I'd be hard-pressed to put a good spin on this, though mayoral candidate Smitherman is certainly trying his best. Smitherman is jumping on the rhetoric bandwagon and is calling for a 'moratorium' on bike lanes in Toronto. In the meanwhile the 2011 money for bike lanes will go to repaving the bike lanes that are deteriorating such as Sherbourne.
Yesterday the public works committee of the City approved a number of bike lanes; accepted the request by Transportation Services staff for "New Strategic Directions" for an updated Bike Plan, including studying a bike lane on Bloor/Danforth; and authorized sole source negotiations for a bikesharing program with the Public Bike System Company of Montreal that also runs Bixi. All these items now go on to City Council for approval.
Councillor Glen De Baeremaeker wished for bike lanes this Christmas. Did he get his wish or just a lump of coal for going outside the Bike Plan?
De Baeremaeker revealed his wish list at last week's meeting of the city's public works and infrastructure committee, of which the avid cyclist is the chair, and no, he wasn't sitting on Mayor David Miller's knee at the time.
Cycle 26, a group of Ward 26 cycling advocates, copied me on a report they recently submitted to the City. Ward 26 is what normal people consider the inner suburbs. It includes Leaside, Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park; a very ethnically and economically-diverse ward. It includes the Don Trail as well as a number of planned routes in the Bike Plan, most of which are not close to being implemented. Thus the report (see attached).
From Cycle 26 member, Geoff Kettel:
City staff pulled a surprise move at the PWIC meeting. In an appended agenda ("New Business") they snuck in 16.1km of bike lanes to be approved on Lawrence Avenue East in Scarborough. Our mole in the city failed to warn us of this development. This was made even more interesting by the fact that this was done using the new approval process.