One step closer

Yesterday PWIC voted 4-2 to keep the Bloor bike lane pilot.  Holiday and Mammolitti opposed.

Toronto Star:

Bloor bike lanes one step closer to becoming permanent

The blow by blow account of the six hour meeting is here

Thanks to everyone who gave a deputation at the marathon six hour meeting, as well as Cycle Toronto, City Staff, guest councillors Janet Davis, Mary Margaret McMahon, Mike Layton, and especially Joe Cressy who stuck it out to the very end.

Next up: the city council vote in early November.

Global news:  Toronto’s Bloor bike lanes just took one more step toward permanency

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The countdown to PWIC

As we count down the days to the vote at PWIC on Wednesday October 18, the big news this past week as been the release of the long awaited study of the Bloor bike lane pilot commissioned by the city.

The agenda item for PWIC has a brief summary of the report along with the staff recommendation that the bike lanes be made permanent.

Recommendations

The General Manager, Transportation Services recommends that:

1.  City Council approve maintaining the eastbound and westbound cycle tracks on Bloor Street West, from Shaw Street to Avenue Road, as a permanent installation, including changes to the current design that will improve safety and operations, as part of 2019 Capital Works on Bloor Street West between Bathurst Street and Avenue Road.

City of Toronto information page on the study

bloor-oct-2017-road-safety

TCAT economic impact study

Why Bloor? Why Now? from Metcalf Foundation on Vimeo.

Star Coverage:

CBC Metro Morning interview with Barbara Gray, Head of Transportation Services.

Torontoist: Bloor Street bike lanes and the business of road safety

Dandyhorse: Report shows Bloor business is flourishing with new bike lanes

 

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Interview on Metro Morning

An interview on Metro Morning, featuring Albert Koehl and Barry Alper, owner of Fresh restaurants, who was quoted in the Sun as being against the Bloor bike lanes, but is now saying that he supports them but not in their current configuration.

Note also that the study on the Bloor bike lane pilot is due to be released this week, in advance of the PWIC meeting next Wednesday.

 

 

 

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ibikeTO post on the recent Annex Merchants survey

A group called the “Annex Business Bike Alliance” (ABBA) recently released a survey of merchants that they conducted. While their statements are not as negative about the bike lane pilot as a recent story in the Toronto Sun, they still effectively call for the removal of the bike lanes, suggesting such solutions as “rush hour only” or “seasonal” bike lanes. Their letters to city councillors is here:

ABBA_Letter_to_councillors

Herb of iBikeTO has written a great piece providing some perspective on the conclusions of ABBA. It is interesting reading, and a great counterpoint to ABBA and the Sun article.

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How many cyclists are using the Bloor bike lanes?

Bells on Bloor volunteers were busy last week analyzing a video record of traffic on Bloor near Brunswick, and for the first time, have provided the city with a 24 hour count over five consecutive weekdays.

chart

The results are in, and on one particular week in September, over 6000 cyclists used the bike lanes each day.  As we prepare for the October 18 PWIC meeting, let’s keep this in mind. You can also see from the above chart that over 600 cyclists per hour are seen at peak periods, and at no time during the day does this number dip below 200 bikes/hr (five day average).

Metro News Coverage.

Blog post on Biking in a Big City gives a few more details.

bellsonbloor-bike-count-media-release-final-sept-28-2017

Sample of video used for the bike count.

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Happy Anniversary, Bells on Bloor

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 1.06.19 PM

Watch this site for more updates on the Bloor bike lane pilot as we lead up to the crucial Oct 18 PWIC meeting and beyond.

Albert has written an article for Dandyhorse Magazine on the glacial progress of the City’s ten year bike plan.  Short summary: in the first two years, less than 4% of the planned bike lanes have been installed.

