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The News Cycle for Monday, May 7, 2012

Cycle Toronto says city data shows Jarvis safer for everyone with a bike lane [OpenFile]

Cycle Toronto says city data shows Jarvis safer for everyone with a bike lane

While the Toronto Cyclist’s Union Cycle Toronto’s effort to force the city to conduct a time-consuming environmental assessment before removing the Jarvis bike lanes continues, it’s published city collision data showing changes from the period before the bike lane was put in, and the one-year numbers since the bike lane went in. The results, as Cycle Toronto puts it, are pretty definitive.

 

Toronto News: Jarvis safer since bike lanes, report shows [The Star]

Jarvis safer since bike lanes, report shows

Cycling advocates say a city report showing fewer collisions on Jarvis St. since the bike lanes were installed is fresh ammunition in the battle to persuade Toronto to keep cycling space on that road.

But the chair of the public works and infrastructure committee said he hasn’t changed his mind about scrubbing the Jarvis lanes as soon as a new cycle track is built this year on Sherbourne St., physically separating bikes from cars on a parallel route.

Cycle Toronto, Board Election Results and Annual General Meeting Recap [Toronto Cyclists Union / Cycle Toronto]

After 5 weeks of discussion and engagement among members and non-members, the bike union voted on the name change to Cycle Toronto.  The organization required a two-thirds majority to approve the change.  The motion passed with 71% for the new name and 29% against.  Incoming Board President Nick Cluley commented that with the new name “We will be able to reach out to more Torontonians and attract a wider variety of individual and business members to make us truly self-sustaining.” Look for our new branding throughout this summer!

 

Bikes of Bamboo [Torontoist]

Bikes of Bamboo

“When I first saw a bamboo bike in a magazine, it was just breathtaking,” Kraiker said. “I had gone to school for welding, because I had this goal of becoming a frame builder, and suddenly welding was completely irrelevant. I was more interested in botany.”

The Toronto Bamboo Bike Studio is a small, gated-off area in the corner of a laneway garage, with just enough space for the two metal guides Kraiker uses to shape and assemble his frames out of iron bamboo, imported from the Yucatan.

How did Bixi do in its first year in Toronto? [TorontoLife]

How did Bixi do in its first year in Toronto?

Maybe it was the unnaturally mild winter or the rising ranks of the city’s pinko cyclists, but stats show 23,000 trips were taken in winter, accounting for about 22% of the first year of usage. Altogether, BIXI met its goal of attracting 5,000 members and Torontonians took more than 556,000 trips around the downtown core. 

 

 

OpenRoad: How construction projects can occupy bike lanes—legally [OpenFile]

OPENROAD: HOW CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS CAN OCCUPY BIKE LANES—LEGALLY

For about a month last year, Toronto cyclist Lizz Bryce avoided the stretch of St. George Street near the Rotman School of Management at all costs. The building was under construction and the project spilled out onto the sidewalks and beyond, often blocking the street’s heavily-used northbound bike lane.

 

 

The Grid guide to cycling etiquette [The Grid TO]

How should people behave in cities? The Grid’s Urban Etiquette video series gives you a few tips on how to be a polite city dweller.

This week, we ask Andrea Garcia, the Advocacy Director of the Toronto Cyclists Union, to advise us on why cyclists shouldn’t run red lights, how often to ring your bell, and whether bike flirting is an acceptable practice.

Bixi Toronto bike rental service turns 1 [CityNews]

Bixi Toronto bike rental service turns 1

Bixi Toronto is celebrating its first anniversary with events at several bike rental stations around the city.

The celebrations for the popular bike rental service featured a stunt rider, gifts and giveaways for Torontonians at five bike stations.

Spokesman Michel Philibert said the program has been a success, attracting 5,176 members who took more than 550,000 trips in the first year.

Bike Collision Rates are Down on Jarvis Street [Toronto Cyclists Union / Cycle Toronto]

This week the Toronto Cyclists Union obtained a collision review of Jarvis Street.  The data, compiled by City Staff in the Transportation Services department, proves that Jarvis Street is now safer for all road users. The motor vehicle-bicycle collision rate has decreased by 29%, while the number of collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles decreased by 89%. In fact, since the bike lanes were installed, the total number of all reported collisions per year along Jarvis Street has decreased by 23% – this includes drivers, pedestrians and cyclists! 

 

Toronto Cyclist Union changes name to “Cycle Toronto” [OpenFile]

 We’ve briefly mentioned this story before, but the decision was finally made last night: the Toronto Cyclist Union had to decide whether to keep the word “union” in its name, or go with a more generic term. The results were pretty overwhelming.

