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Have Your Say in the City’s 2007 Operating Budget Process

From the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport (TCAT):


The City of Toronto’s 2007 Operating budget process will soon get underway. This is another opportunity to ensure that the budget related items from the TCAT Plan for Active Transportation will be approved by City Council (you can see the plan at www.TorontoCAT.ca. The TCAT candidate survey found strong support for the TCAT Plan for Active Transportation among all the members of the Budget Committee and a majority of the Executive Committee. However with some of the members the support was qualified when it came to Operating budget items to hire staff. Now is the time to convince the Councillors that it is important to support the TCAT budget recommendations and ensure they are incorporated into the final 2007 municipal budget.

TCAT supporters can get involved in the budget process by making in person or written deputations to the Budget Committee and by contacting the members of the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee by phone, letter and e-mail letting them know how important it is that they keep their promises to support Active Transportation.

We have prepared a draft letter to send to Councillors on the Budget Committee encouraging them to support the TCAT Platform and the related budget items. You can modify the letter or use it as is, but please take a moment to let Councillors know Active Transportation is important! The letter can be found at the following link along with the e-mail addresses of the Councillors on the Budget Committee. http://www.torontocat.ca/OperatingBudgetLetter.html

The 2007 budget process is very different from past years. One key difference is that the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee will be the only committees having deliberations on the budget – that means these Councillors have a significant influence and need to be reminded that Active Transportation is important. The other key difference is that there will be just one opportunity for the organizations and the general public to make deputations to advocate for programs and services in the Operating budget. The day for deputations will be on March 29th, 2007 starting at 9:30 am. To sign up to make a deputations in person call 416-392-6662 to get on the list. You can also sent written deputations via e-mail to mmcdonna@toronto.ca or by fax to (416) 392-1879. Of course, you can send an e-mail to your Councillor, the Mayor, the Executive and Budget Committees any time before March 29th.

For more information on how to get involved in the 2007 Capital Budget process and for contact information for the Mayor and Councillors go to the following web page. http://www.torontocat.ca/2007OperatingBudget.html

If you or your organization are planning to make a deputation or contact Councillors please let TCAT know with a quick email to info@torontocat.ca – if we know who is deputing we can coordinate efforts!

Thanks for your continued support and help in making Toronto a more cycling and pedestrian friendly City.

Please forward this letter to your members and any others you think would be interested.

TCAT Steering Committee


Politicians pay attention to feedback from their constituents. If people take the time to phone or email them about something, it shows them that people care enough about the issue.

Useful links:
TCAT 2007 Operating Budget Information
TCAT draft letter to your Councillor
The Mayor’s email
The emails of the Budget Committee and the Committee Clerk

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Make BikeFriday Your Own!

BikeFriday is in 2 days! I bet you’re excited. :)

Here’s a couple tips to make BikeFriday more meaningful to you:

1. Start a BikePool. Get people going the same way as you to ride as a group. It’s fun and cars will drive more carefully around you. I’ll publicize your route and time on the BikeFriday site to help your BikePool get exposure.

2. Do you own BikeFriday thing – I work at a smallish company (around 250 people), with 2-12 bike-commuters (2 in the winter, 12 in the summer) – so to encourage my co-workers to bike in to work this Friday, I emailed them all to let them know of what was going on, plus offered my own BikeFriday thing to them:



I’m doing a [workname] BikeFriday thing too – for the cyclists here. If you ride your bike to work on Friday, I’ll buy you a coffee/tea/juice of your choice from Tim Hortons!!

The weather is beautiful now. While people asked me if I was crazy for biking to work in the winter time, now it’s time to ask if you’re crazy because you’re NOT biking to work. :)



Use your own creativity and ideas to help the people you know to adopt cycling as an everyday mode of transportation. Let me know about it, and I’ll post about it on an “Idea” section of the site – helping others think of ideas themselves!

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Biking the Dundas Streetcar Reconstruction – Clarification

Here’s some clarification from the City of Toronto about their advice for cyclists during the Dundas Streetcar Track Reconstruction.

