OK, quick question folks - but first a bit of background.
In 2008 I was sent to Quebec City for about 8 months. As I've said before, the cycling there (with the exception of winter) was much more pleasant than here - driver attitudes are quite different. After making a few trips back to TO I got a bit frustrated that we didn't have the same level of safety and courtesy from drivers and really wanted to do something.
What I hoped to do was something along the lines of the Bike Bus program seen in a few cities around the world and start it on Bloor. The idea being basically that there would be a few groups of people - maybe 10-15 every half hour riding across Bloor from say Keele to Yonge and Broadview to Yonge. With a group that size you could take the lane and get a bit more safety in the process.
There was a bit of interest in the cycling community but ultimately the problem was that my work life is just not stable enough to organize/run something like that. It isn't unheard of me to get a call on a Monday saying that I need to get on a plane for a month in another city on that Wednesday. And so I let the project stagnate until something changes.
But then I thought, as this board is getting more and more traffic, would it be possible (or worthwhile) to do a smaller, more organic version of that here? Do we have enough (or could we get enough) interest to get people 'bikepooling' to work? For example, I know Duncan worked for a while not far from my old office and commuted there from about a 10 min ride from my apartment. All we'd need to do would be to plan a meetup time and ride from there. If we found 3-4 others, something tells me the ride through North York might be a bit less insane.
At the same time that sort of thing would be really nice for people who are new to bike commuting. As I recall there used to be a sort of mentor program in the city a few years back. You could call someone and say "I really want to ride to work but the traffic in my area sort of freaks me out" and there would be a confident rider who would ride with you a few times to help you build your confidence.
There's definitely safety in numbers - Critical Mass shows it on a big scale, and even riding in a small pack on a city street shows it as well. Maybe we can engineer a few of these groups.
So I guess my question is - is there interest? Should we give this a try?