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The News Cycle for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

 

Advertising good, bikes bad [Dodgeville]

Enough has been written about these stupid info pillars elsewhere that I won’t bore you with another diatribe against their design or the questionable process that resulted in the city being saddled with them in the first place. This one is in front of Carrot Common on Danforth and in addition to looking ugly, replaced a perfectly good post and ring bike rack, as seen by Google Street View.

 

Toronto-Montreal Bixi comparison [Globe & Mail]

Excellent Infographic from the Globe and Mail comparing the first year of Montreal’s Bixi bikesharing program with the first 6 months of Toronto’s Bixi.  Toronto’s numbers are obviously lower due to the shortened time period, but are EXCELLENT considering we have one-fifth of Montreal’s Bixi bikes (1000 and 5000 bikes, respectively).

 

Trashy Bike Lane [The Urban Country]

To see how a bike lane might work on this street we gathered garbage and sticks and created a homemade bike lane. The painted bicycle symbols (or “sharrows”) were painted by an anonymous group/person shortly after Jenna’s death.  We observed how cars and trucks drove with our “trash” bike lane present. Drivers seemed to stay clear of our faux bike lane when they drove through the intersection, including a large tractor-trailer whose rear wheels stayed clear of our bike lane.

 

Create annotated bike rides with Spotcycle mobile app [BlogTO]

The most recent update to the app, however, ups the ante significantly. Now instead of merely using it to track down BIXI bikes, you can plot out annotated bike rides with your favourite cultural sites, restaurants and assorted retail. Where Spotcycle was formerly only useful to BIXI members, this new feature set opens up the app to anyone who rides a bike. Using the the GPS capabilities of one’s phone — it’s available on all three of the major platforms — the app will create a live map as you ride, which you can categorize and annotate when you’re done.

 

 

[photo from Dodgeville]

About the News Cycle

The News Cycle is a periodic post which brings together links to news, events and other things which may be of interest to Toronto’s cyclists.  If you have an item you would like to see in The News Cycle, please email it to me at joe[at]bikingtoronto.com

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Toronto’s Cycling Apps

On Friday, we let you know about the updated Toronto Bike Map, which plots out the city’s bikelanes (using info from the Open Data project) and offers directions between addresses.  Yesterday, BlogTO reviewed all 4 Toronto cycling apps, and it’s great information so we’re going to do a quick rundown of them here for you (you can find more info on the BlogTO post):

Toronto Bike Map App

Price: Free

This is the app to use if you want all of Toronto’s bikelanes (and signed bike routes, and recreational trails) plotted out on a map for you.  It also uses Google Maps Bike Directions to offer routes between addresses – which is mostly pretty accurate (it’ll recommend bikelaned streets if available), but not perfect.

Download from iTunes

 

BikeFixTO

Price: $0.99

This app does one thing and does it really well.  It maps out bikeshops for you.  It not only tells you where the closest shops are, depending on where you are, but it includes a photo of the shop and the shop hours – so you don’t have to worry about showing up and the shop being closed.

Download from iTunes

 

Ride the City App

Price: $2.99

This seems to be the most accurate directions app – as user information seems to be incorporated into the directions function.  This app also maps out bikeshops.  It does not map out bikelanes though, which, to me is a big drawback for an app called “Ride The City”.

Download from iTunes

 

Bixou Lite

Price: Free

This is the Bixi app – it only has Montreal Bixi info right now, but should be updated shortly after May 3rd, when Bixi Toronto launches.  This app will show us where the closest Bixi Toronto bike docking stations are, and if there are either a) available bikes (if we are looking at picking one up) or b) available spots (if we are looking at dropping one off)

Download from iTunes

 

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