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Photos of the Mount Pleasant Cemetary Bike Rack Finalists

I swung by Ryerson after a late meeting at work to see if it was possible to get photos of the finalists of the Mount Pleasant Bike Rack competition.  The competition was for students of Ryerson’s School of Interior Design to “design bike racks to enhance the unique and bicycle-friendly environment that exists within the Mount Pleasant grounds”.

While I was late getting there… the finalist models were still set up, so I took some photos of the great designs for you (also viewable on flickr):

Once I got home, I checked around online to see if I could find which design won the competition, and the information is already on the Mt. Pleasant website:

“What we particularly liked about the winning design is its practicality and playfulness. It’s immediately pleasing to the eye – and fun to engage with – and at the same time, it fits perfectly into the existing landscape. Indeed, the boldness of this design makes it a symbol of the ongoing re-design of the urban environment.”

The winning design team

The winning design team

A proud member of the winning design team

A proud member of the winning design team

The jury hard at work

The jury hard at work

The design chosen for production and winners of $3,000: Katy Alter and Jeff Cogliati

Runners up and winners of $2,000: Shiwa Tseng, Kenneth Lee, and Michael Goriup

Runners up and winners of $1,000: Michael Shafir and Tommy Tso

I rather like the winning design… it was one of my favourites when I was looking at the models.  My other favourite was the design that placed 2nd, which is the one that looks like a series of ramps in the slideshow above.

What do you think?  Did the jury make a good decision?  Do you like one of the other designs better?

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Cemetary Bike Rack Competition Announces Winners Thursday

I just came across this via the Canada News Wire… this Thursday is the announcement of the winners of a bikerack competition for Mount Pleasant Cemetary:

The Massey Family Crypt

The Massey Family Crypt

Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries has asked Ryerson’s School of Interior Design students to create specially-designed bicycle racks that will enhance the unique and bicycle-friendly environment that exists within the Mount Pleasant grounds.

  • What: Judging and Winners announced
  • When: 3:00 p.m., Thursday, January 21, 2010
  • Where: Room SID 106, School of Interior Design, 302 Church Street (google map), Ryerson University

Each design team will work on one site designated as a possible future bicycle rack in locations throughout the cemetery. As Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a working cemetery and a well-established arboretum, the designs must respect and enhance the use of the cemetery for all users and consider road allowances, drainage and the mature plant forms. Due to the sensitivity of the environment in which they will be placing their bicycle rack, special care will need to be paid to the appropriate use of colour and shape to enhance, not detract, from the current cemetery setting.

For anyone who’s been to Mount Pleasant Cemetary (yes, it’s a great place to bike!), you’ll know that it’s an old and very stately cemetary, with high profile grave sites of people like former Prime Minister William Lyon-MacKenzie King and the Massey family.

It’ll be interesting to see what the design students come up with.

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First Photos from the Toronto Bike Awards

The first photos I’ve seen of the Toronto Bike Awards (that took place last night) are from HiMY Syed via twitter and twitpic:

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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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City of Toronto Survey shows Cycling is on the Rise!

statisticsIt’s something that we all either suspected or downright knew… there are more and more Torontonians hopping on their bikes to do “utility” cycling (getting around by bike to do normal day-to-day things, like going to work, picking stuff up from the store, visiting friends, etc.)

Now our gut feelings have the hard data to match!  The City of Toronto has just released the results of a 2009 study with questions that matched those in a 1999 study (asking the same questions is *essential* for any meaningful trend analysis when working with stats):

The survey, conducted in 2009 by Ipsos Reid, found that more Toronto residents were cycling to school and work than 10 years ago. A total of 16 per cent said they used their bicycles to commute to work or school, up from 11 per cent in 1999. And many of those who commute by bike are riding more days a week than in the past.

In addition to there being more people on bikes, the survey has also indicated (as so many other surveys about cycling have in the past) that cycling infrastructure that improves safety and bicycle parking facilities are the most important wished-for items from Toronto’s cyclists:

Investments in the cycling infrastructure over the past 10 years are being recognized and the survey reveals that 72 per cent of Torontonians believe that the overall quality of cycling routes and facilities has improved compared to 1999. However, cyclists and non-cyclists alike agree that having more bike lanes on streets would have the greatest impact on improving cycling in the city. In fact, 66 per cent of non-cyclists, 77 per cent of utilitarian cyclists and 68 per cent of recreational cyclists believe that separated bike lanes on city streets would greatly improve cycling in Toronto.

In addition to a comprehensive cycling network, the importance of bicycle parking facilities is also articulated. The survey showed that secure bicycle parking at transit stations has the potential to increase combined cycling and transit trips. One third of cyclists reported combining biking and public transportation sometimes. The majority of these cyclists (74 per cent of utilitarian and 66 per cent of recreational cyclists) say they would combine cycling and public transit more often if secure bicycle parking was provided at subway stations.

You can read more about the results on the City of Toronto’s webpage.

Key Findings from the 2009 City of Toronto Cycling Survey (PDF)
http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/reports/pdf/2010-survey-backgrounder.pdf

Full Survey Results and Comparison between 1999 and 2009 (PDF)
http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/reports/pdf/cycling_study_1999_and_2009.pdf

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