commuting

TTC warmly welcomes cyclists

Is the TTC warming up to cyclists? Even if they have nothing specific to announce in this press release I'm hoping they'll start serving hot chocolate to cyclists who stop biking and hop onto the nearest bus.

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blockquote>TTC launches the "WARM WELCOME" campaign

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Toronto Transit Commission announces it's new bike-friendly attitude for Toronto two-wheelers with the "Warm Welcome" campaign.

Starting today the TTC is changing the signage at all of it's subway stations, replacing the NO BICYCLES during rush-hour signs, to a more positive sign (a bike symbol in a green circle) displaying the times when bicycles are allowed.

TTC by-law No. 1, Section 17 has not changed, but the presentation of it has. Instead of prohibiting bicycles, the new signs welcome bicycles all day Saturday and Sunday/Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm and 6:30pm to close.

The move is part of the Transit City Strategy, the first step in an effort to make the TTC a more integrated commuter system.

The effort hopes to encourage Toronto cyclists, especially those with long commutes, to continue biking all winter, knowing that when it's too cold or snowy, they are welcome to come aboard.

"To all you brave cyclists who ride all winter long, this is just a little change to help you go a long way." says TTC commissioner Adam Giambroni.

Photo journal contest of your commute

Send your commuting photos to Smart Commute Toronto and Spacing. The winners will be published in Spacing! Winning photos and runners up will also be posted online at Spacing.

Only submissions of 3-5 photos or a multi-photo compilation based on a commuting theme will be accepted, captions are optional.

I know there's got to be a lot of great cycling commuter photos out there. Let's get someone's outrageous commute from the far edge of Scarborough.

Contest closes April 30th, 2009.

Once Upon A Commute- a photo journal contest

Once Upon A Commute- a photo journal contest

Smart Commute Toronto - Central and Spacing are pleased to announce Once Upon a Commute! - a photo journal contest. Tell your commuting story and enter for a chance to be published in Toronto's award winning Spacing magazine. Winning photos and runners up will be posted online at www.spacing.ca - The wining submission will be published in a 2009 edition of Spacing Magazine! The Contest closes April 30st 2009 - Winning photos will be announced in May 2009.

Bike-friendly GO Transit

GO Transit Bike shelterGO Transit Bike shelter
Photo was taken on Christmas Day at Guildwood GO station. Looks like the staff at GO Transit decided to give cyclists a much appreciated present.

Seen on the streets of Winnipeg

WinnipegWinnipeg

Quality, Credibility and the Bloor Viaduct Bikeway

Lay down a sewer pipe and there are myriad standards dictating dimension, clearance and placement. Lay down a bike lane and sound design precepts are optional, more often recognized in the breach than in the application. How is it that conduits for sh_t are typically subjected to greater planning rigor than conduits for human beings on bicycles?

If you're apt to such musings whenever...oh...pedalling through an officially designated door zone painted up as a bike lane, you're not alone. A few of us were pondering just how that mystery related to the Bloor Viaduct bikeway, a pillar of Toronto's bike network and, conveniently, right in our backyard.

A generation has been conceived, miseducated, and is now tormenting parents with grating music and delinquency since the inception of the Viaduct bike lanes. Yet the bikeway remains stillborn, its hazards, all too familiar to regular cyclists, unresolved.

It can be better. It should be. Why not try to make it so? That was the motivation behind the The Bloor Viaduct Report. I'll skip the specifics, download the report (attached 2.4 MB PDF) and in about the same time it took to read this article you will be familiar with the details.

Velib numbers and carbon offsetting

There are a lot of ways to calculate the benefit of bike-sharing programs. For Paris' Velib bike-sharing program one could look at the number of Parisians using it, improvements to traffic congestion, improvements to the air quality, health benefits of the users, and so on. Adam Stein of TerraPass, a carbon offsetting company, crunched some numbers based on these stats from a NYC article on the Paris Velib program and came up with an estimate of the amount of greenhouse gases avoided. With that he concludes that Velib is an expensive way to offset carbon.

  • Riders took 27.5 million trips in the first year.
  • The current pace is about 120,000 trips per day.
  • The program includes 20,600 bikes.
  • The 1,450 self-service rental stations are available every 300 yards.
  • The bikes are heavy and expensive — $3,460 and 50 lbs — built to withstand theft, mistreatment, and heavy riding.
  • Nevertheless, 3,000 bikes have gone missing, about 15% of the total.
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