An initiative to create a long, east-west bikeway through Toronto


This photo shows a demonstration bike

Darcy Allan Sheppard Memorial

The protest of cyclists on the

Tooker Gomberg Memorial Library

800+ books of Tooker’s collection from

Bike Ride for Bike Lanes on Bloor

Saturday, October 23 路 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Starts at High Park, noon and rides east along Bloor, past Joe Pantelone’s office and down to George Smitherman’s office (Ford’s is near the airport)
With an election on Monday, let鈥檚 tell candidates how attractive bike lanes on Bloor could be, and how necessary for our safety!

Please invite your friends, cycling strangers and neighbours.

For info about where candidates stand on Bloor/Danforth bike lanes, see question #5 on

And visit www.takethetooker.ca

We bike – We vote!

One major phase of the cycling, planning and eco-disaster of the Bloor/Yorkvile rebuild is just about over – the road is now smoothly paved. But apart from the wisdom of trying to repair and renew the great number of underground utilities ahead of repaving, it all remains a travesty and squandered set of opportunities in this greenhouse century. It seems that all we will be getting for a bike lane is this temporary space marked off for the application of some sharrows – when this part of Bloor is about the most logical place in Southern Ontario for a bike lane!, analyzed as best in old TO as far back as 1992.

That planners and politicians could once again fail to make room for bikes on yet another wide street of Caronto should be a firing offence. Spadina wasn’t wide enough for bike lanes 15 years ago, though it was later in the planning stages when we began to ask for them. That neglect did not bring any change to St. Clair Ave., and that failure was repeated again with Bloor, and so we now are committing ourselves and future generations to less safe biking and avoiding the multiple wins of increased bike use.

Yes, technically some staff and politicians are correct in that bike lanes could be added here – the on-street parking is taken away by merchant consent, and the road could be repainted. But to repaint the road here for bike safety means removing a lane of the car travel either way, as the morons have rebuilt the road a simple metre too narrow for 2 bike lanes and four car travel lanes, with the current standards. And given that this is Caronto, and how feeble even some of the allegedly pro-bike politicians like Mr. Vaughan actually are when it comes to real change on the streets for continuity in bike lanes, it is most unlikely that we will be able to muster the resolve to boot off much of this traffic, despite the subway. To be quite clear: some of we bike advocates may be “unreasonable” in our expectations, but in this instance we have been far far keener on providing the room for bike lanes by smart design, and not by removing travel lanes, as many people do drive still, and vehicles are useful for many of us, though we really want to provide better options.

Yes, we have sharrows, and they can be useful in some places. They are slightly better than zilch, but it is a weak substitute for appropriate planning, will and Environmental Assessment that provides real safety for an entire class of vulnerable road users. The lane remains too narrow for comfort, the City staff have said publicly that they really prefer a wider curb lane width for sharrows now, and besides, there remains that rather ugly killing of a cyclist, Mr. Sheppard, who had the temerity to get in front of a car on Bloor, over a year ago. (Please view the surveillance video of the initial spark posted on Youtube, and consider if there is a disparity between the words used by the Crown etc. to describe what happened, and what the video shows).

In terms of dehiring staff and politicians that might have culpability for this travesty, on the City level, the only politician to vote against this $25-now-$30M Bloor project, was Mr. David Shiner. And since money has been no object with the increased costs, we need to consider how much it would cost to rebuild the curb segments with wider space for our safety, as unpopular as it would certainly be. And have a permanent memorial for Mr. Sheppard where he fell, perhaps in pink granite.

The City has an ongoing liability for bike safety here, and by failing to provide safe passage on the roads, it sets up more conflict with cyclists fearing for their lives and riding on the now-wider sidewalks. And the court documents showed they cared more for the well-being of car doors opening into planters than of cyclists.

