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NEWS: Cycle Toronto’s Ward 15 Group Launches

Great to see another Ward group launching.  Follow Ward 15 on Facebook, or on Twitter at @ward15bikes

Our Ward 15 Bikes group is born! Their mission? To improve the streets of the Eglinton Lawrence area, welcoming more people to the streets by bicycle! Thanks to everyone that attended.

via Cycle Toronto – Facebook Photos.

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14 Reasons Why Every Bike Lane Needs To Be A Protected Bike Lane

What’s a physically protected bike lane?  It’s one that trucks and buses and giant SUVs and obnoxious sports cars driven by men with self-image problems can’t drive or park in.

They look like this, with some variations:

lane

rthDYjtNbssRZLC-556x313-noPad

And here are reasons why EVERY bikelane in Toronto needs to be a protected bikelane.  SPOILER alert: bikelanes are big giant #FAILS and giant wastes of money if cars can park in them.

 

1. This TTC Bus on Simcoe

ttcbus-simcoe

Photo by Harris Silver

 

2. This postal van and buses in the Bay Street bikelane (which you can’t even SEE!)

baytrucks

Photo by Marcel Smazal

 

3. These cars working together on Simcoe

simcoe-cooperation

Photo by Leah Hollinsworth

 

4. This Brinks truck in the brand new short Bay bikelane

brinks-bay

Photo by Scun Yun

 

5. This colourblind driver in the Sherbourne bikelane

sherbourne-colour

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

6. This Tim Hortons Food Truck on Simcoe

timhortons-bikelane

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

7. This Beer Store truck that blocks the Gerrard lane EVERY Tuesday morning

beerstore-gerrard

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

8. This car congo line on Simcoe

simcoe-conga

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

9. This Coke truck on College

coke-college

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

10. These UPS trucks on College

ups-college

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

11. This genius on Shaw.  

shaw-lazy

If only there was legal parking somewhere nearby…

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

12. These cops in a car getting coffee

police-college

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

13. These dudes on Sherbourne eating Burritos

Sherbourne-burritos

Sherbourne (at least the south portion of it) is NOT a separated bikelane. Putting a gutter and a green line doesn’t make it separated.  Stop calling it one.

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

 

And of course…

14. This Canada Post driver, who parked on St. George and then told person who documented it to “go f–k yourself

canadapost

Photo from My Bikelane Toronto

See post and video here.

 

Driver behaviour WILL NOT CHANGE.   They’ll park wherever they can fit their car or truck.  It’s better just to prevent them from getting in the bikelane in the first place.

Let’s try and make an actual EFFORT at making Toronto bike-friendly, okay?

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HOW TO: How to run a Ward Group – A glimpse at Ward 18

4a04462165d7e16ec9253f73dc3327cfJust a quick shout-out to Ward 18 in the city’s west end.  They’ve released the minutes from their latest meeting and there are some things in there other groups (or wannabe groups) can learn.

FUN! Ward 18 has really stood out for me during the past year as I try to keep abreast of bike stuff in Toronto (and in turn pass it along to you here on BikingToronto) as they run unique and fun sounding events. A Garden Ride, a Polka Ride, a Portugese Custard Tart Ride.  Fun is how you get people involved and engaged.  Not politics, not advocacy.  Fun.  Politics and advocacy are a by-product of engaged and committed people… brought together by fun.

ENGAGEMENT: Ward 18 pays attention to infrastrucure – where bikelanes are needed, and how to improve access to existing trails, but they realize that infrastructure is only 1 of many agenda items.  I’ve read too many Ward group minutes that talk only about bikelanes and nothing about engaging the ward community.  With enough engagement, the infrastructure is easier to get.

PARTNERSHIPS:  Ward 18′s first item under planning events for 2014-15? “Keep W18 events free and accessible to all.”  This is followed by an idea to engage with cyclists in nearby apartment buildings by working with supers to get access to party rooms and lobbies, perhaps working with Bike Pirates to offer free tune-ups. Ward 18 understands that partnerships often make things easier.

Anyhow, these are my quick impressions from their latest minutes.  Go download the PDF for yourself.

Learn More:

 

via: Ward 18 July meeting notes posted – next meeting is Monday, August 11 | Cycle Toronto.

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TOURISM: Sightseeing by pedal power: Toronto (doesn’t) tout cycle tourism options

This article is basically an ad for Toronto Bicycle Tours… but more interesting is that it is NOT about Toronto touting cycle tourism options but that we are failing… that cycle tourism is big business and Toronto is letting it slip away by ignoring cycling infrastructure.  Make EVERY street bike-friendly.  Not just one here and there.

Inside a hotel in the grey, concrete-dominated downtown core, Stephanie Kampmann thought Toronto seemed dark, congested and uninviting.

The first-time visitor from Germany had resigned herself to the idea that Vancouver, the next leg of her cross-Canada tour, would make up for the disappointment. Seeing the city as a cyclist, she says, gave her a new perspective.

On a bright July morning, Kampmann, her husband Axel and their two teenaged children took a pass on the sightseeing bus and zipped around the city as many locals do – by pedal power. Led by a guide from Toronto Bicycle Tours, Kampmann and her family covered significant territory in the span of a few hours, crossing well-known tourist destinations such as the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre and the Eaton Centre off their list.

Read More: Sightseeing by pedal power: Toronto touts cycle tourism options | Metro.

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OH YEAH: Why Riding Your Bike Makes You A Better Person

Overall a good read. Too much emphasis on cycling for recreation though. All of these things apply to even cyclists like me who mainly just commute to work and go on an occasional longer ride for the fun of it.

From the 2,500-mile Pacific Crest Bicycle Trail to the colorful RAGBRAI across Iowa — complete with party buses and the occasional costume — it’s safe to say that long-distance cyclists lead extreme lifestyles. But as it turns out, logging miles upon miles on two wheels is also a fast track to health. Whether you pedal regularly or haven’t been behind the handlebars since your ride had training wheels, we could all learn a thing or two from cyclists.

Here’s what cyclists can teach the rest of us about leading a happier, healthier life.

Full Article: Why Riding Your Bike Makes You A Better Person (According To Science).

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