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Update:

The midtown Yonge St bike lane pilot goes in front of the Infrastructure and Environment committee this morning. Yonge4All organized a rally at City Hall at 9, timed so that it would be just before the IEC meeting started. Robin Richardson was our MC.

She reminded us that Yonge4All is a community group that brings together many different groups with the common interest in making Yonge St a safer, complete street for everyone.

Our first speaker was Councillor Brad Bradford. He reflected on the positive effect of the Danforth bike lanes on his ward. He also emphasized that broad consultation and working with all sides is the way to get these types of projects done. He has been impressed with the work that had gone into this initiative.

Next, urbanist Ken Greenberg says that Yonge St is emblematic of our city. He described the unfortunate transformation of the city by the automobile over many decades, and was glad to see this trend slowly reversing. He has been involved with both Reimagining Yonge and YongeTOmorrow, and described the midtown pilot as an important missing piece.

Councillor Amber Morley was happy to see this initiative, and hopes that similar things will be happening in her ward of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Such a sea change from former Councillor Mark Grimes.

Toronto Centre Councillor Chris Moise is also supportive, and reminds us that the Bayview bike lanes are also being considered today.

Stephen Job represents a group of property developers. He said that reducing parking requirements enables the creation of more housing, and that people will only consider such developments if they see that cycling and transit are real and safe alternatives to the car.

Finally, Councillor Diane Saxe led us in a rousing round of questions and answers where the crowd response was always “Bike Lanes!” She was presented with that green binder, which symbolized the more than 8000 signatures on the petition.

Finally, a group picture of some of the leaders of Yonge4All.

In the interest of balanced reporting, I will note that there was also a smaller crowd of anti bike lane people off to the side.

Thanks to all the people that are staying for the day to give deputations (over 80 people have registered to speak). I’ll report back with updates when they are available.

You can follow some of what is happening in this twitter thread.

Update: Emotions run high during Yonge Street bike lane debate (Toronto Star)

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yeah, it’s snowing again

Here I am at the beginning of my ride home.

Always easier to make a track in fresh show to the left than to ride in the existing tracks. Once tracks freeze into ruts, that’s a problem.

Looks like line 2 is down again!

Near the end of the ride, snow is stuck everywhere (including the camera lens)

Stay safe out there!

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As of today (Monday January 23) the West Toronto Railpath will be closed at Bloor for about a year. Approaching Bloor from the north at Ernest Ave, the ramp associated with the earlier closure is still there.

If you continue south on the platform, you will discover that the second ramp back to the rail path is gone, and you can see the construction starting at Bloor. I wonder how that one bike is going to get back to its owner. At this point, your only option is to go through the station and down the stairs to Bloor.

Your better option is to turn east at Ernest to Symington, and then to cross Bloor at the offset intersection with Sterling. In principle you could also cross Bloor at Perth, but there is no signal there.

Unfortunately, there are no really good options going south from this point. You could ride against traffic on Sterling which is one way northbound, or you could go along the sidewalk to Perth.

This sign shows that the nearest access back to the Railpath is through the Henderson parking lot, at which point you might as well stay on Sterling until Dundas.

Riding north on the Railpath, you will see this sign at Bloor and your only choice is to go down the stairs.

There is a sign at Dundas about the closure, but it is easy to miss.

In summary, unless you are willing to carry your bike up and down stairs, the Railpath is blocked at Bloor, and you will have to consider a detour.

Riding the rest of the way into work this morning along College, I am reminded the sharrows are bullshit.

Late January 2023 update from Councillor Bravo’s office:

“The construction of the stoplight at Bloor and Perth is currently in the design phase. Construction is expected to start by the end of the year and will be coordinated with other works in this area.

Given the closure of the Railpath due to Metrolinx construction, our office has reached out to Staff regarding the possibility of fast-tracking the light or installing a temporary pedestrian crossover at this location.”

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There is a tradition for a group of cyclists to ride out to the lighthouse on the Leslie St spit on New Year’s Day. The weather forecast was a balmy 3°C so I decided to give it a go. The meeting place was the corner of Queen and Logan. Our leader was Alex.

He asked how many people were here for the first time. About half raised their hands. A pretty good sized crowd. Here we go, Alex in the lead.

Turning east on Eastern.

Dave asking if I shot his good side.

Pause at the park entrance. A couple more people were waiting there.

Here we go. About half of the cyclists were fenderless roadies.

I liked seeing the wide range of different bikes that showed up.

This could be an ad for Tern.

Dodge those puddles!

Up towards the lighthouse.

It soon became apparent that there would be too many people for a photo on this side of the lighthouse. It was decided to backtrack to the flat area just north of the lighthouse.

Matthew decides to take the direct way down on his titanium cargo bike.

Gathering for the group shot.

Know your biking Brians.

Alex lines up the shot.

The group shot.

A number of people were taking video, so I’ll link to them as they are posted.

A nice way to start out the New Year! Thanks to Alex for organizing.

Great to see many of the usual suspects while not on a ghost bike ride.