 

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.

Other ways to get the News Cycle:

 

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The News Cycle for Thursday, May 3, 2012

OpenRoad: ‘War’ between cyclists and motorists overstated, but casualties are real [OpenFile]

OPENROAD: 'WAR' BETWEEN CYCLISTS AND MOTORISTS OVERSTATED, BUT CASUALTIES ARE REAL
When looking at 2007 to 2010 cycling accident data from six large Canadian cities, some trends quickly emerge. There were more bike accidents mid-week than between Friday and Monday, and more during the afternoon rush hour than in the morning—with the hour between 5 and 6 p.m. the most dangerous time slot. June through September saw the highest collision numbers overall, with July ever so slightly ahead of second-place June.

 

Toronto Cyclists Union Releases New Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles & Goals [Toronto Cyclists Union]

Thanks to the work of more than 20 core Strategic Planning Design Team members and the input of 80 participants at our January 2012 Strategic Planning Summit, we’re pleased to release our organization’s new Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles and Goals, approved by the bike union’s Board of Directors in April 2012. 

 

Cycling Advocates Consider a Rebrand [Torontoist]

Cycling Advocates Consider a Rebrand

This week, members of the Toronto Cyclists Union will consider a proposal from their board of directors to change the organization’s name to Cycle Toronto. The rebrand, which members of the union will put to a vote at the TCU’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, is part of an ambitious strategic plan to build membership and advocacy programs beyond the city’s downtown core.

 

Ride the Ravines [Toronto Cyclists Union]

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Evergreen Brick Works on their inaugural Ride the Ravines fundraising ride happening Sunday June 17! Ride the Ravines offers a fun challenge for recreational riders and a chance for all cyclists to experience Toronto’s ravines like never before. 

 

Spotted: Ghost Bike Posts | cityscape [Torontoist]

Spotted: Ghost Bike Posts

Back in November, we learned that Astral Media, which has a contract with the City of Toronto to provide street furniture (bus shelters, trash bins, et cetera) had been cutting down bike posts to make room for their new (and reviled-by-many, including usinformation pillars—not just removing them but sawing them off, rendering the posts unusable and the bikes that were still locked to them an easy target for theft. 

 

The Unconventional Urban Citizen Bicyclist  [The Urban Country]

The Unconventional Urban Citizen Bicyclist
There is something about bicycling in Amsterdam. Visitors who would never consider bicycling around their home cities often feel compelled to explore Amsterdam by bike simply because they see other people just like themselves pedalling around the city, at ease, in regular clothes.

 
 
 

dandy at Dragon’s Den with Maya Cycle [Dandyhorse]

dandy at Dragon’s Den with Maya Cycle

Marta Staniszewski, director of operations at Stamettech, invited me to ride a bike pulling one of her Maya Cycle single-wheel trailers on Dragon’s Den.

I’m a huge fan of the show and was really excited to “model” the Maya Cycle trailer for her. The trailer also converts into a wheelbarrow. I rode a BionX bike (but didn’t get to use the e-assist) and Troy Mitchell, proprietor of The Mobile Bike Shop Ltd. rode the other bike-and-trailer set on set. 

May 2012 Cupcake Ride Details[Cupcake Ride Blog]

May 2012 Cupcake Ride Details

Announcing the details for the 2nd Cupcake Ride of the third season! Hope you can make it out!

Date: Saturday, May 26th
Time: 1pm

Start: Swirls Cupcakes
4158 Dundas St. West

Action Alert: Connect Chaplin Station to the Beltline Trail! [Toronto Cyclists Union]

 The preliminary design for Chaplin Station presented by Metrolinx last Wednesday does not include any direct connections with the Beltline trail.  The primary (accessible) entrance is on the north-east corner of Chaplin and Eglinton.  A secondary entrance is placed on the south-west corner of Chaplin and Eglinton, forcing LRT users to ascend a lengthy set of stairs to reach the street level, exit the station, and then descend another steep set of stairs to to reach the Beltline at path level.

 

 

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.

Other ways to get the News Cycle:

 

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The News Cycle for Friday, Apr. 27, 2012

 How to get urban dwellers cycling: Make it normal [Globe & Mail]

How to get urban dwellers cycling: Make it normal

I think the main thing is treating cycling as nothing special. If you have Option A and Option B, and Option A takes you 15 minutes, it’s comfortable, Option B takes you 25 minutes, it feels dangerous, most people will choose Option A. … The bottom line is just making it the most attractive choice.

