005: Bikes!

New York City Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan came to Toronto on Earth Day to speak at an event organized by Walk and Bike for Life. She spoke extensively about cycling (calling it not an alternative mode of transit, but something mainstream and ideally suited to the flat terrain of New York), but she also went much, much further. We feature almost her entire speech in this episode, and you’ve got to hear it to believe it.

Sadik-Khan outlines her plan to transform her city’s grid into a network of shared spaces that favour people instead of cars. She calls her office the Department of Placemaking in New York, and her accomplishments and proposals — including major new policies to massively expand the cycling network, prioritize transit, and give streets back to people through new design concepts and special community-based street closures — provide a fantastic blueprint for Toronto.

Then, Nancy Smith-Lea of the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation gives reporter Megan Hall a hometown perspective on the state of cycling in Toronto, citizen support for the bike plan, and what roadblocks need to be overcome to get more lanes painted. She also provides a preview of the upcoming Bike Summit on May 28th at the Toronto Novotel Centre.

We’ll also check in with long-time Spacing contributor Fred Sztabinski, who lives and bikes in the unofficial world cycling capital of Amsterdam.

Plus, we feature music by Toronto band Spiral Beach.

Links to stuff from Spacing Radio 005