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Another year gone by, another 8000 km or so. A record distance over the year, just a bit beyond what I did the past two years, despite the fact that I did fewer long rides. Cyclemeter says I’m a bit over 8500 km, whereas veloviewer gives a slightly smaller total.

January:

I took advantage of a cold snap to ride the clear ice on Grenadier Pond in the course of testing out some pants. I could hear the ice sing.

Local bike advocate Janet Joy Wilson took a new job in the Big Apple, so she invited a few of us along for a group ride to mark the occasion.

Late January was unusually cold, and so I ventured out to Toronto Island to ride on the ice in the canals, with a bit of crunchy snow on top.

February:

Lots of local protests in support of the freedom convoy in Ottawa disrupted traffic in the downtown area on weekends. Didn’t affect biking so much.

March:

TCBC organized a ride to show support for extending the Bloor bike lanes all the way into Mississauga. The group was small because the ride had been postponed due to weather at the last minute, but some cyclists showed up anyway. So we went ahead and rode out from Runnymede and were met with a group coming the other direction at the bridge over Etobicoke Creek.

The official ride on March 20 happened with a much larger group including Midori and I on the tandem.

April:

I made a quick trip out to Portland for a wedding, and also checked out two cargo bike shops that I missed during my last visit, one of which was Splendid Cycles.

Cycle Toronto organized a ride to celebrate the success of the bike lanes on Shaw St. We were joined by long time supporter Councillor Mike Layton.

May:

Bike for Mike 2002 had rainy weather, but nevertheless I had a good time, and it was for a good cause.

May the fourth was the perfect day for a Star Wars themed ride.

I explored a bit of the Uxbridge to Lindsay rail trail. Didn’t make it as far as Neverland.

The Ride of Silence was back in person for the first time in three years but I was not able to attend.

The first ghost bike ride of the year was for Joshua Okoeguale, a 16 year old who was killed in Oshawa.

The annual bike month group commute was back this year.

HPVDT had a chance to test their tandem bike at a wind tunnel at Western University.

June:

The annual fund raising bike ride on the Gardiner and DVP was rebranded the Ride for Brain Health. I was doing ride support with TBN as per usual, but I also met up with colleagues from my department at the beginning.

A quick trip to Hamilton to see a promotion of the Keddy Access Trail.

July:

I had a streak of continuous days of bike riding that stretched back to Boxing Day 2020, but somehow I forgot to ride on July 1, so my streak ended at 517 days.

A quick trip to Woodstock NY to go to a concert by Nexus percussion. Got in some riding by the Ashokan Reservoir. Got to see the stage where 4′ 33″ was premiered.

Got a Switch e-bike conversion. Initial impressions were positive.

A ghost bike ride in Hamilton for Brian Woods, who was killed riding to his work at Limeridge Mall.

Doing a little exploring by bike of an unimproved section of the Etobicoke Creek Trail.

Another Burlington to Niagara ride with TBN.

Mike Layton decides not to run for re-election. The cycling community in Toronto has lost one of its strongest advocates.

August:

A number of years ago, I was on an organized ride from Seattle to Vancouver, but due to a flat tire and other issues, I ended up completing the ride but leaving a gap of about 100 km. I went back this year to fill in that gap. It was punishingly hot, but there was ice cream at the end.

Some nice gravel riding on the left coast.

A ride to promote safety on Parkside Drive, and to protest police ticketing of cyclists in High Park.

A TBN ride to Lake Simcoe.

September:

Testing our tandem speedbike at Downsview.

The World Human Powered Speed Challenge was back this year after two years of cancellations. Unfortunately our tandem crashed and we did not set any records.

Cycle Toronto organized fund raising rides in different areas of the city. I rode with the Scarborough group.

October:

A night time march down Yonge St to promote road safety.

A gravel ride between Belwood and Luther Marsh.

A ride with TBN during peak fall colours.

Third ghost bike ride of the year, this time near Streetsville.

Pre Halloween ride with the Neon Riders.

Hallowe’en Bike Parade.

November:

Checking out another section of the G2G trail.

The annual ride to remember Road Traffic Victims. It was cold and windy.

A TBN ride from Hamilton to home.

Dammit, we couldn’t get through one year without a ghost bike installed in Toronto. RIP Kartik Saini.

December:

Another ride down Yonge St with Santa.

A pair of pogies arrived from a small company in Ukraine, naturally in the colours of Ukrainian Flag.


I’ll also note in passing that an updated map of all ghost bike locations in the GTA has been posted. Thanks to Ingrid Buday for her work on this.

For some year end coverage of some of the upgrades to bike infra and associated public consultations for future projects, visit Rob Z’s blog.

Also see this year end summary from David Shellnut, the Biking Lawyer.


Wishing you all a safe year for 2023, with plenty of tailwinds!

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Today was the third annual ride down Yonge St with Santa, organized by the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition to promote cycling infrastructure along Yonge St.

We are gathered at North York Centre. Here Rudolph is interviewing Santa for the media.

The gang’s all here so we can get ready to go.

