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Sarah Thomson drops out of Mayoral Race

Sarah Thomson has dropped out of Toronto’s mayoral race and put her support behind George Smitherman.

This is big news for cycling because Thomson’s “BikeCity” plan was the most thorough and best researched cycling platform out there (of the “Big Five” contenders of Ford, Smitherman, Rossi, Pantalone and Thomson herself).  Whatever you thought of her other campaign platforms, she had done her homework on the “cycling portfolio”.

George Smitherman’s transportation platform is a little less thorough (he wants to “pause” the installation of new bikelanes, while at the same time advocating for physically-separate lanes), but he did sign up for Bixi Toronto on the weekend, so that’s a good sign.

The Mayoral Race is shaping up to be a contest between Smitherman and Rob Ford.  Ford is known for not only saying cyclists are inconsequential, but that if they get hit by a car, it’s their own fault.

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Sarah Thomson releases “Bike City” Plan

Photo from BlogTO

Photo from BlogTO

Today saw mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson release her bicycle transportation policy, dubbed Bike City.

Sarah and/or her team has done their homework on this to attract people who love biking… proposing a good chunk of new cycling infrastructure features (ie. bike boxes, bicycle boulevardes, etc) and physically separate bikelanes on University Ave, Richmond Street and Adelaide street.

They have also thought of the non-cycling part of the population (some of whom are hostile to new bikelanes, especially in the old boroughs of the city)… proposing that instead of bikelanes on arterial roads outside of downtown, sharrows are put in instead… with bikelanes implemented as cycling levels rise in that area.  This not only solves the complaint of “no one uses the bikelanes” but allows for expansion of a downtown network as that network draws in riders from outside the core.

Thomson’s Bike City:

Here are some “bullet points” from the plan:

Upgraded Intersections
• All arterial intersections will have bike boxes for making safe two part left turns (“hook turns”), with intuitive, consistent road markings.
• On-road markings will indicate the safe path for bicycles, away from the right hand side of right turningvehicles.


Complete Streets
• Every street in Toronto (except expressways) must be a bikefriendlystreet, including arterials.
• Onroad shared lane markings (“sharrows”) on all arterial roads by 2012.

Downtown Bike Lanes
Complete the downtown portion of the Toronto Bike Plan by 2012.
• Represents 13 km of new bike lanes.
• One modification: Spadina bike lane moved to University Avenue instead.

Physically Separated Lanes
Physically separated bike lanes on Richmond Street, Adelaide Street, and University Avenue.
• 9 km in total.
• “Bike Highways” across the downtown area.

Blue Routes: A Network of Secondary Roads
• ~1000 km of on road bike routes, connecting every part of every neighbourhood.
• New crossings built over/under obstacles.
• Routes built for safe, convenient cycling (“Bicycle boulevards”).
• Routes chosen for convenient crossing of main roads and obstacles.


Blue Routes: Crossing the Obstacles
• 34 new pedestrian/bike crossings.
• 4 freeway underpasses (427, 400, 2 × 401).
• 25 rail crossings (10 underpass, 15 level).
• 5 bridges (Humber, Highland Creek, 2 × Black Creek, Newmarket Rail Sub).
• ~225 new bike activated traffic lights.
• New easements through parking lots and commercial driveways.


Blue Routes: Safety & Convenience

• Low traffic volumes and speeds.
• Yield signs in preference to stop signs.
• Bike activated signalized crossings across arterial roads.
• Lights synchronized where possible.
• Contraflow bike lanes on onewaystreets.
• Onroad navigation markings.
• Snow removal and priority road maintenance.


Off-Road Trails
• 40 km of trails through utility corridors.
• New routes through government owned lands.
• Connections between the York Beltline, the Kay Gardiner Beltline, and the Don
Valley Trail.
• An easier way over the escarpment via improvements to Roycroft Park.

Personally, I don’t agree with all of Sarah Thomson’s platform, or even all of her Bike City plan… but I will say that this is a pretty well-researched plan, and it is expressed far better and with better specifics than any other major mayoral candidate thus far.

What do you think of it?

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Sarah Thomson to announce “Bike City” Policy

UPDATE: Thomson has announced her Bike City Platform.  Click here for details.

Mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson is set to announce a “Bike City” policy tomorrow, Sept 1st:

You are cordially invited to the launch of Mayoral Candidate, Sarah Thomson’s Bike Policy, Bike City.
Come an listen to the details of
Bike City, a smarter way to share our roads and get Toronto moving.

September 1st at 3:30PM

The event will take place at…
The Red Room
(map)
444 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2J8

Please RSVP:
rsvp.bikelaunch@sarahthomson.ca

Thomson has been making the right noises on the subject of bikes during the campaign.  She is for a connected and transit-integrated network of bikelanes, and supported the idea of separated bikelanes down the middle of University Avenue.

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