Top eleven posts of 2011
Photo: Herb. Bells on Bloor 2011, popular as ever, even though City Council voted to stop the Environmental Assessment
Cycling and politics were a hot item in 2011, from the vote to remove Jarvis Bike Lanes, the vote to install protected bike lanes, the launch of Bixi, and the politicians who took cheap shots by trying to make cyclists into urban terrors. Here's a recap of 2011's top 11 blog posts, ranked by the number of comments. It's not the only way to rank blog posts, but the easiest to come by.
- Separated bike lane proposal and battle heating up
Bixi bikes are on the streets and the fight continues to get separated bike lanes approved for downtown. Some lefty councillors oppose, some support.
- Few bike lanes: the cause of most sidewalk cycling
A pedestrian dies after colliding with a cyclist in North York. There is a strong call to crack down on cyclists yet the pedestrian's family say he was an avid cyclist and understood how bad cycling infrastructure is in the burbs. And where are the critics when a pedestrian is killed by a motorist?
- Public Works committee votes to take out Jarvis bike lanes: total -8 km bike lanes this year
The vote to take out the Jarvis bike lanes made international news. What big city in this era votes to take out bike lanes?
- The Toronto Parking Authority exists solely to subsidize drivers of private automobiles
City Council sets the limit of what the TPA charges instead of leaving it to supply/demand. Why not stop subsidizing drivers if we don't want to subsidize cyclists or transit?
- Indirect lefts: how to improve what most cyclists do anyway
Simple diagram from a NYC bike guide on how to make left turn that's easy for those not fast enough or skilled enough to make a "vehicular left".
- Downtown separated bike lanes plan: Minnan-Wong makes it his own
In a strange turn of events right-wing Minnan-Wong takes on the separated bike lane cause just as some left-wing politicians oppose.
- If not now, when? If not here, where? Separated bike lanes in Vaughan's Ward
Councillor Vaughan wasn't keen on separated bike lanes despite their popularity and had other designs on some of the chosen streets, such as Richmond and Adelaide.
- How to get cyclists off the sidewalk: councillor asks, answers and then ignores herself
It's an easy win for a North York politician to raise an outcry against cyclists on sidewalks even if she can't name any particular moment. Councillor Karen Stintz gets to look like a hero without having to come up with any practical solution that would get cyclists off the sidewalk, namely bike lanes.
- A preventable death
Jenna Morrison died after being crushed by a turning truck at Sterling and Dundas, near the entrance of the Toronto West Railpath. There was a strong outcry from the community. Most people agree it was preventable, and have suggested a number of ways to have prevented it, including truck side guards, bike lanes, safer intersection.
- City transportation planners give cycling policy a big boost
The Urban Bikeway Design Guide was released by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. It's a great resource for transportation planners and a counterpoint to the AASHTO's Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities which has dominated the scene for decades.
- Separating a core of continuous bike lanes from traffic: some reasons why it's a good idea
Some reasons for why separated bike lanes are a good idea, including, most Torontonians want them; they can hep increase pedestrian safety; encourage newbies, old, very young to start cycling more; prevents cars from parking in the lanes.
Top forum posts:
- Police demanding bicyclists abandon roadway and use sidewalk on Queen E/B E of Bathurst
- Condo rules not allowing bike storage in dwelling units Toronto.
- Downtown Bike Lanes Back on City Hall Burner
- Observations from the Jenna Morrison ghost bike installation
- Restrictions on "Motor-Assisted Bicycles" (aka e-bikes)
- Write your MPP! Motorist education time!
- Thanks to the safety signer at College/Spadina
- Give and Take at PWIC
- Taking the Lane
- Commute from Etobicoke North to the Annex
- P-gates are back at Ontario Place