 

 

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Tour de Bloor deadline extended to October 13, 2017

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Tour de Bloor – Final and interim PRIZE schedule

How to enter: Email a photo of your passport (with requisite number of stamps) to bellsonbloor@gmail.com
Tweet or msg us on twitter: @bellsonbloor

Friday, September 22, 2017 (5pm draw)
Enter draw with minimum 8 stamps
Prizes

  1. ROM – 5 winners x 2 VIP PASSES EACH
  2. Thai Massage – 1 x 60-minute massage
  3. Tatoos this Way – three Unicycle posters
  4. Capybara b) White Squirrel c) Racoon
  5. Rowe Farms – $20 gift certificate

Friday, September 29, 2017 (5pm draw)
Enter draw with minimum 9 stamps
Prizes

  1. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – BRONZE memberships
  2. Pacha Arts – hand-woven blanket
  3. Curbside Cycle – $50 gift card
  4. Rexall – 2 x $25 gift card
  5. Wine Rack – $25 gift card

Friday, October 6, 2017 (5pm draw)
Enter draw with minimum 10 stamps
Prizes

  1. Basecamp Climbing – 2 winners x 2 passes each
  2. Insomnia – 2 x $25 gift card
  3. Snowdon Pharmacy – Gift Basket
  4. Eva’s Original Cones – $25 gift card

Friday, October 13, 2017 – FINAL DRAW FOR TOP PRIZE
Enter draw with minimum 20 stamps
Prizes

  1. $850 Simcoe Bike
  2. PLUS prizes from Ave Maria Café, Thai Massage, Black Rock Café, Bloor Superfresh, Juxtapose, Put a Cone on It, and Za Pizzeria

Prizes awarded so far

  1. Fresh gift card – Chris Wright
  2. $100 Curbside gift card – awarded at Open Streets (August)
  3. Guacamoles Authentic Mexican – dinner for two ($80) –
  4. $100 Sweet Pete’s Gift card – Aldous Mills
  5. $100 Sweet Peter’s Gift card – Marvin Macaraig
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Bloor bike lane also heavily used on the weekend

by Albert Koehl

Is the pilot bike lane on Bloor St. popular only on weekdays for commuters, or is it similarly popular on weekends for people on their way to shop, for recreation, or to reach other destinations? This is the question we sought to answer with our latest bike count on Saturday, August 26, 2017.

The answer: the Bloor bike lane is also popular on weekends. Our team of volunteers documented 4,015 cyclists travelling east- or west-bound in the bike lane on Bloor at its intersection with Brunswick Ave. – a location that is in the core of the shopping area in the Annex between Spadina Rd. and Bathurst St.

2017 Aug 26 counting vantage point from future cafe

The count, which started at 6am on a brisk Saturday morning (with a temperature of about 12C) ended 20 hours later at 2am.

2017 AUG 26 the view of Bloor cyclists

The count also confirmed that Torontonians out on the town on a Saturday night are likely to use their bikes not only on their way out but to return home once bars and pubs close at 1am. Between 1am and 2am, we documented 127 cyclists, almost double the number between 12 midnight and 1am.

Our count also included a supplementary count of automobiles from noon to 1pm. There were 295 bicycles for that hour, comprising 33% of all vehicles (bikes and automobiles). The peak hours for bicycles were between 2pm and 6pm (averaging over 300 per hour), unlike weekday counts when the highest bicycle numbers are during the morning and afternoon rush hours, coinciding with the peaks for motor traffic.

This past Saturday’s count may well be the first such count on a weekend. Interestingly, the bike count exceeded even the pre-bike lane weekday count done by the city in 2015, which documented between 3,400 and 3,600 cyclists per day along Bloor at Spadina and Bathurst.

2017 Aug 26 Jun in the bike lane

This data will be added to our bike count report, which includes our January and May 2017 counts, as well as our count of September 2016.

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Toronto’s lonely Steeles Avenue East bike lane is a telling piece of cycling history

article by Albert Koehl in the Globe and Mail about a bike lane segment stuck out in the northeast corner of the city. Here is a picture of it from the 2016 City of Toronto Cycling Map.

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 2.47.13 PM

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Bike lane planning in Mississauga

There is some commentary about the Bloor bike lane in this article in NOW magazine that compares the push for bike lanes in Mississauga vs Toronto.

 

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