I’ll note that Santa has a new ride this year, courtesy of Happy Fiets. His trailer has a trick set up that detects when you are slowing down, and then applies the brakes on the trailer so that you are not overrun.

Off we go.

Just after the most dangerous part of the entire ride: the 401 underpass.

Rudolph leads the way up from Hogg’s Hollow.

Santa is all smiles going up the hill this year.

Up the other incline from Lawrence.

We pause at Davisville where another group is waiting at the northern end of the Yonge cycle track.

Good to see Joe and Kay.

Also we are joined by Frosty the Snowman.

Starting up again from Davisville.

Here’s another one of those bus stop platforms. I was looking for a ramp, but of course in this case, they are not necessary since there is an adjacent cycle track.

Passing by the Kartik Saini ghost bike.

Another pause at the Summerhill LCBO.

Some refreshments and hot chocolate are on offer.

Alison from CycleTO is on message.

Dave of NRBI, and Arianne.

Frosty is revealed to be one of the Richardsons.

We turn west on Bloor. Here Santa is greeting the shoppers along this stretch.

We’ve turned south at the ROM.

Santa takes the lane.

Getting ready to cross at Armoury.

Headed to City Hall past the courthouse.

Here we are at Nathan Phillips Square.

Councillor Diane Saxe reminds us that there are votes coming up in the spring having to do with the bike lanes on Yonge.

Quite the cast of characters.

Santa and Rudolph.

Finally, Santa with all his reindeer.

Thanks once again to Albert and TCBC for organizing today’s ride, to Happy Fiets for providing rides for Santa, Rudolph and Frosty, to the marshalls who helped keep everyone safe, to Councillor Saxe who rode with us.

Thanks also to everyone who showed up, especially due to the overlap with the World Cup final. Have a Happy Holiday, and here’s hoping for a safe 2023 for everyone.

And as always, Bromptoning has a wonderful video of the whole ride.

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First snow on ground 2022

We’ve had some extremely light flurries during the past week, but today we got a proper snowfall during the morning to the extent that the snow is actually hanging around for at least a day or two.

It is still above freezing, and there is still enough bike traffic on the Bloor bike lanes that there were plenty of tracks to follow home. If the slush freezes overnight, I’ll consider switching to the winter bike with the studded tires.

I do hope that they hold off on salting the roads since once that happens, I’ll have to hang up the good bike for the season. I’m still hoping that I can get a proper birthday ride in with clear roads and above freezing temperatures.

Last year, the first snow on ground wasn’t until the 21st.

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Metrolinx is adding additional track from Landsdowne to north of Bloor in order to expand service on the Kitchener line. This will enable 15 minute interval service to Bramalea. As a result, portions of the West Toronto Railpath will be closed in stages over the next two years. The first such closure happened this weekend on a short section from Ernest to Bloor. Here is the sign warning of the closure at Wallace.

For this closure, people (and bikes) are being diverted onto the train platform, and there are new ramps that have been installed.

Here is the northern ramp.

The train platform has a new fence to the east, which is where the new track will be laid.

Here is the southern ramp, just north of Bloor.

According to this document, there will be additional closures over the next couple of years.

The nastiest bit will be the period when the pedestrian bridge across Bloor will be closed with bike traffic diverted to adjoining streets, with a detour at Sterling. Rd.

On the plus side, once all of this is done, there will be easy access between GO and the Dundas West TTC station via a tunnel. In addition one can hope that there will then be weekend service on the Kitchener line that would open up access to the stations such as Mt. Pleasant that are close to wonderful biking in the Caledon area.

Of course if the 413 goes forward, the biking in that area will not be as pleasant……

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Neon Riders

Tonight was advertised as the last ride of the year for the Neon Riders. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden with them, so I decided to join in. Started at Nathan Phillips Square as per usual.

Leaving the square now.

On Chestnut, waiting to turn onto Dundas.

On Dundas.

Sherbourne.

At Lakeshore.

Zigzagging along the lakeshore.

First stop was a spot where we had a nice view of the CN Tower.

I took my leave at this point since I was tired, and I have an early start tomorrow. As I type this, those with more energy are still out there on the remainder of the ride. I hope they are having a good time. I certainly did, however briefly.

Two short video clips: first at NPS, the second by the lake at the foot of Yonge St.

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I followed the first half of a route that was put together by Owen at Urbane Cyclist to the Don Valley to check out the fall colours. Across town along the Beltline I note that from Mount Pleasant Cemetery the entrance to the Moore Park ravine is still closed. Worked my way to the Brickworks. Not surprisingly it was totally packed today and there were so many pedestrians that I had to walk my bike up the switchback to the scenic lookout. This is part way up.

I elected to skip the lookout and instead headed north to the old rail line that leads to Crothers Woods. Very pretty today.

On the way back, I had to check out the yellow bridge that just opened on Cherry St. Here are the two northern spans that will link up with the bridge.

Many people have already posted pictures and video of this gorgeous bridge.

Lots of cyclists check it out. Nice to have such a spectacular piece of infrastructure that separates pedestrians and cyclists from the roadway.

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