The province must also be blamed for looking the other way when the EA Act and the Places to Grow Act were skirted, and the local MPP at the time, Mr. Smitherman can’t duck this travesty either. And it’s curious that few candidates have picked up on how the Bloor/Danforth taketheTooker bikeway could provide extra capacity for our stretched subway for the cost of paint, and is such a great bargain compared to other options…

However, cyclists are taking to the smooth pavement again, and we must ensure that we all assert our rights to use this road even though our governments have been dismal failures again in providing for our safety. Coming out of a major mayors candidates meeting last night – of the moving vehicles between Church and Jarvis, two were cars, and 7 were bicycles. We are the future.

Great news to see the changes on the Viaduct

It’s great news to see the changes in the Viaduct bike lanes occurring at long last! Since it’s inception in 1992 by Metro, there were some shortcomings in the eastbound travel, with a pinch point at the entry curve, and the challenge of going across the exit ramp to the Don Valley. Despite the historical #1 ranking of the Viaduct bike traffic counts, the nudges to change things weren’t enough to get the City beyond a stalled inert mass. But the ward29.ca bike group in the land of Case Ootes, (aka the Ootesback) took up the cause and in a report spearheaded by Luke Siragusa (on their website) detailed the problems in a way that the City could not ignore, though again, inertia prevailed.

After presentation to the City at TCAC 1.5 years ago, a commitment was made to repaint the problem areas for last November, but it didn’t happen. Now, it’s being done ahead of Dan Egan’s commitment for this July.
It is really exciting to see this occurring to improve a vital cyclists gateway into the city core, and let’s fermentedly hope that the remaining improvements to Bloor, can make such a big difference and also can happen soon.

Thanks to Tom Flaherty and other 29bikes members for helping this happen!

Bloor/Bay: bye-bye bike parking

As part of the anti-bike Bloor rebuild in Yorkville, the merchants near Bloor and Yonge to Bay don’t like having bikes cluttering up their vision. So the well-used post and ring bike parking in front of Manulife is being ripped out and won’t be returned. Along with really brutal riding conditions, lousy design and substandard travel lanes in the construction zone, this is yet another way of discouraging bike use.

There’s been some controversy within some circles and troglodytes about putting bike lanes on our arterials, often the direct routes in our core. But direct routes, and in a good linked network (not a patchwork), are the clear way to provide real civic respect for cyclists, as we don’t need to be shunted up, then down, though yes, the side roads are often a nicer trip for some of us, some times.

Of all the direct, E/W, main roads, Bloor St. is the best for bikes in the core, and we’ve found that old 1992 study from Marshall Macklin Monaghan that did back us up, complete with Dan Egan’s name on the front cover, (though Dan’s at the mercy of the Council TOroglodyte majority – presuming that most of our Councillors tend to be drivers, though some of the suburban Councillors e.g. Glenn de Baeremaeker are the best cyclists on Council.)

Bloor St. also has the benefit of having the subway, and increasingly in this mayoral campaign, and the larger Class C EA study, we must think of how bike lanes can help our subway. The simple way is that if we had safer biking, and in a direct route along high travel demand (the subway), many people would likely forsake the subway for their bike, especially in the older urban core where the TTC is less of a deal.

And because of the subway, Bloor is the most equitable place for a bike lane, as merchants have a potentially greater number of patrons somewhat near them, and there’s a pattern of providing a lot of car parking atop the subway construction too.

Our Bike Plan is behind, and in Arrears. So we don’t need Plan A as much as Plan B, for Bloor. Plan Bloor is pretty obviously a good idea from this two-decades-old mapping of cyclist origins and destinations, and this mapping also supports some of the north-south routes too, like University Ave. bike lanes, also atop a subway.

Why do we not have any core part of Bloor with new bike lanes now? more than four years after first okaying a study of Bloor from High Park to Sherbourne?

Darcy Allan Sheppard Memorial

The protest of cyclists on the portion of Bloor where Darcy Sheppard was killed in late August last year was a clear demonstration of concern at not just the manner in which Sheppard was killed, but for some of us, highlighting how the City wasn’t really giving us a good degree of consideration in their plans for this long-studied piece of Bloor, which is now being narrowed to prevent easy bike lanes from going in.
It would be nice if somehow the City could be sued for contributory negligence in this death, but it’s much less likely at this point.