 

Nurse gets new bike after previous one stolen outside hospital [Toronto Sun]

After finishing a 12-hour shift at the hospital on Apr. 16, the nurse came out and found her $1,000 road bike was missing. The only thing left behind was a U-Lock and cut cable lock.

But a day after her story appeared in the Toronto Sun, a man whose heart went out to the 33-year-old nurse, dropped off his Raleigh hybrid sport bike at the hospital.

Complete Streets Forum 2012 Highlights [TCAT]

What a great day! A record breaking number of delegates participated in TCAT’s fifth annual Complete Streets Forum on Monday April 23, 2012 at the Evergreen Brick Works. There were 230 delegates gathered in Toronto and another 20 joined in through webcasting for a total of 250 participants!

Awarding Toronto Silver Bicycle Friendly Community Award Irresponsible in Light of Statistics [Toronto Cyclists Union]

Yesterday, the City of Toronto received a Bicycle Friendly Community award, which recognizes long-term multi-faceted commitment to cycling. The Silver Award that is being presented to the City is proof that cycling is a major issue in Toronto and one that requires much more attention if we are to attain the Gold or Platinum standards shared by North America’s best cycling cities. 

Toronto’s biking problem: labels? Or that the argument isn’t over yet? [OpenFile]

Toronto's biking problem: labels? Or that the argument isn't over yet?

“I like to say we have no cyclists in Copenhagen,” Mr. Rohl, manager of the City of Copenhagen’s bicycle program, told about 200 people at the Ontario Bike Summit at the Hyatt Regency on King Street West on Tuesday. “We have citizens who use bikes to get from A to B.”

 

 

Danish cyclist showing Toronto how to cope with sharing the road [National Post]

Danish cyclist showing Toronto how to cope with sharing the roadDenmark’s history of cycling, combined with Copenhagen’s dense and flat landscape, has contributed to its popularity. About 37% of trips to school and work are on a bike, compared with 31% in the car, 28% on transit and 4% on foot. “First of all it’s infrastructure, you can’t ask people to do something where they feel like they put their lives in danger.”

 

Motorist Convenience Trumps Safety [The Urban Country]

Motorist Convenience Trumps SafetyA poll on the left-leaning Toronto Star website shows that 68% of readers would not be willing to reduce speed limits to 30 km/h on residential streets and 40km/h on other city streets.

An article in the right-leaning Toronto Sun newspaper warned that Toronto would become “Canada’s worst speed trap” if speed limits in this city were reduced (because drivers would of course disobey the new speed limit just as they do the current speed limits).

TCAT releases new report: Complete Streets Gap Analysis [TCAT]

 On April 23, 2012 at the Complete Streets Forum, TCAT released a new report titled Complete Streets Gap Analysis: Opportunities and Barriers in Ontario. Produced, with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the report provides an analysis of the potential for Complete Streets in 17 of Ontario’s largest municipalities.

Big boost planned for city bike trails [Toronto Sun]

Big boost planned for city bike trails

Projects proposed this year include extending the Finch Hydro Corridor Trail east of Yonge St. to connect with the Don Trail, extending the Waterfront Trail further west in Etobicoke and further east into Pickering, and commencing an Environmental Assessment for the expansion of the East Don Trail.

The public works chairman said the bikeway trails network would have investments of around $6 million a year for the next decade.

 

 

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.  

Other ways to get the News Cycle:

 

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The News Cycle for Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

Rush hour parking hogs to face $150 fine [The Star]

Motorists should be dinged $150 for parking on busy streets in rush hour, or blocking a bicycle lane any time, city council decided. The city must now seek court approval before it can increase the fine from the current $60 for parking during rush hour — 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Commuter cyclists can help keep recreational Trail Plan on track [Dandyhorse Magazine]

Included as part the Mayor’s Bike Plan , the Trails Plan  aims to improve existing multi-use trails across the city as well as add 100 km of new off-road trails. About 30 km of new off-road multi-use trails are close to completion. These trails were approved in 2009, prior to the current mayor’s election, and are funded as part of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program in Ontario (RInC). These trails include the Finch Hydro Corridor and CN Leaside trails (for a full list of RInC projects in Toronto see here ).

Betty & Dash: New bike share at Vic College [Dandyhorse Magazine]

Betty & Dash” sounds more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a bike club, but maybe that’s appropriate. Founders Stephanie Fox and Esther MacKenzie envisioned a non-intimidating group that wouldn’t take itself too seriously, and naming it after their own bikes was just the start.  The club now lends bikes and tools to students, free of charge. 

Why cycling can make you a happier person [Globe & Mail]

I wasn’t riding a bike just to ride a bike. I was doing it to enter the Church of the Wheel, where supplicants are a happy lot, if you believe the catechists.  The happiest cities all have a high number of cyclists, John Helliwell, a renowned happiness expert and economist at University of British Columbia, explained to me.

