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June 23: TCAT News Bulletin

BikingToronto is a TCAT supporter. Here’s the latest from TCAT:

1. CBC Radio One Morning Shows Across the Country Feature Bike Helmet Legislation Alternatives: Jun 22

On June 22nd between 6 and 9 a.m. TCAT’s Program Director, Nancy Smith Lea teamed up with Chris A. Cavacuiti, MD, to be interviewed by CBC Radio One local morning hosts across the country, all the way from Victoria, BC to Corner Brook, Newfoundland and points in between. Between Chris and Nancy there were 16 interviews in total. The topic of discussion was bicycle helmet legislation and other measures governments can take to promote safe cycling.

Dr. Cavacuiti has prepared an excellent cycling health and safety review that featured prominently in the interviews. It was also a good chance to highlight some of the key policies and innovations used in Dutch, Danish, and German cities to promote safe and convenient cycling as noted by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler’s paper “Cycling for Everyone: Lessons from Europe” including:

  • Extensive networks of separated cycling facilities
  • Intersection modifications and priority traffic signals
  • Traffic calming
  • Traffic education and training
  • Bike parking
  • Co-ordination with public transport
  • Traffic laws

2. Strike at City of Toronto: Jun 22

The Toronto Civic Employees’ Union Local 416 (CUPE) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79 are on strike as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 22, 2009.

All scheduled meetings of Council, community councils, standing committees, advisory committees and task forces are cancelled until the strike is over. This includes the Pedestrian Committee and the Cycling Committee meetings. For more information click here.

3. Toronto Police Cycling Safety Campaign: Jun 22-28

It’s that time of year again. The Toronto Police launched their annual cycling safety campaign yesterday. The traffic strategy is a one-week initiative, designed to promote awareness and education by reducing the potential for cycling related injuries. During this week officers increase the number of tickets handed out to motorists who endanger the lives of cyclists as well as to cyclists for traffic infractions. More info here.

4. Keep Bikes Tax-Free Rally: Jun 26

The NDP Caucus is organizing a press conference and rally to occur on the lawn in front of Queen’s Park on Friday Jun 26 at 10:00 a.m. The existing Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption for bikes, helmets, bells, lights, helmets, etc. could soon be a thing of the past. The exemption for all things bicycle is not expected to continue when the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) that combines the PST and GST is put into place by the end of 2010. The NDP Caucus would like as many cyclists as possible to join them to show support for continuation of this tax exemption.

5. Ministry of Transportation Requests Electric Bicycle Input: Jul 9

Following last week’s consultation with community groups (including TCAT), industry representatives, and other interested parties, the Ministry of Transportation has released a summary of its proposal for how to regulate e-bikes. They are seeking suggestions and comments from the general public by July 9, 2009. The MTO will be working towards having regulations in place, if approved, by Oct 3, 2009, when the current electric bicycle pilot expires. View the proposal here.

6. “Test Ride” Bike Routes and Transit Modes: Jul 13

The bus racks on GTA buses are also opening up the countryside. Take transit to the edge of the city, and then cycle to parks and trails. A website devoted to integrating bikes and transit has put out an open call for cyclists to “test ride” the routes suggested on the site. Until July 13th, send in photos from your cell phone, or tweet and email pictures after you get home. More info here.

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