Bumpy road for bike station
It is the kind of facility planners and cyclists have long insisted Toronto needs to encourage green commuting. But timing is everything, and celebration over the opening of Canada's first bike storage station, at Union Station, was muted somewhat by the city workers' strike this summer.
So the city is trying again to spread the word about its new answer to many of the woes that befall urban cyclists.
Toronto's version doesn't have the fancy showers and café of the bike station in Chicago's Millennium Park. But it does provide a secure refuge from the theft and vandalism that plague city cyclists.
With a rack of tools and a vending machine that dispenses tire tubes, as well as snacks, it is a haven for fixing flats, and there's a clean room where cyclists can exchange their sweaty duds for office wear.
The $400,000 Union Station facility is considered a pilot, the prelude to a bigger bike station to be built at City Hall next year that will accommodate up to 400 bikes.
But no sooner had it opened on May 26 than the strike hit, shutting it down for most of the summer. And then there's the location and signage – photocopied pages directing cyclists to it are taped to the corridor walls.