Toronto falling behind pack in averting bicycle collisions, data reveals [Globe & Mail]

While traffic fatalities overall have declined, according to Toronto Police, data acquired by The Globe and Mail show cycling collisions have remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade. The number of reported collisions in 2010 was nearly identical in 2000. Since 1986, only one year has passed without a bicyclist fatality.

[Map from the City of Toronto, via Dandyhorse Magazine]

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

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get The News Cycle in your feed reader, or subscribe to our mailing list to get BikingToronto posts in your email (maximum 1 email per day).

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The News Cycle for Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012

Toronto News:

2011 Hero: Bixi Toronto [Torontoist]

When Bixi Toronto launched in May, we were surprised at how quickly we fell for the sturdy, practical rides that popped up at solar-powered stations across the downtown core—turns out that the bike-share system appeals to even habitual TTC users and bike owners. Stormy when you leave home? Take the TTC or a taxi, and when the sun’s shining later, you can hop on Bixi and pedal home. Planning to paint the town red? Bixi out, dock it and forget it; you won’t have to return for your wheels the next day. 

Bikers brave bitter cold, snow for year-round freedom [CTV News]

Urban cycling advocate Yvonne Bambrick, also a year-round biker, said that cyclists should go with their comfort level.

“For folks afraid of cycling for the stated reason that it’s icy and snowy you can rest assure that those conditions are not everyday,” she said. “It is actually quite feasible to ride comfortably if you dress appropriately and keep some things in mind.”

Support Councillor Matlow’s Motion to Fine Illegally Parked Cars! [Toronto Cyclists Union]

The text of the motion has been revised somewhat from the original - read the General Manager’s report here.  The fine has dropped from $500 to $150, but the rush hour period is now from 6-10AM and 3-7PM on weekdays.  Even better, illegally parked cars in bike lanes are always subject to the $150 ticket with no time restrictions.

Call for Submissions: 365 Days of Cycling Photo Exhibit [Toronto Cyclists Union]

The Toronto Cyclists Union invites amateur and professional photographers to submit their works to 365 Days of Cycling: An Evening of Art and Cycling.  The show is intended to highlight cycling in Toronto throughout the 4 seasons. 

2011 Year End Wrap Up [The Urban Country]

As we approach another new year, I have been reflecting on the events of 2011 and how they have shaped both myself and this website. In many ways, 2011 has been a coming of age for The Urban Country. We have reached record levels of readership and have been told by many people that we are one of their favourite bike blogs.

 

Winter Biking:

How to choose a winter bike [Dandyhorse Magazine]

While just about any bike can be pressed into service [for winter riding], I generally recommend something other than a strict sport road bike. For a winter specific set up, I really like fixed gear and internally geared bikes. The reduction in cables and external shifting components simplifies maintenance and helps keep snow and slush buildup to a minimum.

Winter biking basics [Green Living Online]

 Winter cycling is no longer the domain of daring bicycle couriers or mountain biking aficionados. With rising gas prices, environmental footprint concerns, and improved infrastructure for city riding, commuting by bicycle year-round is a growing trend. 

 

Other:

Sleek Bike Charges Its Own Headlights And Your iPhone [Fast Company Design]

The math on your bike doesn’t seem to add up. The sweat from all those thigh-burning, hill-climbing miles evaporates into thin air, as you change batteries in your bike light and drag your GPS inside to charge it. Now a German bike company says it can transfer all those pedal revolutions into energy you can actually use.

10 bicycling myths debunked [Grist]

When it comes to bicycling, the pastime that can solve all of America’s most pressing problems, we’re like heat-seeking missiles in search of myths and misinformation. Our goal is simple: to get you to trade in your four-wheeled gas guzzler for a lean, clean, calorie-burning machine. Here are the top 10 myths that we debunked this year, all linked up and annotated for your enjoyment. 

Bikestravaganza: Grist’s top bike stories of 2011 [Grist]

I spent the day yesterday digging through 18 — count ‘em, 18 — pages of search results in a quest to find Grist’s Overarching Narrative of the Bike in 2011. I laughed. I cried. I almost blew tea on my laptop. Then I biked home on streets that were blissfully bereft of automobiles. Without further ado, I give you the good, the bad, and the pee-your-pants funny from the past year in bicycling.

 

 

[top illustration from the Torontoist]

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

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get The News Cycle in your feed reader, or subscribe to our mailing list to get BikingToronto posts in your email (maximum 1 email per day).

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