commuting

Bike-opolis?


I found the above illustration on the GOOD website.

According to the City of Toronto (Census) riding to work was up 32,6% between 2001 and 2006 from 1,3 to 1,7. Not bad but too slow for my likes. Wonder what the current stats might be. I think it's up despite everything we face. I am just thankful for everyone on two wheels.

Below is a graph for modal share stats for Ontario. [Editor: Toronto is at 1.7% while the second highest is Orangeville at 1.2%. Metro Toronto would be much, much higher since the burbs pull the numbers way down.]

Update: The Toronto Star has a published a map today with the percentage of commuters who ride bicycles to work, from the 2006 census


Thanks for seeing me

The bike union launched a campaign this week to help smooth over the anger between drivers and motorists. Cyclists are extending the olive branch in the form of thousands of "Thank You" cards to be given out to drivers when they doing something courteous to cyclists. The campaign is partly in response to the angry rhetoric surrounding the death of Darcy Sheppard and the trial of Michael Bryant.

The "Cyclists Paving the Way" campaign is meant to dial down some of the rhetoric being heard in the so-called "war on the car," says Yvonne Bambrick, executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union.

About 5,000 cards with the words "Thank You" have been printed for cyclists to give to deserving drivers, perhaps by tapping on the car window at a stop light, Bambrick said.

A motorist who looks over his or her shoulder before swinging open their door into the street – sparing an oncoming cyclist the chance of collision – would qualify for a card, Bambrick says.

It's "a chance for cyclists to thank the drivers who do see them, and do treat them with respect and as fellow citizens," she added.

Video Letter From New York

A fellow fllmaker Clarence Eckerson, Jr. from NYC send this film with this note:

"Just sending out this quickie new Streetfilm on NYC Bike Lanes:
http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/bike-lanes-in-the-big-apple/

A good video to use if:

  • Your city needs bike infrastructure
  • Your city needs more or innovative bike facilities and they are not doing experimentation in design
  • If you want to show people in your neighborhood and community what is going on in NYC and the benefits to bike amenities.

Clarence

Not enough bike lanes: Ontario Environmental Commissioner

Ontario's Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller has criticized Toronto and Ontario for failing cyclists and pedestrians. Notch it up to another report (the first being the 1998 Coroner's report) that activists can wave in front of politicians as they waffle and drag their feet:

Toronto's cycling enthusiasts celebrated a small victory this week after the province's environmental commissioner released a report criticizing the city over its lack of bike lanes.

In his annual report, this year entitled Building Resiliance, commissioner Gord Miller criticized Toronto's handling over the Bloor Street revitalization project.

The report said that the city didn't have to consult the public because of the way the project was classified.

"It was classified as an 'A' which means there was very little opportunity for public consultation and discussion that some proponents of cycling wanted to see," Miller said after tabling his report in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

Miller said the classification resulted in the loss of bikes lanes in the area of Bloor, between Church Street and Avenue Road.

At the time Councillor Rae said they wanted to make this section of Bloor a "destination" rather than just a corridor. Tell that to the motorists.

He said the province needs to do more to ensure bicycles are taken into consideration when municipalities seek provincial approval.

Cycling versus parking on Dundas West


(Photo: Dundas West BIA)

Dundas West merchants really want their rush-hour parking, even as the new businesses readily admit they don't really need it. Their "NOPE" posters villifying Councillor Giambrone are still hanging in the windows of shops along Dundas West. Their campaign "Our Neighbourhoods are Destinations not Highways!" got a bit of press this last spring, and some renewed interest now. A few weeks ago I wanted to find out why the BIA is fighting to keep rush hour parking despite the needs of cyclists and transit users. What I found was a bunch of self-described progressive merchants, some of them even calling themselves cyclists. They are definitely a bunch of nice people, even if their rhetoric is disproportionate to the issue at hand. Lula Lounge's recent fundraiser, "Save the Dundas 71", is a case in point given that Lula isn't open until long after rush hour.

Cycling in 80s Toronto

Dusted off from the archives, WolfRuck brings us some vintage footage of first-person cycling through Toronto's 80s streets. The biggest difference: no bike lanes. The same: the red pumps on the cyclist, vintage mountain bike, and the red streetcars.

Bike to Work Book

The Bike to Work Book is a colourful guide for wannabe bike commuters, produced by Carlton Reid and Tim Grahl and is available in print or downloadable in pdf. I had this link sitting around for awhile and decided to finally see if you find it interesting.

The two guys have their own bike sites and blogs: Reid with bikebiz.com, quickrelease.tv and Grahl with the Crooked Cog network of bike blogs including Commute by Bike and Twenty Nine Inches. These guys are good at cross-promotion with all their websites, videos, and now book.

I've only looked at a sampler so my impression is shallow. It looks like a glossy, well-produced book with a strong magazine feel with the prominent display of cycling-related ads and images throughout, which makes for lighter reading than similar commuting books. It's probably a good read, though I'm not really motivated to buy it since I could probably write a similar book. The website gives the impression there's a full free download, but at the time there's just the sampler. Perhaps someone could go and buy and lend it to me.

The video is from quickrelease.tv - fitting a cam to film your commute.

311 for fixing potholes

Just missed crashing from a pothole? Then you're probably like a lot of cyclists in Toronto. But now you can help make a bit of difference by calling 311! The city has launched the 311 service to better help residents access City services. If you're like me you've thought many times that you should report a pothole but forget by the time you get to work. Now you can stop your bike, and report the pothole right away! The City will issue a work ticket and will fix the pothole within four days of it being reported. It only costs the City $25 to fix the pothole which is much cheaper than hospital expenses.

Do you like the poster I made? Please use it and if you're artistic feel free to improve it (source and poster size attached).

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