According to a June 16th SDSU NewsCenter article, "No matter which country you are in, new research finds those who live in an urban neighborhood are twice as likely to be physically active the those in the suburbs. According to a San Diego State University study published in this month's American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the biggest single factor influencing physical activity around the world is accessibility to sidewalks.
On June 22nd between 6 and 9 a.m. TCAT's Program Director, Nancy Smith Lea teamed up with Chris A. Cavacuiti, MD, to be interviewed by CBC Radio One local morning hosts across the country, all the way from Victoria, BC to Corner Brook, Newfoundland and points in between. Between Chris and Nancy there were 16 interviews in total. The topic of discussion was bicycle helmet legislation and other measures governments can take to promote safe cycling.
It's that time of year again. The Toronto Police launched their annual cycling safety campaign yesterday. The traffic strategy is a one-week initiative, designed to promote awareness and education by reducing the potential for cycling related injuries. During this week officers increase the number of tickets handed out to motorists who endanger the lives of cyclists as well as to cyclists for traffic infractions.
The new racks on GTA buses are also opening up the countryside. Take transit to the edge of the city, and then cycle to parks and trails. A website devoted to integrating bikes and transit has put out an open call for cyclists to "test ride" the routes suggested on the site. Until July 13th, send in photos from your cell phone, or tweet and email pictures after you get home. More info here.
The Bloor Improvement Group's second annual Big on Bloor Festival will take place this Saturday, June 20th between 1 and 9 p.m. A 2.5 km section of Bloor Street West, from Christie to Lansdowne, will become a car-free space for a day of fun, games and art. Mark the date!
This spring the City of Toronto released the new Exploring Toronto Parks and Trails map which features up-to-date trails and pathways along with a directory of clubs and associations. You can download a copy of the map here or call 416-392-1111 ext.5 to get a copy sent to you in the mail. It's a useful resource for planning a day of biking, walking or hiking and provides insight into how the City's plans for linking biking and walking paths are coming together.
Canada's Journal of Environmental Law and Practice recently published an article by Kristen Courtney titled "Sustainable Urban Transportation and Ontario's New Planning Regime: The Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe."
For those unable to attend Bike Summit 2009, or for those who want to review some of the excellent presentations, all but a couple (coming soon) have now been posted on the TCAT website. There are also photos from the day and media articles posted here.
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is in the final stage of its three-year pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles (also known as bikes or e-bikes) on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are allowed. On April 23, 2009 the definition of "bicycle" in the HTA was amended to include e-bikes.
On June 4th, the Ontario Government released Simcoe Area: A Strategic Vision for Growth. It lays out a strategy and directions to plan for more prosperous and sustainable growth in the Simcoe area. Based on provincial principles and policies, including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.
The second annual Bike Summit on Thursday May 28th 2009 was a great success. Again this year, despite a bigger venue, this one-day bicycle policy conference sold out in advance. About 220 registrants representing government, the private sector, non-profit organizations and the general public were in attendance. The purpose of the day was to share best practices and challenges in implementing bicycle policy, research, technical designs and advocacy campaigns.
On June 3rd, TCAT will be addressing the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on the following four issues:
1. Motorized Bicycles on Sidewalks. TCAT supports the Toronto Pedestrian Committee's recommendation that no bicycle that includes a motor of any kind be allowed to travel on the sidewalk. For more info, see this recent Toronto Star article.