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Yonge and Gerrard trees protected from bikes now

Absolutely nothing about installing more actual bikeposts in the area so the people wouldn’t HAVE to lock to trees.  It’s treating the symptom, not the cause.

On Nov. 21 we reported that recently planted street trees on the west side of Yonge, north of Gerrard St., had been co-opted by cyclists to lock up their bikes due to a shortage of locking posts in the area.

The bikes and locks were rubbing a ring of bark off the spindly trunks of the young trees, leaving them even more vulnerable to the ravages of road salt and extreme weather.

We checked back and found that the trees are now wrapped by material that is too wide for a bike lock, which should give them a new lease on life.

via Yonge St. trees can no longer be used to lock up bikes | Toronto Star.

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Lack of Bike Parking on Yonge means bikes hurting newly planted trees

Here’s an idea – provide more bike parking – then people wouldn’t be forced to lock to trees.  Yes, there are bike posts on Yonge south of College, but they are often filled up.

The damage wasn’t as bad as the reader said, but a lot of bark on the trunks of some trees had been rubbed away, making them more susceptible to the ravages of weather and road salt, which often kills sidewalk trees.

There’s a big bicycle rack just up the street and other locking posts nearby, but many cyclists prefer to lock their bikes to the trees and conveniently overlook the damage it does.

Full article: Bikes rub newly planted trees the wrong way on Yonge St.: The Fixer | Toronto Star.

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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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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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Queen West BIA unveils new OCAD Bikeracks

Back in the spring of 2009, the Ontario College of Art and Design had a Gateway BikeStand competition, and while that contest chose a pretty distinctive winner (photo of winning design at right), the Queen West BIA thought all the designs were great and committed to working with OCAD students to create some new bikeracks for Queen Street West.

The time has come for the 14 new bikeposts to be unveiled, and they’ve released images of them (consisting of 4 designs):

Speech Bubbles bike stands (Question Mark, Quotation Marks and Exclamation Point) by OCADU fourth-year Industrial Design students Evi K. Hui and Olivier Mayrand. Photo: Lino Ragno.

Halo by OCADU fourth-year Environmental Design student Michael Pham. Photo: Lino Ragno.

Join representatives from the Queen St. West Business Improvement Area (BIA), OCAD University student designers and representatives, competition jurors and installation team members at the unveiling of 14 creative new bike stands along Queen Street West in Toronto.

Installed along Queen St. West from Simcoe Street to Bathurst Street, the new stands are the result of a unique collaboration between fourth-year design students at OCAD University and the BIA.

DATE:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TIME:

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

LOCATION:

Outside of The Hideout
482 Queen St. West
Toronto, Ontario

WHO:

Marc Glassman, Chair, Queen St. West BIA
Peter Caldwell, Vice-President, Finance & Administration, OCADU
Doreen Balabanoff, Dean, Faculty of Design, OCADU
Competition jurors, student designers, OCADU faculty members and special guests

Contacts:

Laura Schaefer, Coordinator, Queen St. West BIA
416.384.2946
laura.schaefer@queenstwestbia.ca

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD University
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)
smulholland@ocad.ca

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