The Strategic Services Branch of Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) is developing a City-Wide Mountain Biking Strategy. The Strategy will examine the growing number and use of informal natural surface trails and stunt areas through our ravines and parks. The goal of the strategy is to determine the most effective way to provide recreational opportunities for off-road cyclists, while balancing environmental protection and safety concerns.
For more details, see the attached PDF file
The development of a City-Wide Mountain Biking Strategy will take place from November 2007 to March 2008. PFR will hold meetings with stakeholders over the next few months. PFR invites mountain bikers, trail users, recreation associations, environmental organizations, Toronto Region Conservation staff and City of Toronto staff to become involved.
For more information or to be added to the contact list, contact:
Jennifer Kowalski, Project Manager
Parks, Forestry & Recreation: Strategic Services
Metro Hall, 24th Floor 55 John St. Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
hamish (not verified)
consulting without a cycling committeeSat, 01/12/2008 - 12:35
It may not be an issue, but the new truncated TCAC doesn't seem to be having any sub-committees to assess issues, filter information, and discuss them. I found these sub-committees very very useful for these broad issues, and there are some serious problems with degradation of sensitive environments. What do other folks think?
The other thing I liked about subcommitteesSun, 01/13/2008 - 02:14
The other thing I liked about subcommittees is that anyone attending could participate, unlike during the general committee meetings. Questions can be asked for clarification, or explanation, and they are answered. Also, ideas can be offered and get discussed.
As long as the cycling committee continues to behave as a closed club (except through a very formal process), it will find that it has make itself largely irrelevant. Without allowing the cycling committee at large more opportunities to participate, the community will find it's own ways of getting things done that bypass or otherwise don't involve the committee.
hamish (not verified)
again, it's not the volunteers faultSun, 01/13/2008 - 13:44
It's much much more that the City and staff are making the cycling committee more like a "closed club" through what resources/procedures that are imposed upon us - the speed of the changes instigated by Mr. Heaps and the lack of consultation with the affected are quite strong indicators that there's less time and patience for cycling it seems. While it's possible that the volunteers on the new TCAC could make more of a fuss/lead, I know from my experiences that it takes a certain degree of chutzpah to push back with sufficient clarity and force to have the shytstem react in the desired way.
Like will folks ask to see the plans for Bloor? It would have been an issue for the Network sb to have had a look at and maybe put forward a rec, but the gutting of the TCC has been remarkably coincidental with the processes of okaying that reconstruction.
subcommitteesSun, 01/13/2008 - 16:24
So far, I've seen the new TCAC is very open to ideas and suggestions - they've even asked for and received good input right on this forum.
I'm no expert on planning culture and I fully respect your views Hamish, but can't that be as good as a formal subcommittee?
I'm also curious about what plans are in store for Bloor, but it's no secret what the cycling community would like to see. Just express yourself as you've been doing.
Yes, there are exceptionsSun, 01/13/2008 - 18:16
Yes, Svend, we are very fortunate that two of the founders of iBikeTO are also on TCAC, and that they take thier role as appointed representatives of the cycling communittee seriously, and try to be our voice on the committee, that is they try to represent us.
But if someone else found out about a TCAC meeting and was to attend, they would find out that they would not be able to add any comments nor ask any questions during the meeting.
And if one tries to get an item on to the agenda, it may or may not make it on to the agenda. Does someone approve what gets on to the agenda? Who, and what recourse do we have?
Except for those who do get on to the egenda to talk about a specific item, the meetings are essentially 'closed' to outsides. We can attend and listen, but that's it.
Would you like it if our council memebers were also 'appointed representatives'? Would that be democratic? Would it increase civic participation?
The point that some of us are trying to make is that there are better ways of doing things; there are ways that this can be done to be more inclusive to everyone who wishes to partake in the discussions. There are more questions that need to be asked than those that the TCAC members have asked.
Between a rock and a hard place.Sun, 01/13/2008 - 19:54
I think that TCAC members are placed in a difficult position. They take on the responsibility of "... representing cyclists' interests within the City." and are appointed by the City. This has the instant making of a conflict of interest. Something avoided by many other cities by having a more arm's length approach to their cycling committees. On the other hand, volunteer or not, they have taken the responsibility and cannot expect a free pass from those they represent. They are working on issues that are pretty vital to the cycling community.
With respect to the MTB community, I hope there is an honest effort to facilitate having those that do not have a voice to be heard. Specifically thinking of Crother's Woods debate. Something more proactive has to be done other than posting a few notices about the consultations. Otherwise it will turn into endless 'us versus them' debates ending with an imposed solution no one likes.
solotrek (not verified)
TORBGSun, 01/13/2008 - 21:51
Well said, Darren. Not to threadjack here, but the MTB community is getting together...
Toronto Off Road Bicycling Group is in the process of formalising as a grassroots group.
We've been holding regular meetings since November;
our next meet is Wednesday, January 16th at 7 pm, at York Reception Center, 1100 Millwood Road just north of Overlea.
Off road cyclists and any other interested folks are welcome to attend.