Report Toronto Traffic Problems Online

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It sometimes feel like Toronto police get stuck in a rut when it comes to enforcing traffic violations. They have their preferred locations where they camp out and rarely seem to stray from these established areas.

To me, that means that many places in the city, places where law violations seriously risk the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, are ignored.

For example, the newly installed Bike Boxes on Harbord and College streets are a prime example. My daily travels take me by the intersections with bike boxes and more often than not there are drivers either ignoring the stop lines or making illegal right turns on red lights. Yet, I have never seen police officers on site ready to both educate and ticket drivers who make these violations.

Is it because Toronto police don’t know or don’t believe that these are trouble areas? Well, if the reason is the former then thankfully Toronto police have an easy-to-use online reporting system that allows you to submit complaints.

Is there a stop signed intersection that drivers constantly fail to stop for (like the entire stretch of Barton from Christie to Bathurst)? Is there a key area where you observe a large number of drivers using handheld devices? Is there a stretch of road where drivers consistently exceed posted speed limits?

Let Toronto police know! Submit your complaints here: Online Citizen Police Reporting System

Photo by Martinho

The Dogs on Bikes Problem; SOLVED!

So simple! Dog (or larger cat) rack.

P.S. This is a joke. Although, Fairdale do make a pretty cool skateboard attachment for bike racks. Check it out!

A Look at the 2012 Beater Bikes

Toronto-based indie bicycle company Beater Bikes will be back with 2 new models for 2012.

The step-through (loop frame) and roaster (diamond frame) models continue the bare-bones theme of the brand. In fact, for 2012 they’ve gone even more minimalist. Both steel frames are available in single speed with coaster brake or 3-speed internal gear hub models (also with coaster brakes) meaning no exposed derailleurs and no cables or brake levers. The branding on the bikes has been cut down with only a logo headbadge remaining.

Both models come equipped with full front and rear fenders, rear racks, partial chain covers and double kickstands. The step-through frame is pictured with battery operated front and rear lights, while the roadster model comes with a front rack in lieu of the lights.

The best part, the pricing:

Singlespeed models will retail for $299.99 while the 3-speed equipped bicycles will be $399.99

For more info and to find out when the 2012 models will be available, visit BeaterBikes.net

 

The Successful Push for Safer Infrastructure

How many of these factors exist in North America today? Outrageous number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities – Check. Absurd amounts of public space dedicated to the movement and storage of private vehicles – Check. Oil and financial crises – Double Check. Public outcry – Check. Political will to change – Very Little.

We’re seeing major changes in cities like New York, Chicago and in Canada Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa. The addition of cycling infrastructure isn’t just to make cycling more attractive or easier. This is people-friendly infrastructure. These are changes that promote shorter commutes and allow citizens to spend less money on day-to-day transportation costs.

For more, read David Hembrow’s blog.

The Cargo Bike Revolution

True story. On my 15 minute walk to the dry cleaners today I passed four cargo bikes (three in use at the time), three bikes pulling trailers, a half-dozen bikes with child seats and countless bikes with baskets, crates and panniers.

For more info on the film go to lizcanning.com

Speed Vest is not what you think

Initially I assumed a “speed vest” was a vest that magically made you speedier. Thankfully, the actual speed vest is much different. Connecting to an off-the-shelf bicycle computer, the speed vest displays your current riding speed to drivers (and other cyclists) behind you. The idea is that motorists unfamiliar with driving around cyclists often misjudge their speed and the results are poor passes and right-hooks.

Want to make your own Speed Vest? Visit MAKE

lululemon rain gear for cyclists

Prominent yoga clothing brand, Vancouver-based lululemon, has recently released a line of cycling gear. For women, a rain cape and tights, under the moniker “First Gear,” are simple designs in subtle earthtones. For men, a cool weather jacket and pant, their “Bike Lane” pairing, are available in black with subtle reflective details. The clothing is currently available only at the lululemon Lab in Vancouver, though is expected to reach stores the second week of October.

Earlier this year the Yorkville location made some Twitter noise with their rather political “More bike, less Ford” window display:

While first impression of the men’s jacket doesn’t really stand out to me, the women’s cape looks like a functional design (how many times have you arrived to work in full rain gear yet still soaking wet because you’ve been cooking and sweating under all of that plastic?).

Via Momentum