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NEWS: John Tory continues anti-bike crusade on Eglinton

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John Tory continues his plan to be THE Anti-Bike mayoral candidate.  Everyone knows Rob Ford is, but Rob Ford is old news, and John Tory will flip and flop in whatever direction will get him votes… and he’s after “Ford Nation” votes.  Plus Nick Kouvalis is Tory’s lead strategist this time around.  You may remember him as the ass who tapped into the less-intelligent voters of Toronto last time round, getting Ford elected.

It doesn’t matter to Tory that he’s wrong.  That Eglinton Connects INCREASES traffic capacity.   He says what will give him votes.

Props to Olivia Chow and Karen Stintz for doing their homework on this project and supporting it.

The plan, known as Eglinton Connects, is related to the light-rail line being built under the midtown road. Buried transit will reduce the need for bus lanes, freeing up space and prompting a reassessment of how best to use the roadway. Among the ideas are separated bicycle lanes and expanded sidewalks. In some parts of Eglinton, where there is lower demand, there would be fewer lanes for vehicles.

John Tory, who was on hand in Nathan Phillips Square for the launch of Caribana, said he wouldn’t support any project that takes traffic lanes out of service.

“The [traffic] study says that it’s going to lead to an increase in traffic on residential streets off Eglinton of 10 per cent and I don’t buy into that,” he said. “I don’t think that the residential people who live in there are counting on that.”

Read More: Mayoral candidates divided on plan to make Eglinton more cyclist, pedestrian friendly – The Globe and Mail.

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NEWS: Socknacki and Chow compare cycling plans

Very weird… an entire Toronto Sun article about bikelanes and the columnist doesn’t talk crap about them. (but don’t read the comments. Never read the comments.  Especially in the Sun).

It’s good that both Soknacki and Chow want bikelanes, but it seems that Chow is the only one that realizes that making a bikelane physically separate from car traffic does not have to spend a lot.  There are cheap ways to make safe bikelanes.  See my quick video about the Laurier Ave. bikelane in Ottawa. Flexi-bollards, modular curbs. Easy-peasy and economical.

Soknacki compared his own cycling plan he publicly presented in May to Chow’s, which was announced Friday. Both plans promise to build 200 kilometres of bike lanes in four years, but Soknacki said Chow’s is based on “unrealistic budgeting.”

“She plans to do this by ‘reallocating priorities within the existing budget for bike lanes’ and she would also add up to $1 million a year to the cycling capital budget,” Soknacki said in a statement. “If she plans to achieve the same goals with just over half the money, this can only means she intends to abandon entirely any plan for separated lanes – the kind of bike lanes drivers and cyclists really want.”

More: Socknacki, Chow compare cycling plans | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun.

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NEWS: John Tory is now the Anti-Bike Candidate in the Mayoral Race

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Okay, Rob Ford will always be THE anti-bike candidate, but let’s just hope his support stays at 20% (in related news, 20% of Torontonians are on crack) and we don’t have to deal with him again.

John Tory’s campaign has come out against Olivia Chow’s plan to drastically increase bikelanes in Toronto, creating a Minimum Grid of infrastructure to help Torontonians get around the city by bike, safely.

Tory doesn’t understand that less people driving cars actually eases congestion…. but it’s really not a difficult concept.

A spokeswoman for John Tory, one of Ms. Chow’s main rivals, suggested that drivers cannot be inconvenienced by new bicycle infrastructure.

“John does not support anything that increases commute times for drivers,” Amanda Galbraith said in an e-mail. “John is in favour of building a network of separated bike lanes where it is practical, to ensure cyclists can safely travel throughout our city.”

More: Toronto mayoral race: Chow pledges 200 km of bike lanes – The Globe and Mail.

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NEWS: Olivia Chow has become THE bike-friendly mayoral candidate for Toronto

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Well, Olivia has gone “all in” on bike infrastructure for the mayoral campaign.  She was pretty much the bike-friendliest candidate before, but hadn’t released a cycling policy yet.  I’ll let the below speak for itself, but probably most significant is her adoption of Cycle Toronto’s Minimum Grid campaign to have a grid of separated, protected bikelanes across the entire city.  200km worth!

For those in other cities who read this site, the other good news is that Olivia is currently the front-runner in our mayoral election campaign!

Olivia would ensure better cycling by:

  • Achieving the grid required to make cycling safer and easier, with 200 kilometres of separated or designated bike lanes within four years.
  • Fast-tracking pilot projects for separated bike lanes on downtown streets. Separated lanes are safer for cyclists and less stressful for drivers, but under Ford turning ideas into action has been slow.
  • Improving maintenance of bike lanes, including fixing potholes that cause cyclists to fall off and better snow removal to serve growing numbers of year-round cyclists.
  • Making cycling easier to be part of a daily commute with safe connections and secure bike parking at transit stations.
  • Continuing to press—as she did as an MP—Transport Canada to mandate side-guards on trucks, to prevent cyclists being sucked into wheel wells. Olivia would also move to putting guards on city-owned trucks, at a cost of about $800 a truck.
  • Supporting the Eglinton Connects project in Midtown, which will increase capacity and create a more people- and business-friendly street.

Read More: New Mayor. Better Cycling. – Olivia Chow.

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Cycle advocates take MP Peggy Nash on a bike tour of Parkdale-High Park

Great stuff. We need more politicians taking bike tours of the areas they reprsent – hopefully municipal, provincial and federal politicians all at once!

With the caveat that local cycling issues are not within the federal representative’s jurisdiction, the pair pointed out safety issues and concerns for cyclists along the way.

The pair took Nash on a bike tour of Parkdale–High Park, from Bloor Street West, down Roncesvalles to Queen Street West and up Sorauren Avenue, along the West Toronto Railpath and down Lansdowne Avenue.

“According to the 2006 census data, Ward 14 actually has the second highest proportion of cyclists and pedestrian commuters in the city with 26 per cent who either cycle or walk to work,” Pin said. “There are so many cyclists, yet very little infrastructure.”

Full story: Cycle advocates take Parkdale-High Park MP Nash for a ride.

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