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10 Myths About Women and Cycling

10 Myths Women and Cycling Infographic

via Momentum Magazine via The League of American Bicyclists

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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

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City of Toronto releases Bicycle Count Statistics

Counting BikesIn September 2010, the City of Toronto conducted the first ever count of cyclists heading into (and out of) the downtown core.  To measure these numbers, they established 4 “screenlines” along Spadina, Bloor, Jarvis and Queens Quay and counted cyclists entering and exiting the downtown zone between 7 am and 7 pm on days without rain.

They’ve released their numbers, and they are impressive:

  • Between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on a typical weekday in September 2010, 19,162 cyclists entered Toronto’s downtown core, and 15,241 exited the core.
  • The western screenline at Spadina Avenue had the highest bicycle volumes, carrying 45% of all cyclists travelling to and from the core.
  • The majority (62%) of cyclists were male, wore a helmet (54%), and rode on the street rather than on the sidewalk (95%). Very few (0.32%) of counted cyclists were passengers (e.g. in a child seat or trailer).

This is a great release of information and if the City can continue to undertake these cyclist counting initiatives, it can address anti-bike infrastructure sentiment with cold, hard, statistical facts.

Between the hours of 7:00 AM and
7:00 PM on a typical weekday in September
2010, 19,162 cyclists entered Toronto’s
downtown core, and 15,241exited the core.
The western screenline at Spadina
Avenue had the highest bicycle volumes,
carrying 45% of all cyclists travelling to and
from the core.
The majority (62%) of cyclists were
male, wore a helmet (54%), and rode on the
street rather than on the sidewalk (95%).
Very few (0.32%) of counted cyclists were
passengers (e.g. in a child seat or trailer).
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Counting Bikes on the Bloor Viaduct (with Photos and Video)

On Friday morning, I went over to the Bloor Viaduct to check out the new re-painted bikelanes, and while I was there fairly early decided to relax under some trees and count the people biking by on their way downtown to work.

viaduct_cyclists_per_min_westbound_june_18,_2010_7_15_-_9_15_am(2)

The Bloor Viaduct is one of the perfect places in Toronto to do this, as it is what I like to call a “funnel point” over the Don Valley… it’s one of very few places that someone biking to work can cross the valley… and it’s a 3 km ride north (Millwood) or almost 2 km south (Gerrard) to get to the next bridge.

As you can see by the graph above, the 2 hours between 7:15 – 9:15 am sees a lot of cyclists heading over the Viaduct westbound towards downtown Toronto.    A total of 582 cyclists passed me in those 120 minutes (an avg. of 4.85 per minute) with the highest number between approx. 8:20 to after 9:00 am.

Now some photos I took while I sat in my lovely tree-shaded spot, watching commuters go by:

I first sat on a round concrete bench close to the Bloor / Sherbourne intersection, but the trees and grass were calling me...

I first sat on a round concrete bench close to the Bloor / Castle Frank intersection, but the trees and grass were calling me...

ahh, trees and shade, and me with a notepad. :)

ahh, trees and shade, and me with a notepad. :)

Line-ups are common at the Bloor & Castle Frank intersection.

Line-ups are common at the Bloor & Castle Frank intersection.

Recumbent riders join the fun too.

Recumbent riders join the fun too.

Okay, okay… you talked me into it.  Here are a couple short videos of people biking through the intersection on their way to work.

What are other “funnel points” for bikers in Toronto? Popular ways under the 401? Over the Humber valley? Across railway crossings?

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Our First 100 Members!

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post quickly to let you know that since re-launching BikingToronto in early January we’ve had 100 people register on the site as members!!!

Pretty good for just 2 months, I have to say.  Those were winter months too.

If you are one of those 100 people, then thank you and welcome to the site.  You are posting and discussing and biking and making the site better.

The new “sociable”, interactive and just plain better BikingToronto was planned to take the collection of Toronto Cycling info to the next level – and that level is YOU.   Whether “you” are a commuting, racing, touring or recreational cyclist, or whether you are involved in a bike organization or a bike store or supplier – what you think and how you interact with others is important.

If you’re not a BikingToronto member yet, you can register here (don’t worry, it’s free, quick and easy!).

You can also check out our Site Guide if you’re curious about the features BikingToronto has brought to Toronto cyclists to connect.

At any time, feel free to shoot me an email at joe@bikingtoronto.com if you have any questions (or just want to chat).

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