May 8, 2012
Recent TCAT activities and news items:
- Complete Streets Forum 2012: Videos, photos and media now available
- Toronto Board of Health Walking and Cycling report adopted
- Upcoming TCAT Complete Streets Workshops
- "There will always be more to do, but that’s not the same as saying that nothing has been done!"
- Take the Bike to Work pledge
1. Complete Streets Forum 2012: Videos, photos and video now available
If you couldn't attend the keynote presentations, want to fill in some blanks in your notes, or show your friends and colleagues what they missed, video clips from the Complete Streets Forum are now posted online. All of the powerpoint presentations are already available to view here. Photos are here and a summary report will be available on our website soon!
CBC Metro Morning's Matt Galloway interviewed Gary Toth, Complete Streets Forum Keynote speaker, and the Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives at the Project for Public Spaces. The interview addresses some myths about the definition of Complete Streets, and describes his philosophy of complete streets. The interview is available is available online. Also check out the great write-up in Dandyhorse about both the Forum and the Ontario Bike Summit.
2. Toronto Board of Health Walking and Cycling report adopted
Nancy Smith Lea, TCAT Director, and Paul Hess, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, were invited to speak about their work as it relates to the Medical Officer of Health's recommendations at the April 30th meeting of Toronto Board of Health. 8-80 Cities was also there supporting the recommendations. According to Executive Director, Gil Penalosa "Reducing speed is critical to establishing a livable city,"
The Road to Health report was adopted as amended by the Board of Health.
3. Upcoming TCAT Complete Streets Workshops
4. "There will always be more to do, but that's not the same as saying that nothing has been done!"
Nancy Smith Lea was recently interviewed for Public Radio International's The World in an article entitled "War on the Streets of Toronto: Motorists vs. Cyclists." The article focuses on the challenges Toronto cyclists are facing as well. The article shines the light once again on the divisive "war on the car" language that received some attention several years ago and that prompted an Open Letter about Complete Streets signed by a large and diverse group of people.
Ron Buliung, a professor of transportation geography at the University of Toronto, was also interviewed for the PRI article and wrote this thoughtful piece to elaborate on his interview and the representation of the cycling in Toronto:
“The war on the car”, “The war on public transit”, and now, care of the BBC, “The war on the bike”. This polarizing discourse about transportation in Toronto, launched by Mayor Ford, and sustained by a chorus of local and international media outlets, completely misses the mark. A more sensible conversation is one that acknowledges the multi-modal reality of passenger transport in our city and in cities across the globe. It’s much easier to play one mode against another than to do the tough work of figuring out how to make them work together.
In a busy city such as ours, irrespective of how you travel, the bad news stories are plenty. Congestion is getting worse, cars are crashing into each other, pedestrians, and cyclists. My personal story of cycling in the city includes the stories of friends and students being struck by cars; my partner was “doored” on College Street while pregnant and thrown over her handle bars into the street car tracks; and I was recently side-swiped while en route to a BBC interview to discuss cycling in Toronto (no injury occurred). This personal narrative influences how I think about the perceived and actual risk of cycling in the city.
In the BBC article, my comments regarding a retrospective analysis of reported injuries and fatalities were used as a counterpoint to the reporter’s suggestion that, “Toronto’s streets have turned into some kind of a roller derby”. Here we have, again, a complex process reduced to a simple binary description, i.e., it’s really bad out there/no it’s not. ..."
READ ON to read the rest of Ron's editorial.
5. Take the Bike to Work Pledge
Bike to Work Day is around the corner on May 28th. Join thousands of cyclists across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to celebrate this sustainable and healthy option for commuting!