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Google Maps are up for Toronto’s Cyclists

Google bike maps go live in TorontoBlogTO is breaking the news that Google Maps Bike Directions is now kinda-sorta working (it’s a “beta” launch – which is used for working out glitches) for Toronto Bike routes:

Google bike maps for Toronto launched in beta sometime earlier this afternoon, and I’ve been toying around with the route planner for the last half hour or so in an effort to evaluate its effectiveness. Unfortunately, based on this short little test, I can only give this initial version mixed reviews.

From the standpoint of route suggestions, it seems most things are in order — not only did I agree with almost all of Google’s recommendations, I was surprised by the sophistication of some of the alternatives to riding along busy streets it came up with.

To use the Bike Directions – make sure you go to http://maps.google.com (.ca does not seem to have the feature yet) and hit the “get directions” link.  You should then see little icons of a car, a subway train, a pedestrian, and a bike.

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Google to map Toronto’s Bikelanes

Big news for map lovers today!  Google Maps has announced that it will be mapping out the bikelanes of 8 Canadian Cities (including Toronto):

The online information giant announced Monday that it is introducing a Bike Directions feature to its popular Google Maps site, allowing users to highlight bike-friendly trails and roads across most major Canadian cities.

Google spokeswoman Wendy Rozeluk said the feature will be available countrywide, but more detailed route info will be available for nine major cities that shared their bike trail data with the company. The cities are Toronto, Ottawa, Gatineau, Que., Waterloo, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Kelowna, B.C. [The Star]

This is really fantastic news.  BikingToronto was the first one to map out Toronto’s Bikelanes almost 5 years ago… so we’re glad Google is finally catching up. :)  Just kidding… their information resources are tremendous… and this can only do great things for biking in Toronto.

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On The Blogs: Bike Parking at Ryerson University

Via Bikeroo in TO:

Students and faculty at Ryerson University are very lucky to have one of the most exceptional examples of bicycle parking in all of Toronto. Ryerson’s campus features parking for roughly 1,000 bikes using racks, ring and posts, and an indoor parking facility.

Read the full post on Bikeroo in TO.

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A Map of Rossi’s Separated Bikelanes

A few days ago we told you about Rocco Rossi’s Flip-Flop on bikelanes on major streets (he likes the idea now).

The Toronto Star has published a map (above) of where these physically-separate bikelanes would be.

Rossi’s proposed network includes east-west lanes on Richmond St. between Parliament and Bathurst Sts., and the existing Wellesley Ave.-Harbord St. lane separated from traffic between Parliament and Ossington Ave.

Cyclists travelling north-south would use the existing Sherbourne St. lane that would be separated from traffic between Elm Ave. and Queens Quay; or, to the west, the St. George St./Beverly St. lane extended to Queens Quay.

Rossi says building dedicated lanes in other cities has cost between $168,000 and $454,000 per kilometre.

His plan was quickly denounced as “a last-minute, half-baked idea” by Yvonne Bambrick, spokeswoman for the cyclists union.

“All he’s doing is tweaking (routes) that exist already,” and separating them from traffic, rather than proposing a true network that includes the suburbs, she said.

What do you think of Rossi’s new bikelane plan?

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2010 Toronto Cycling Map adds Bike Boxes

2010 Toronto Cycling Map CoverEach year, the City of Toronto releases a comprehensive map of cycling infrastructure and suggested routes.

The map indicates bike locker locations, stairs with bicycle groves, bicycle rental locations and clearly indicates every bike lane and multi-use path throughout Toronto.

With a stalled Bike Plan, the 2010 edition varies only slightly from its predecessor.

One noticeable change is the addition of bike boxes to the illustrations explaining cycling infrastructure for cyclists (and motorists).

Hopefully we’ll be seeing these installed this summer!

Updated October 8, 2010: Bike boxes have been installed at the intersection of Harbord/St. George/Hoskin, photos here: http://bikingtoronto.com/duncan/let-the-learning-begin-bike-boxes-at-harbord-and-st-george/

To download PDFs of the cycling map, visit the City of Toronto web site here.

2010 Toronto Cycling Map Bike Box 1

2010 Toronto Cycling Map Bike Box 2

Posted by duncan Read his blog here: Duncan’s City Ride

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