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Ride to Save the Bike Lanes

Pharmacy Birchmount Bike lane imageDate & Time:
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 – 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Location:
Meet at the Victoria Park subway station

Help save the Pharmacy Av. and Birchmount Rd. Bike Lanes by joining us for a ride to raise awareness and to listen to what the local neighbours have to say.

Toronto City Council votes on July 13th to accept all or part of Mayor Rob Ford’s Bike Plan, which calls for the removal of the bike lanes installed in 2008 on Pharmacy Ave. & Birchmount Rd..

This is a matter of personal safety for everyone who uses the roads and we will ride on Tuesday to help save the lanes.

Please leave a comment to let us know your thoughts or whether you can make it or not.

Also please join our Facebook Group: http://on.fb.me/ksA8GV



Posted: June 26th, 2011
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Filed under: Cycling Events, Cycling Issues
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Comments on Toronto Bikeway Network – 2011 Update

It’s less than a week since Mayor Ford’s Bikeplan was released and it faces it’s first formal review in a meeting of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee tomorrow, June 23, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. in City Hall.

If you can’t make it to the meeting y0u can submit your comments to the committee at the following site:
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2011.PW5.1

For whatever it’s worth, I submitted the following comments:

To the City Clerk:

Please add my comments to the agenda for the June 23, 2011 Public Works and
Infrastructure Committee meeting on item 2011.PW5.1, Bikeway Network – 2011
Update

I understand that my comments and the personal information in this email
will form part of the public record and that my name will be listed as a
correspondent on agendas and minutes of City Council or its committees.
Also, I understand that agendas and minutes are posted online and my name
may be indexed by search engines like Google.

Comments:

I would like to register my comments on the “Bikeway Network – 2011 Update
Recommendations” as they are listed on the City of Toronto web site at the
following URL:

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2011.PW5.1

I very much appreciate that the Mayor’s Bike Plan is solid effort to improve
Toronto’s cycling infrastructure in a tough economic climate and in light of
the Mayor’s mandate to cut costs.

However, the Bike Plan’s focus on off-street trails does not serve bike
commuters well. While all improvements are welcome, to concentrate improvements on
off-street trails, those in parks, hydro corridors and ravines, etc., leaves
commuters still needing to find a safe way to get from the trails to their
residences and places of work.  Cyclists still need the protection of a
well-planned system of on-street bike lanes throughout Toronto.

I would like to comment specifically on three of the points in the “Bikeway
Network – 2011 Update Recommendations”.

First:

1.f.)  Not proceed further at this time on work on the Bloor-Danforth Bikeway Environmental Assessment and direct that staff refocus the current available resources on achieving the elements outlined in this
recommendation.

We should continue the work on the Environmental Assessment. A
Bloor-Danforth Bikeway might be the most important piece of cycling
infrastructure in the city as it could form the backbone of a city-wide
network of bike lanes and trails.

Secondly, the following points:

5.         City Council provide direction regarding the possible removal of
existing bicycle lanes on Pharmacy Avenue, from Denton Avenue
to Alvinston Road.

6.         City Council provide direction regarding the possible removal of
existing bicycle lanes on Birchmount Road, from Kingston Road to St. Clair
Avenue East.

Council should direct that the Birchmount and Pharmacy bike lanes be left
intact for the following reasons:

1.   The Bike Lanes Do Not Impede Traffic: Toronto city staff have
concluded that there has been no significant adverse effect on traffic since
the bike lanes were approved by council in 2008. As a local resident who
uses Birchmount daily and Pharmacy weekly, I have never witnessed or been
in a volume-based delay on either road where the bike lanes exist.

2.   High Cost of Removing the Lanes: Mayor Ford has said Toronto is
“cash-strapped”. So why spend $210,000 to remove bike lanes for no good
reason? The Mayor and current city council were elected primarily because
of their promise to eliminate extra costs, trim budgets and “stop the gravy
train”. To spend money on the unnecessary removal of these bike lanes under
the current economic conditions would be, at very least, imprudent – if not
an incredible waste of money.

