When I was leading my local Cycle Toronto ward group, Ward 19, we produced a report of six recommendations to the City to improve the cycling experience and safety on Strachan. Since then, amazingly, three of them have actually been implemented, thanks to support from Councillor Mike Layton.
The struggle for a four-way stop or How City cycling ambitions get swept away in the minutia of Traffic Operations
Richmond and Niagara needs a four way stop. This little intersection is currently on one end of our new major cycling route and an excellent alternative way to get downtown from Queen or King. It's also the point where Richmond does a jog and then continues west a little south of there. But there's no easy way to navigate that, and little Niagara has a lot of car traffic.
It's been a long, long time since bike lanes for Bloor Street had been first proposed. Just ask Albert Koehl, lawyer and cycling advocate, who detailed the history—first proposed in 1977! (Or Hamish Wilson, who for many years carried the torch despite the "Bloored vision" of City Hall—tip of my hat to Hamish's famous turn of phrases for Caronto).
At the last public meeting for cycling, I asked Dan Egan, head of the City of Toronto's Cycling Department a rather purposeful question, specifically:
"Who is the intended design user of our cycling infrastructure?"
And his response was the rather bland:
"The average cyclist"
Well, that got me thinking, who (or what) is the "average" cyclist?
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.
On Friday November 30th, Bob Chiarelli, The Minster of Transportation, released a Cycling Strategy. You’d be well excused for not hearing about it because other news has rightfully captured the headlines. As an announcement, this strategy document was only newsworthy for being drivel.
A decision will be made at Public Works and Infrastructure Committee this week about whether to approve Transportation staff's recommendation regarding Richmond/Adelaide separated bike lanes. The bike lanes have been in the official Bike Plan for the last ten years, but there are some obstacles. Instead of doing a pilot project sooner, staff is recommending we go straight to the required EA and install them in 2013: