all? Certain entrances/exits are not suitable for bikes (they physically won't fit), but every station has at least one exit/entrance that works just fine. I guess the City staff is referring to elevator-equipped stations, but you don't need an elevator to take your bike on the TTC... Even if you are very frail (or your bike is very heavy) so that stairs are not an option, it's really easy to use the escalators with most bikes. It's not a bad feature to have on the map, I guess, since some people may find it useful and it really doesn't take any extra space to distinguish between two kinds of stations - so long as this does not mislead people into thinking that they CAN'T bring their bikes to the "non-accessible" stations.

Hey, Rob Ford looks like he eats at some good places... albeit too frequently. I might visit some of his restaurant choices.

Oink oink, and Naploean the pig and his other little pig friend Don Cherry declared that no other farm animals shall have access to the road besides the pigs. The pigs were the most important people in our society because they gave the most and got back so little.

Damn pinkos.

pennyfarthing ok frye