Originally, it sounded like the City was asking that cyclists walk their bike through construction zones, but thanks to the efforts of Pauline Craig, the BUG co-ordinator at the City (who emailed the reconstruction people about it), things have been clarified:



The Dundas streetcar tracks are being reconstructed from Broadview Avenue in the east to Howard Park in the west, including the DVP and Sorauren Bridges. During track work, only a single curb lane in one direction will be maintained. East of Victoria St., one east-bound lane will remain open, while west of Victoria St., one west-bound lane will remain open. Since these lanes will be of a reduced width, “Narrow Lanes” signs will be erected, to advise cyclists and motorists of the need to travel in ‘single file.’
On the Sorauren bridge, one lane in each direction will be open until approximately September, when only the west-bound curb lane lane will be available. “Cyclists and motorists use caution” signs will be used wherever a designated bike lane is occupied due to construction activity.

The DVP bridge will be closed to traffic in both directions for about three months, probably starting in May. Only one sidewalk on one side will be kept open, for pedestrian traffic. Cyclists using the bridge will be advised to walk on the sidewalk. As an alternate route, west-bound cyclists may divert to Gerrard St. just west of Broadview via Munro, while east-bound cyclists can reach Dundas from Gerrard via Hamilton. (These one-way streets are just west of Broadview.)


So, basically – in most places there will still be one lane open, which cyclists can ride in. In areas where both lanes are taken up with reconstruction work and cyclists have to be diverted to the sidewalk… THIS is where the City recommends we dismount and walk.

It makes complete sense. Few things are more annoying than cyclists on sidewalks.

Questions about the Dundas Reconstruction can be directed to dundastracks@toronto.ca or 416-392-6900.

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Cyclists Suffer from Environmental Angst

Here’s a nice Star article I’ve had bookmarked for awhile called “Green Jitters grow on a blue planet“, about the feeling of being overwhelmed by the environmental disaster that is creeping up on us all because of climate change:


“Sometimes I do cry and I don’t think I’m the only one,” said Jenny Greenop, 23, an environmental studies and biology major at the University of Toronto, when asked about her views on the state of the planet. “I always joke that as soon as we enter into this program we should be given a good dose of Prozac because a lot of the conclusions are kind of depressing and suggest solutions are beyond our control.”

Jenny (the wrencher with the great cyclist smile in the photo to the right) is one of the fantastic people who run the UofT Bikechain, the “student run bicycle promotion and repair facility on the Uof T campus. Built on a philosophy that encourages the active involvement of our community to enact positive change, the facility offers a hands-on educational experience to all those who are interested in bicycle repair and maintenance.”

I myself have felt at times that it would be nice to be one of those people who can just ignore the looming climate change catastrophe and go on living their lives like the biggest problem in the world was the price of gas in suburbia, but I can’t do that. If I did that I’d look back in 20 years and have regrets. While the scale of the problem and the general public indifference intimidates me at times… I prefer to look at what I can perhaps change and focus on that.

Jenny and the BikeChain are taking part in BikeFriday this Friday too! Drop by on your bike during regular Bikechain hours (12-5 PM) and get FREE coffee and a FREE membership! This is good for EVERYONE, not just UofT students. They are opening membership up to the general public, and it’s regularly priced at $20-$60, so you can get a SUPER deal this Friday!

The BikeChain
33 St George (at College, across from the UofT bookstore) MAP
International Student Centre (basement)

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The March Issue of Cyclometer Is Out!

Just in case you aren’t on the Cyclometer (the official cycling newsletter of the City of Toronto) mailing list, the March issue is out, with info to all of these great news items:

( I apologize that it took me a bit to post about this – some of the dates mentioned below have passed … I’ll try and do better next time )


1) Toronto Cycling Committee
2) Come Learn About the new Railpath Park! Monday March 19, 2007
3) Bike Week Event Registration Deadline 5pm, Friday March 23, 2007
4) What?! Another Bike Locker Location?
5) The Lines are Open
6) Toronto-Niagara Bike Train Survey
7) NEW! Online Forms on City’s Cycling Website!
8) Pass it on
9) Three Million for Traffic Calming Measures and Bicycle Lanes
10) Bike Friendly Design Takes the Cake
11) Government of Ontario Hansard, December 14, 2006 Re: Wearing of helmets


Be sure and sign up, it’s a great way to keep updated on what’s going on.

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