2006 Platform Review
In preparation for the 2010 municipal election, over a three-month period ending in January 2010, TCAT reviewed the progress made during the current term of council up to the end of 2009. The purpose of this research was to determine what work still needs to be done for active transportation and to identify emerging and state-of-the art transportation practices for possible application in Toronto, with the intent of updating the TCAT platform accordingly.
The focus that TCAT's 2006 platform brought to cycling and walking issues has resulted in some progress in this term of Council towards the goals contained in that platform. In order to highlight where progress still needs to be made TCAT developed a new platform that outlines steps that TCAT and its supporters feel need to be taken by the mayor and councillors over the next term of council.
Platform Review Overview:
• Approximately 17 out of the 23 items in TCAT’s 2006 platform were addressed to some degree by staff between 2006 and 2009. No items were fully completed - creating the Walking Strategy (item 20) was the closest, however not all the sub-points in that platform item were clearly achieved.
• The City did a lot between 2006 and 2009 to bump up its cycling capital budget (item 1), however not enough to meet the Bike Plan's targets. Furthermore, the capital budget is only part of the challenge with building cycling infrastructure - the planning and approval process is still flawed (items 6 & 7).
• Good progress was made between 2006 and 2009 with some significant park and hydro corridor trail projects, thanks mainly to provincial and federal stimulus funding. However, the backlog of projects - both new trails and state of good repair - is huge and continues to grow, with insufficient annual funding to catch up.
• The creation of the Public Realm office was a great step forward for the City when it comes to pedestrian projects and planning. However, all the momentum and energy gained with the creation of the office was effectively stifled by the extremely slow progress to staff the office and get work started (item 3).
• The TTC is doing a lot on the policy and planning side of things to integrate cycling with transit - e.g., the bike racks on buses full fleet roll-out and the commission directive to create a TTC bike plan (item 4). However, both the City and TTC have not shown that cycling will be enough of a priority when designing the new Transit City LRT routes.
• The City is doing better when it comes to clearing snow from sidewalk and some bike routes (item 9), but there are still the majority of bike routes, and especially park trails, which are not adequately cleared.
Platform Review Detail:
A detailed analysis of the progress made under each of TCAT's original platform items can be found under the five categories listed below. The progress was measured in terms of the 23 priorities outlined by TCAT in its 2006 platform, and in some cases does not align exactly with the priorities identified by City Council and staff. In this respect, our review of the 2006 platform may not include all of the progress made for walking and cycling in Toronto.