take the tooker

Progress on Bloor St. Bike Lanes

Rush Hour: 5:45pm at Bloor and Forest View, EtobicokeRush Hour: 5:45pm at Bloor and Forest View, Etobicoke

Bike lanes on Bloor St. may be more likely to happen than you think. Possibly even sooner than expected. I was at the Bloor Street West and The West Mall Bike Lanes public consultation last night, and can report back that it it's mostly good news for cyclists.

Two new bike lanes were being presented at this meeting: A 3.1km stretch of The West Mall, from Bloor St. down to The Queensway (map), and a 3.4km piece of Bloor St. W. between Mill Rd. and Kipling Ave (map).

One of the points that several residents at last night's meeting kept bringing up went along the lines of, "But these lanes don't take you anywhere!". Well, contrary to popular belief, I feel that these lanes will actually fill in a much-needed gap in the network, providing safer cycling in mid-town and south-western Etobicoke.

Petition for Bike Lanes on Bloor to be delivered to City Hall


On Wednesday, March 4th, noon, the Take the Tooker Bloor bike lane folk will meet at Christie Pits (the park at Bloor and Christie) and ride together down to City Hall to present a 5000 signature petition to Councillor Adrian Heaps calling for the Bloor bike lane.

Angela Bischoff states:

In the 3 years since we launched this campaign in Tooker's honor (Mar. 3, 2006), this issue has become the number one priority for cyclists in Toronto, although at the time we launched the campaign people thought we were crazy.

Angela wants to remind you to visit the Tooker Gomberg Memorial Library at the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina (at Queen), 4th floor, open during office hours.

Tooker Gomberg was an inspirational and passionate activist and Angela's partner. You can read more about him on the Greenspiration site, or be inspired by some of his quotes:

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blockquote>- Have hope, passion and confidence that valuable change can and does happen because individuals take bold initiative.

  • You can easily join the millions of people around the world working towards ecological health and sustainability just by doing something.
  • Go forth and agitate.
  • Our greatest hurtle is not money; it's imagining how things could be different.
  • Am I dreaming? Of course I am. But what's the alternative? I would rather dream that things can be better.

Ottawa-1, Toronto-0

Ottawa celebrates a victory for cyclists today, as Council will finally vote on adapting the City's official Bike Plan.

Meanwhile, back in Hog-Town, Mayor Miller breaks the ground on the Bloor-Yorkville Transformation, a project that not only ignores the needs of cyclists, but has completely balked the required public consultations for a project of this size.
A half-dozen cyclists were shut out of the Bloor-Yorkville BIA “open house” meeting last night, and were faced with threats of arrest from a gang of over 20 assigned police officers. Councillor Kyle Rae flipped out upon seeing their petitions, and screamed at a member of the Toronto Cycling Committee to “Grow up and get informed!” as he pushed his way past.

Reportedly, once behind closed doors, Rae proudly announced that there will be no plan to accommodate bike lanes in this reconstruct, despite unprecedented public demand (for over 20 years), and despite outcomes of the in depth study of bike lane viability for Bloor Street currently underway at City Hall.

Bloor/Dundas Visioning Session #2

When: Wednesday March 5, 6:30pm

Where: Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor St. W.

Why: Because the developments and changes at this intersection could have a big impact on the West End for cyclists!

I urge all cyclists to come to the Bloor/Dundas Visioning meeting this Wednesday. This is the second of three sessions put on by the City to get public opinion from residents about potential developments in the Bloor St. W. and Dundas St. W. area, and a good chance for cyclists to make their desires and needs known to the City.

I attended the first visioning session on January 16th, along with well over 100 other people. Area residents had many concerns about the potential developments that may happen here, as well as many ideas about what could be done to make it better. I saw a few other cyclists whom I recognized, and I could tell from the meeting notes that they got the word out about possibly adding bike lanes or other cycling infrastructure improvements. Some even got creative on the comment boards.

To quickly summarize, here are some of the concerns that cyclists may want to bring up at this meeting:

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Public Works to discuss East-West bike corridor on Bloor-Danforth

Is the city beginning to take the idea of a bike lane along Bloor-Danforth a bit more seriously? Perhaps. But it looks like we'll need to get a lot of people to phone the councillors on this list to convince them - even though a number of them are cycling friendly!

You can track the meeting here.

The City of Toronto Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will vote on Wednesday October 3 whether to adopt recommendations from a new report called Sustainable Transportation Initiatives – Short Term Proposals (http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2007/pw/bgrd/background...)
that calls for a number of actions to promote public transit, cycling, and walking in Toronto (including working to implement an east-west bike corridor in the city by 2009 and studying the feasibility of a (long overdue) Bloor-Danforth bike lane.

You can contact the committee administrator, Rosalind Dyers at pwic@toronto.ca or 416-392-8018 and ask to make a deputation at the meeting, which begins at 9:30 am in Committee room 1 at City Hall.

Please forward this widely!

(Info thanks to Michael Polanyi)

Action on the Viaduct

If you happened to cross the Bloor Street Viaduct on Monday afternoon, you might have noticed David Curtis, his partner Laura and a couple of die-hard activists still givn’er with placards, after 4 solid days of Car Free activity. Dave & Laura take action!!!
Our targets were the many drivers who speed Eastbound, jamming into the right lane to exit down on to the Don Valley Parkway (which looks beautifully resurfaced for next year’s Ride for Heart, by the way!!!).

Perhaps more importantly, we felt a need to target cyclists as well, who are forced to merge across this auto-mania, as their Bike Lane abruptly ends. The dangers were imminent as we watched rider after rider cut into the traffic lane without so much as a hand signal or even a backward glance! Drivers were time and time again “cut off” and forced to slam on their brakes to avoid plowing the cyclist down.

Bells on Bloor, Sunday at 12:00 noon

Bells on Bloor logo

On Sunday September 23rd 2007 help us bring out the Bells on Bloor

To get involved, please email info@bellsonbloor.ca

Join hundreds of cyclists of all ages in celebrating car-free day with a pedal powered parade, ringing our bells all the way from High Park to the ROM.

Cycling protects our environment. So let’s protect our cyclists with more bike lanes. Fighting global warming has never been so fun.

Come with bells on, ring a bell along the route, or get a free bike bell.

Great Events on Sunday, Sept. 23!

Bells on Bloor and The Toronto Smog Hike are working together. Our bike parade ends at the ROM and will encourage riders to join forces with smog hikers at 1pm on Yonge. (Or participate in their opening at 10am, and meet us at NOON at High Park).

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