A lot happened in Toronto’s bikeosphere in 2007.
After a year of dormancy, the City’s cycling committee was finally reformed into the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee (TCAC) and a new chair was appointed. Councillor Adrian Heaps has been doing his darndest to get things done for cyclists since his appointment, but despite his efforts Heaps was unable to keep his promise — documented by the Toronto Star (and others) — to have 27 kilometres of on-street bike lanes installed in 2007.
We learned at the first TCAC meeting that the delay in installation is in part due to the fact that a request for proposals to paint the lanes did not attract any bidders, so they had to be included with other painting contracts. Another factor is that the approvals for bike lanes came too late in the year to work on them before the end of construction season.
So then, what is the final kilometer count of white stripes for 2007? According to Lukasz Pawlowski, a senior engineer in Transportation Services, there were 7.7 km of new on-street bike lanes installed in ’07.
That is an additional 5.1 km since my last report of 2.6 km in October 2007.
The total includes: Logan 0.2 + Christie 1.2 + Chester Hill 0.1* + Knox 0.2 + Roselawn 0.7 + Greenwood 2.1 + Queensway 1.5 + Sentinel 1.7
* Chester Hill is really only half done. It has not been stencilled. Thanks to Val Dodge for the most recent report.
The City also installed 41.4 km of signed, shared roadway routes. This includes the sharrows on Lansdowne and Dundas East. (The latter were partially washed away by weather soon after installation.) A sharrow is a bicycle symbol with two white chevrons painted on the road — typically used where the road is too narrow for a full, dedicated bike lane. They are intended to show both cyclists and motorists the ideal cyclist position in the lane.
Completed parks projects include the McCowan District Park Trail, Etobicoke Creek Trail to Centennial Park Blvd., as well as the extension of the Waterfront Trail from Highland Creek west to Copperfield drive.
Even though on-street bike lanes are the staple of most commuter cyclists diets it is worthwhile to note the many other cycling achievements in 2007 in Toronto. Here is a list in no particular order. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything. BikingToronto and IBikeTO have posted lists too.
– Bike racks to be installed on all new buses
– Bike Train launch huge success, new routes are proposed for 2009
– City releases Sustainable Transportation Initiatives report, includes a number of cycling initiatives to be studied, notably a Bloor-Danforth bike route
– 2008 on-street cycling infrastructure budget increased from $3M to $5.5M
– streamlined bike lane approval process approved in Council
– Bike Union announced, to launch in spring 2008
– Bells on Bloor holds mass Sunday ride demanding bike lanes on Bloor – attracts hundreds of cyclists
– Urban Repair Squads (“Our”, or “Other”, or “Official Urban Repair Squad” — aka O.U.R.S) paint long stretches of bike lanes on arterial roads such as Queen, Dundas and Bloor. Their message: “City is broke. We fix. No charge.”
– 80 new bike lockers installed at 3 new locations (total now 138)
– TCAT (the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation) gets funding, hires coordinator, garners support from 40-plus organizations and hundreds of individuals, disseminates cycling and pedestrian news far and wide – most recently, brings battle of the bollards (pictured here) to TCAC, spurring City report on the removal of the second row of bollards
– Martin Goodman Trail revamp at Ontario Place planning begins
– PST exemption announced for bicycles and gear for 2008, following BTAC campaign
– Toronto’s first blue bike lane being tested at bottom of Strachan
– Darren Stehr’s Critical Mass Toronto book Celebrating Friends published
– Bike Winter promotion launched at City (and cyclist profiles continue here on Spacing, with a focus on winter commuters)
– Bike MONTH announced for 2008
In 2008, the City plans to install 50 km of on-street bike lanes, 40 km more shared roadways, and begin construction on the long, LONG awaited West Toronto Railpath.
In 2009 the City plans to build 75 km of on-street lanes, and 90 km each year thereafter to meet the 2012 Bike Plan completion deadline. I will keep track of the City’s progress here on Spacing, as well as in the membership magazine for the Toronto Cyclists Union.
2008 promises to be a great year for cycling in Toronto. See you on two wheels!
Photo courtesy of sevres-babylon on Flickr