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A Look at the St. Clair TTC Bike Shelter

TTC St. Clair West subway station bike shelter bicycle rack

More photos of the shelter and how to use the rack pictured above on Duncan’s City Ride…

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Share BikingToronto Faster with Meebo

Meebo Screen Shot

At the bottom of your screen, on any BikingToronto page, you’ll see a new tool bar. This is the Meebo tool bar and when you click on the “Share Page” button you’re able to instantly share the BikingToronto page you’re reading with your Twitter followers, your Facebook friends and most any other social networking service you may use.

We’ve added the Meebo bar to help you share your favourite BikingToronto stories and help you spread the latest Toronto cycling information faster.

If you encounter any problems or have any concerns, please let us know in the comments of this page.

You can also learn more about Meebo here.

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Best Bike Lane Toronto: More Nominations

A lot has happened since BikingToronto first asked you to nominate Toronto’s Best Bike Lane.

We’ve received a lot of replies and here’s a summary of a few of the lanes nominated so far: Best Bike Lane Toronto: Week 1 Nominations.

The Toronto mayoral race continues to have everyone talking about public transit and cycling infrastructure. Unfortunately, we have yet to see a candidate come forward with progressive ideas that help improve movement around our city, not just for people who ride bicycles, but for all Torontonians. Smitherman has even taken the role of an angry father and called for a “time out” on bike lanes.

And unfortunately, the Toronto Cycling Committee is also singing this same tune. Shifting their focus from “quantity” to “quality” the Cycling Committee is hoping to work towards connecting existing downtown bikeways, adding cycling infrastructure at subways and transit connections and furthering cycling education for children. Why quality wasn’t directly tied to quantity in the first place we may never know.

While City Council did approve a scaled-down bike sharing program, a voting error (and lack of attendance) resulted in the loss of what could have been Toronto’s most bold bike lane project on University Avenue.

As we continue to search for Toronto’s Best Bike Lane it is important to remember why bike lanes are important. Not only do they reinforce the fact that bicycles and their riders have a right to use our streets but they also provide visible alternatives for those who are sick of spending more time in their cars than they spend with their family.

Now, let’s continue with the nominations:

Route 16: Annette and Dupont Streets

Nominated by ‘Xander

Perhaps one of the most contested existing lanes in Toronto, the Annette and Dupont Street bike lanes get many things right in both execution and in use.

These lanes provide adequate space around parked cars, continue to intersections and even through one with sharrows and they connect with other routes and multi-use paths. Whether you’re in the Junction or Bloor West Village, a short diversion to Annette provides you with an excellent example of cycling infrastructure.

Route 16: Annette and Dupont Streets

Not Quite Bike Lanes Nominated

The Martin Goodman Trail is by definition a multi-use trail. Yet, at many points along it’s duration cyclists are given their own path. Plowed of snow in the winter and providing a nearly non-stop connection from Etobicoke to downtown Toronto this not quite bike lane is a useful piece of cycling infrasture for both commuters and recreational cyclists:

Martin Goodman Trail

Lakeshore and Cibola may be less known by their actual names and more known by their destination. The only cycling and pedestrians paths completely separated from the city by water, these are the arterial routes running the length of Toronto Island. Rent a tandem or quad bicycle and explore the island, keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians because this is the only bicycle route in the city where you’re likely to be the fastest and largest vehicles around:

Lakeshore and Cibola Toronto Island

Now that Bike Month is underway I hope you’re continuing to explore the bike lanes and the places they take you in Toronto. Keep your nominations coming, here’s how to nominate Toronto’s Best Bike Lane.

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Torontoist Profiles TurnAround Couriers

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Via Torontoist:

TurnAround Couriers is a self-described “competitive courier business,” but with a special twist: the company is staffed exclusively by at-risk youth. According to the social audits page of the company’s website, TurnAround’s mandate is to “Recruit youth from youth shelters and youth-serving agencies across Toronto” in order to provide individuals who might otherwise be deemed unhireable with an entry point to a viable career path. It’s an ambitious goal, but after seven and a half years in business and an estimated 110 young people hired, it’s safe to say that TurnAround has made an impact.

A former lawyer, Derham arrived in Canada from his native England in the summer of 2000. Though he was attached to a job at the time, he harboured separate entrepreneurial visions. “I wanted to run a for-profit business that was philanthropic and I was keen to work with young people who were job-ready but struggling to get into the job market. The bike courier business wasn’t my first choice, but it was my first good choice.”

Read the full article here.
Screen shot via SpotDocs

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“The city is a boneyard of broken cyclists, all hit by drivers…”

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Article by Catherine Porter in the Toronto Star:

Now, I drive a car too, and can list the reasons why I choose to bike most days: the smell of lilac bushes in the morning, the sense of freedom, the endorphins. But I can also tell you that I get frightened on my bike in a way I never am in a car. There’s no airbag protecting me. When you nudge too close, my heart races. And when you lean out of your window and tell me to go to hell, I don’t have a window to role up.

If I was driving, I’d likely forget your insult a few blocks later. On my bike, it will simmer for weeks.

Because we are exposed, we cyclists take things personally.

Perhaps this why the cycling community rallied around Darcy Allan Sheppard. He captures our anger at drivers who disrespect us and threaten our lives daily. One night last August, he was killed by a car. The driver, former attorney general Michael Bryant, was well known. That opened up the public forum to vent our grievances.

But he’s the wrong symbol for cyclists in the city.

Read the rest here.

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