This video shows the wide variety of conditions for cyclists in the West End of Toronto, everything from major streets (Keele) with no bicycle lanes to really major high-speed roads (Queensway) with bicycle lanes.
Toronto transportation staff has been planning new bike-specific traffic control signals to go along the 30 km of new trails in our suburbs, and for downtown is planning bike boxes at five locations downtown on College, Bloor and Harbord.
After Councillor Howard Moscoe's prodding, City Council has released the previously confidential manual which explains who can get their parking tickets cancelled. I am glad that they did this, and it helps make things much more clear to everyone in this city. Many thanks to Councillor Moscoe, and the other councillors, who made this happen.
Before this manual was released, I had though that more enforcement would help to diminish the number of vehicles found parked in bike lanes. I had also thought that on-street separated bike lanes should be used sparingly and strategically.
Toronto cyclists face a dangerous combination of streetcar tracks and motorists, the Bicyclists' Injuries and the Cycling Environment Study (BICE study) has found in its preliminary results. The BICE study is coordinated by the Cycling in Cities program at the University of British Columbia, which interviewed 690 cyclists injured and admitted to hospital in Toronto and Vancouver in 2008 and 2009.
George Smitherman, mayoral candidate, has published a "transportation plan", or, as I prefer to call it, a thinly veiled nod to motorists and patronizing approach to transit, cycling and walking. It may be easier in an era of a "war on cyclists" that a mayoral candidate can get away with a platform that does less for cyclists than what is in the Bike Plan already.
Have the new sharrows had any affect on cyclist and driver behaviour? I decided to see for myself now that the sharrows have been painted on College. I snapped some photos during rush hour when the lanes were free of parked cars. While taking to heart Mez's note of caution that the meaning of the sharrows is being diluted and subverted by allowing drivers to park on them outside of rush hour, it's still interesting to see how there be some benefit to the new symbols.
City Council debated late into the night on the bikeway network plan for 2010, which was passed 26-8, with one caveat: it was amended by Councillor Hall (Ward 1) to remove the pilot University Ave bike lanes from the motion. The vote to amend was 15-13, but apparently Councillor Fletcher, who has been quite pro-bike lane, made an error in her vote (or some have said there was a technical glitch).