May 28, 2010
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Recent TCAT activities and news items:
- Complete Streets Policy Development Underway in Toronto and across the GTA!
- TCAT’s Nancy Smith Lea writes about streets in Europe and the Middle East
- Spacing features TCAT’s Complete Streets Forum
- TCAT summer intern starts - May 31
- Happy Bike Month! - May 31-Jun 30
- TTC Final Recommendations on Ashbridge’s Bay to be Presented on June 2nd
- New Sharrows throughout Toronto
- Getting away with your bike just got easier –Bike Train and Go Transit announce new schedules
- Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge construction on track
1. Complete Streets Policy Development Underway in Toronto and across the GTA!
One of TCAT's goals for last month's Complete Streets Forum was for the City of Toronto to adopt a complete streets policy. As such we were quite pleased that Gary Welsh, General Manager of Transportation Services and many other senior transportation staff attended the Forum. Mr. Welsh was quoted in the Toronto Star the day after the Forum that he will take a serious look at adopting a complete streets policy in Toronto. True to his word and wasting no time in getting started, in the week following the Forum Fiona Chapman, Manager of Pedestrian Projects in the Public Realm Section announced that her office had begun to work closely with other divisional partners to develop a Complete Streets policy for the City of Toronto.
Other GTA municipalities have also made a recent commitment to examine adopting Complete Streets policies. On June 2nd, Clean Air Partnership's GTA Clean Air Council will host the 2010 Clean Air and Climate Change Summit: Moving from Words to Actions. Among the 2010 Actions in the 2010 GTA-CAC Inter-governmental Declaration on Clean Air & Climate Change is action number 3.6:
Develop a Complete Streets Community of Practice that will work collaboratively to identify and implement strategies designed and operated to enable safe, attractive, and comfortable access and travel for all users.
2. TCAT’s Nancy Smith Lea writes about streets in Europe and the Middle East
TCAT Director Nancy Smith Lea recently returned from a two-week vacation in Belgium, Jordan and Syria and was invited to share her observations on OpenFile. In her article, "Embracing Traffic Chaos”, Nancy recounts her experiences on the frenetic streets of Damascus and asks the reader what is keeping Toronto from experiencing calm and cooperation on its well-regulated streets.
3. Spacing features TCAT’s Complete Streets Forum
Last week, SpacingToronto featured a story about TCAT’s Complete Street Forum. Hillary Best’s article, “Complete Streets: What they are and why we need them”, provides a great overview of the benefits of Complete Streets policies. Best’s coverage of the Forum zeros in on the health and economic benefits of reducing motor vehicle traffic. With quotes from Toronto’s own Medical Officer of Health who advocated for a shift to cycling and walking to improve personal health and air quality and the Clean Air Partnership’s Eva Ligeti who said that promoting biking and walking will contribute to local economies (see CAP’s Bloor Street studies here.) Best’s article delivers some of the Forum’s strongest messages.
4. TCAT summer intern starts - May 31
Eunice Lee, an undergraduate student at University of Waterloo's School of Planning, is starting at internship with TCAT next week. Eunice will:
Welcome to Eunice!
5. Happy Bike Month! - May 31-Jun 30
Toronto Bike Month will launch this coming Monday with the annual Group Commute. Running from May 31-June 30, Bike Month features over 100 community events. For more information, visit the City’s cycling calendar or check out the Bike Month Guide, available at local bike shops and here.
6. TTC Final Recommendations on Ashbridge’s Bay to be Presented on June 2nd
TTC staff will report their final recommendations on the site and connecting track route for the planned Ashbridge's Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility to the Commission. The TTC will be building a new storage facility for streetcars in the East End; the Ashbridge's site at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Leslie Street remains the preferred option. On May 19th, the public was invited to a charrette to provide their comments to three architectural firms.
Final staff recommendations will be presented at the TTC Commission’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 2nd at 1pm. The Members of the public may make deputations. For more information, and for the final staff report, visit the TTC website.
7. New Sharrows throughout Toronto
New shared lane pavement markings are being painted on downtown streets. These markings are called “sharrows” and are used to show the ideal cyclist position in the lane (away from the curb and parked cars), and to remind drivers to share the road.
The City first began using sharrow pavement markings in 2007 in select locations, but held off on widespread use until now. Beginning in 2010, sharrows will be used across the downtown core, beginning with College Street, from Lansdowne Avenue to Manning Avenue during the month of May. Transportation Services will be installing sharrows on Spadina Avenue, Bay Street, Lappin Avenue, Hallam Street and several other streets by the end of 2010.
To learn more about sharrows, including how they are different from bike lanes, please go here.
As mentioned in previous TCAT News, TCAT is working with the City of Toronto to evaluate these sharrows over the summer.
8. Getting away with your bike just got easier –Bike Train and Go Transit announce new schedules
The Bike Train initiative is celebrating its 2010 season launch with the inaugural Ontario Southwest Bike Train to Windsor, Essex County. The Bike Train, now in its 4th year of operation, adds bicycle racks to passenger rail trains across Ontario. With 2 new routes in 2010, plus expanded Toronto-Niagara Greenbelt Express service with GO Transit, its never been easier to explore Ontario by bike.
For schedules, fares, and itinerary ideas go here.
Go Transit has expanded the Toronto-Niagara Greenbelt Express. New 'bike coaches' will be run on the Toronto-Niagara route on Friday evenings, weekends and holidays. For more information on schedules and Go Transit’s "Zip & Win Wednesday" contest, go here.
9. Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge construction on track
Thanks to the Friends of Fort York for keeping us updated on major projects happening in the Fort York area, including the Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge which TCAT has supported and provided comment on. Here is an excerpt from the group's most recent newsletter:
“AECOM, a global engineering firm, has been hired by the City to manage the design and construction of the Fort York Pedestrian and Cycling bridge across the Hamilton and Georgetown rail corridors east of Strachan Avenue. A picturesque S-shaped structure will link the Garrison Common west of Fort York with Stanley Park on the south side of Wellington Street. Currently the project is in the design phase, with Montgomery Sisam Architects of Toronto having been retained by AECOM for some of this work. Construction tenders will be called in October, 2010, and a contract awarded before the end of the year. Building the bridge will begin early in 2011 and is expected to be completed in May, 2012."
- Bikechain events calendar
- Bike Events T.O., a joint project of Toronto Cyclists Union, Community Bicycle Network, and I Bike T.O.
- Biking Toronto events calendar
- City of Toronto cycling events
- Heritage Toronto Walks
- High Park Nature Centre
- Jane's Walk
- A Stroll in the Park
- Toronto Bruce Trail Club
- Toronto Field Naturalists
- Toronto Ornithological Club
If you know of other cycling or pedestrian related calendars to include, please let us know by e-mailing email@example.com
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