Happy Anniversary, Bells on Bloor

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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.

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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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Tour de Bloor program details

Here is Albert with Officer Kyle Ashley, a friend to all cyclists using the bike lanes. They are promoting the Tour de Bloor passport program.

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  • After making a purchase, participating merchants will initial (or affix a sticker) to the passport
  • The passport is also available to non-cyclists
  •  This promotion runs until mid-September 2017

 

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Tour de Bloor Passport official launch

Today was the official launch of the Tour de Bloor passport (as opposed to the sneak preview a couple of weeks ago). IMG_5732

check out the details at Dandyhorse Magazine.

Full programme details are at the Cycle Toronto website.

CBC coverage

Metronews story

and here are a few more photos from this morning that didn’t appear in the Dandyhorse article.

Three amigos.

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Rachel Lee from Bloor Superfresh says that most of their customers walk or bike.

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Ron Koperdraad, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, says that they are happy to wrap up their popcorn “to go” for cyclists to put in their panniers.

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Albert with the podium showing artwork that was adapted for the Tour de Bloor passport.

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Community consultation meeting, Bloor from Palmerston to Lansdowne

This meeting will be held on June 20, 2017 from 7-9 pm in the cafeteria at Bloor Collegiate Institute.

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Sounds like a great opportunity to advocate for a westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes!

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(another) Bloor bike lane public consultation

Today was the latest in a series of public consultations about the Bloor bike lane pilot.

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It was an opportunity for the city to present some of the latest results from a survey. This Toronto Star article summarizes the main points, with the somewhat hopeful title “Bloor St. bike lanes find strong support from residents”.  The strongest support comes from area residents, and not surprisingly, the strongest opposition comes from people who just drive through the neighbourhood.  This brings up the perpetual question of whose wants and needs should take priority.

The event was well attended. However, I didn’t feel much of a buzz in the room, unlike earlier meetings.

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As per usual, there were detailed maps laid out on long tables where people could leave comments about specific locations.

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The bearded fellow in the blazer is Shawn Dillon, the new Manager, Cycling Infrastructure & Programs (acting).  Apparently Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati was promoted out of her position.

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Some detailed changes to the bike lanes were described. The most significant were a retiming of traffic lights to cut down on delays, and the creation of some loading zones on side streets to address some merchant concerns. These changes were done in the past week. More traffic data will be taken in the month of June and will be incorporated into the final report that will go to council for the fall.

The materials presented at this meeting are available here.

Update:

From: Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati
Date: May 23, 2017 at 3:46:05 PM EDT
To: albert koehl
Subject: RE: Congrats!

Thanks Albert, appreciate the note.

A couple of corrections – I’ve been in the role since August of last year so it’s not super new, and I’ve been appointed as acting in the role until the end of 2017 so it’s not permanent!

I’m still very close to the Bloor file, as I expect there is lots of work to come on that!!

Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati
Director (A), Transportation Infrastructure Management

Update #2:

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Students want the Bloor Bike Lanes to be permanent

Today, representatives from five schools held a press conference at Bloor and Christie to press the city to make the Bloor Bike Lanes permanent. DSC00586

The largest group was the bike club from Central Toronto Academy, who were all wearing green shirts, and many of them were riding matching green bikes. They were announced as the largest bike club in the TDSB.

The bikes were acquired using Trillium Foundation funding. Four lucky schools in the TDSB have or will have a fleet of bicycles to promote cycling to school. CTA was the first such school.

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Three CTA students spoke. Two of them were very recent immigrants to Canada. All of them mentioned the positive impact that the Shaw and Harbord bike lanes have had on the school, and that Bloor is a crucial addition to a bike lane network that ties the school to the surrounding neighbourhoods.

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Three students from UTS talked about how the convenience and enhanced safety coming from the Bloor bike lane that runs in front of their school.

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This speaker was from Bloor Collegiate near “the very busy intersection of Bloor and Dufferin”.  He noted that it was too bad that the bike lanes end near Ossington. In particular he noted that many students at the school would love to have the bike lanes extended west to High Park so that they could bike safely for soccer and other sports activities.

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Marika was a teacher at UFA, and she presented a student petition and statement in favour of both making the Bloor bike lanes permanent, as well as extending them west to the High Park neighbourhood.

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At the end, several of the speakers took questions from the press.

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and then it was time for a group picture.

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It was great to hear young and diverse voices in support of  the Bike Lanes on Bloor.

It was equally inspiring to see youth engaged in activism for a cause in which they believed, particularly the students who were very recent immigrants to our city, and to Canada.

Update:

And a reminder that there will be a public meeting about the Bloor Bike Lane Pilot on Monday, June 5 from 4 to 8 pm at Trinity St. Paul’s.  This will probably be the last public meeting before the report to City Council is written. City Council will consider the future of the bike lane pilot this fall.

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