3.   Community Consultation Needed Before Making any Recommendations:
While I disagree with the contention of some people that the bike lanes were
installed without community consultation, if we accept the contention, it
would then be a “two wrongs” situation to remove the lanes without proper
and extensive community consultation. In particular, residents living
directly on Birchmount Rd. and Pharmacy Ave., those most affected by the
bike lanes, should be consulted.

4.  The Usage of the Bike Lanes must be reviewed in context of the Bike
Plan under which they were constructed: The criticism of both lanes, that
they are not well used, is unfair because they are a partial manifestation
of the previous Bike Plan, which was never fully implemented. Bike lanes
cannot succeed in isolation, as is the case with both of these lanes. They
must be connected to a network so riders can access them.
Given a connected network of bike lanes, including the Dawes Rd. bike lane
recommended in the Bikeway Network Update 2011, the proposed/under
construction St. Clair Ravine and Warden Woods bike paths, and the extension
of the Birchmount lane to Steeles Ave., cycle traffic would increase on both
lanes.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Stephen Da Cambra

 



Posted: June 22nd, 2011
Author:
Filed under: Cycling Issues
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The Middle of Winter – Time for a Historic Cycling Event in Toronto

This Friday, February 4, at 10:30 am, Team Spidertech powered by C10 holds a press event at the Hockey Hall of Fame to officially launch its 2011 season.

Why is that so historic? In the off-season, Team Spidertech powered by C10 became the first Canadian cycling team to earn a Professional Continental license from the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the sport’s governing body.

The UCI Continental circuits are international bicycle racing’s Tier 2 events.

What’s Tier 1? The UCI World Tour: the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España. In other words, Team SpiderTech is now one step away from competing at bicycle racing’s highest level – and the plan is to do so within the next few years.

01 Toronto Criterium 2010 - Photo by Cycling50Plus

Toronto Criterium 2010

How Canadian is Team SpiderTech? The red and white starts at the top. The team’s manager and driving force is Steve Bauer, the only Canadian to wear the yellow jersey on more than one occasion, doing so a remarkable 14 times in 11 Tours de France.

16 of the 19 SpiderTech riders are Canadian and all the riders are from North America.

Even the bikes are Canadian, custom made for the team by Argon 18 of Montreal.

All the team’s major sponsors are Canadian, including RIM, Saputo, Nucap Medical (SpiderTech), PineTree Capital and Planet Energy.

How good is Team SpiderTech? A top 10 finish in the Tour of California – against Lance and many other Tour de France riders – capped the team’s very successful 2010 season.

Locally, they placed six riders in the top 10 of the Toronto Criterium, including first to fourth places, and four riders in the top 10 of the Queen’s Park Grand Prix.

Individually, many team members produced personal best performances and Guillame Boivin of Longueuil, Que., placed third at the U23 World Championships in Australia.

02 Toronto Criterium 2010 - Photo by Cycling50Plus

Toronto Criterium 2010

But the team has added even more pedal-power since the end of the season, including:

- Will Routly – Canadian Road Race Champion
- Hugo Houle – Canadian U23 Road Race Champion
- Zach Bell – 2009 and 2011 silver medalist at the UCI Track Cycling World Championship

Most recently, Team SpiderTech signed their highest profile rider, Svein Tuft, of Langley, BC. A 2008 World Championship silver medalist and stage winner on the UCI World Tour, Svein brings two years of World Tour experience to the team.

Along with another recent signing, Pat McCarty, and 2010 team member Lucas Euser,  Tuft gives Team SpiderTech three riders with experience on the World Tour.

A Canadian team playing on cycling’s world stage is not just a source of national pride. If anything will give cycling a stronger voice in Canada, stifle the Toronto naysayers and garner the attention that cycling deserves, it will be success at the highest level. It will be when the members of Team SpiderTech ride along the Champs Elysee, champagne in their hands and the maple leaf on their backs. It will be historic.

And to that I say – GO TEAM SPIDERTECH GO!!

Read More:

CBC Sports
The Globe & Mail
The Toronto Sun
Pedal Magazine



Posted: February 1st, 2011
Author:
Filed under: Cycling Events, Cycling News
Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »