The province of Ontario has finally acknowledged that we could use some cycling love. However, the current proposal put forth by the Minister of Transportation is slim and vague.
The City is in the first stage of its new Official Plan Reviews and currently in the midst of the September Open Houses. Next week the Open Houses are at York Civic Centre on Sept 26 and at North York Civic Centre on Sept 27.
Open Houses run 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and include facilitated discussions. If you cycle regularly you may be interested in attending one of the open houses and provide some input on how the Official Plan can benefit active transportation and, in particular, cycling.
There is some danger of assigning "mandates" to elections. Toronto just elected as mayor the worst choice possible for supporting walking or cycling. As Eric at Curbside puts it: "Today the city of Toronto voted in its 64th mayor, a porkchop of a man who, by all looks, rarely refuses gravy." So does this mean the war on the car has been won by the drivers?
Lloyd of Treehugger thinks so, that there's a big backlash coming:
A few weeks ago a positive cycling article came out in - of all places - Wheels, the Toronto Star's car fetish section. The author, Mark Richardson, rode country roads alongside Eleanor McMahon, founder of the Share the Road coalition. The article is interesting for not only its focus on McMahon's strong push for better cycling infrastructure and her experience working with politicians and policy-makers, but also for the fact that Richardson has had an increasing personal interest in cycling.
I was recently given a sneak peak of the BIXI Toronto bikes, which are being securely stored in a City "bunker" somewhere. We've made progress in the last two years.
Here we go with another You-Tube video. This one may stir up a bit more controversy, because unlike my previous efforts, I haven't shown what my rides look like; I've shown what motorists' driving looks like. In this case, I've tried to show what passing a cyclist looks, and feels like. I have a few very close passes in two rides, both into the outer suburbs of Toronto.