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Notes from the Toronto Cycling Committee

Last night I went to the first 2010 meeting of the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee meeting.  It was also the first Committee meeting I’ve been to… after meaning to go for ages.

I was impressed by the turnout.  The room was full of observers (probably at least 40 people).  The observers are people who care enough about cycling in Toronto to devote several hours of a weeknight to the topic.

Reports and Presentations from the meeting are supposed to be posted online, and I’ll let you know when they are… but I figured I’d share the few notes I took.

I’ll use the agenda from the meeting to organize the notes I took (which are italicized).

1. Cycling in Harbord Village

E-mail (December 22, 2009) from Eleanor Levine, regarding her concerns for safety for cyclists cycling in the Harbord Village area of the City of Toronto.

Eleanor presented her concerns about the lack of cycling infrastructure in her neighbourhood… not only for seniors like her, but all cyclists.  She expressed her preference for physically-separate bikelanes over regular bikelanes or sharrows, as it makes it harder for cars to park in them.

2. Presentation from the Ward 20 Cycling Committee

Report (undated) from the Ward 20 Cycling Committee, presenting suggestions for improvements to cycling infrastructure and conditions in Ward 20. Its purpose is to provide feedback to Councillor Vaughan’s office and City staff who can work in co-operation with the broader community to implement changes that reflect the needs of cyclists travelling in this section of the city.

Presentation Document (PDF)

Great (and quick!) presentation from Yvonne Bambrick, Dale Duncan and Andrew Keenan (not sure if I heard his name right) of the Ward 20 Cycling Committee.  This is a group set up by Councillor Adam Vaughan to inform his office about cycling issues in his Ward in order for him to work with the community on these issues.  Lots of great infrastructure ideas such as physically separate bikelanes, bikeboxes, sharrows in intersections, and innovative bike parking.

There was then a bunch of discussion about the cost of various infrastructure improvements asked for in Ward reports such as this one… but Ward reports were noted as important as it allows cycling staff to show city councillors exactly what Torontonians want.

A motion was made for staff to look at the feasibility (and progress, if any)  of items in report and to report back to the Committee.

3. Changes to the Official Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Driver’s Handbook

Report from Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee Sub-Committee, led by the Toronto Cyclists Union.

Presentation Document (PDF)

Margaret Hastings-James (at her last Committee meeting as she is moving to Hamilton and starting a family – Congrats Margaret!) and Yvonne Bambrick presented progress on a great project that is providing input to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation on a Drivers Handbook revision.  In short, the project is attempting to get more references to cyclists and pedestrians in the book that new drivers study when they get their licenses.  Great language is proposed like “be aware and courteous to all road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians”.

Great way to ensure drivers are more aware of cyclists on the road.

4. Presentation of the 2009 Cycling Survey

Dan Egan presented the key findings from a Cycling Survey undertaken this past summer with the same questions of a survey undertaken in 1999.  The city is planning on re-doing this survey every 3-4 years instead of every 10.

I posted about the key findings from this survey yesterday, so I’ll point you at that post for the key findings and links to documents.

5. Presentation of the 2010 Bikeway Program

The meeting was behind schedule, so I had to leave mid-way through this presentation, but basically, for 2010, the City will be concentrating on connecting and enhancing downtown bike lanes and bike routes.  I don’t know if this is because it’s an election year, so getting new bike infrastructure where there are more cyclists may be more politically feasible.  It’s most likely just to enhance the downtown infrastructure to continue to build on the increasing numbers of cyclists on downtown streets.

6. Presentation of the Bikeway Network State of Good Repair

Well, I missed this presentation (as I mentioned above, I had to leave before the meeting ended), so I am looking forward to any documents posted online regarding this. :)

I left City Hall and was entranced by watching skaters on Nathan Philips Square for a few minutes… and wished I had brought my skates.  (photo below by alfred ng)

nightskating





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