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Jarvis bike lane latest in City Hall’s symbolic struggles

Down at City Hall, they chase gravy trains and fight a war on (or for) the car—and show respect for certain areas of the city by promising their residents underground transit. At some point, it seems that politics in Toronto passed into the realm of almost pure symbolism. This is especially true in the case of the Jarvis Street bike lanes.

At a time when the world’s other major cities—New York, Chicago, Copenhagen, London—are rapidly installing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and discouraging car travel, Rob Ford’s Toronto is instead removing a major bike route before the painted lines on the road have even had a chance to dry.

Read the full post: “The Jarvis bike lane is just the latest in City Hall’s symbolic struggles” on The GridTO .

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Pharmacy Bikelane being Erased

BlogTO has a post today about the removal of the Pharmacy Ave. bikelane.  The Birchmount bikelane is also due to be removed thanks to the backwards-looking decision of Rob Ford’s regime at City Council.

Although the vote to kill the Jarvis bike lanes got most of the attention earlier this year, they weren’t the only ones to get the axe. The Urban Repair Squad reminded us yesterday of the alteration of the bike lane at Dupont and Lansdowne, and today we share the scene at Pharmacy Avenue, where the City has commenced work on the complete removal of its cycling infrastructure.

Read the full post on BlogTO

[photo by Christian Bobak, via BlogTO]

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Councillor Josh Matlow to ask for higher bikelane parking fines

City Council is meeting this coming Wednesday (Sept. 21st) and Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Pauls) has a proposal on the agenda by substantially increasing the fine (to $500) for parking on city arterials or in bikelanes during rush hour periods.

I don’t see parking enforcement officers ticketing bikelane parkers much (but do, on occasion), but perhaps with higher fines they’ll pay more attention to the issue… and you can be sure that once a driver gets a $500 ticket for parking in a bikelane, they’ll think twice about doing it again.

From JoshMatlow.ca:

NOTICE OF MOTION: Relieving Congestion by Increasing Fines and Enforcement for Motorists and Delivery Vehicles that Obstruct Traffic During Rush Hour Periods

Moved by:  Councillor Matlow

Seconded by:  Councillor Layton

 

SUMMARY:

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto’s motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. This congestion costs the region’s economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents. The long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and cycling.

In the meantime, council can take small, but important, measures to alleviate traffic congestion. One such measure is to provide sufficient deterrents to motorists and delivery drivers that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour. Far too often, entire lanes of major roads are blocked due to an individual pulling over to grab a coffee in the morning or a delivery vehicle choosing the afternoon rush period to drop off their goods. Drivers along arterials often use bicycle lanes as a parking lane, forcing cyclists to dangerously merge into traffic. During rush hour this creates very unsafe conditions for cyclists. While currently not permitted, it is clear that current fines and levels of enforcement are not sufficient to deter such activities.

This motion seeks to improve traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods by increasing the fines and level of enforcement for individuals that obstruct other motorists, public transit users and cyclists.

 
RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. City Council requests the City Manager to report to Public Works Committee with an implementation plan to increase fines to $500 for any motorist, including delivery vehicles, from stopping, standing, parking or otherwise obstructing traffic on arterial roads and in bicycle lanes>during City designated rush hour periods

 

2. City Council request the City Manager to work with the Toronto Police Service to increase enforcement of existing by-laws prohibiting any motorist, including delivery vehicles, from stopping, standing, parking or otherwise obstructing traffic, including bicycle lanes, on arterial roads during City designated rush hour periods.

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Jack Layton, 1950-2011

My most vivid memory from my many years of riding in the Ride for Heart is riding along and having a tandem bike come up along beside me.  I thought nothing of it other than “cool! a tandem!” until I looked at the people riding it and saw Jack  and Olivia.

I nearly fell off my bike.

Thanks for your inspiration Jack.  I feel lucky to have lived in your riding of Toronto-Danforth for 6 years and actually getting to vote for you federally.

 

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The Future of the Jarvis Bikelanes

The future of the Jarvis bikelanes is being decided today (or maybe tomorrow) by City Council.

If you can’t make it to City Hall in person today (or tomorrow),  you can watch the activities of Council via this live feed from Rogers.

Need to know more info about Jarvis?

 

 

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