#RebalanceStreets #ReallocateRoadSpace #streets4peopleTO
EDIT – April 27, 2020
The original letter posted here was erroneously identified as an open letter to Mayor John Tory and Councillor Paula Fletcher – in fact, that letter was not sent directly to them. That letter, and the preface to it, also contained some misstatements. In light of these issues, we have revised the content of this post and replaced the original letter with a template letter from Toronto Public Space Committee, which we encourage you to use.
Ward 14 Bikes is joining several organizations in Toronto in asking the City to consider re-balancing road space for active transportation during the COVID-19 crisis. 8 80 Cities; Walk Toronto; Toronto Public Space Committee; and our friends next door, 32 Spokes – along with many of our allies in sustainable community building – are calling on the City to close curb lanes, as appropriate, to make it safer for people to get needed outdoor time. Getting outdoor time and exercise is necessary for physical and mental health. Yet to do so, while maintaining the recommended physical distance, becomes challenging with the often frequent line-ups of people accessing essential services, as well as the increase in motor vehicle speeds.
To this end, we urge you to contact our elected officials to ask that they re-balance Toronto streets. We are re-publishing a template letter from Toronto Public Space Committee, which you can use to create your own personalized letter.
Toronto Public Space Committee Letter – April 15, 2020
#streets4peopleTO! April 15, 2020
Let’s send a message to our Mayor and City Council that streets are for people!
Send a letter to John Tory (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your local City Councillor to request #streets4peopleTO! Find the contact information for your City Councillor here.
Feel free to use this template or create your own. You can edit to request a specific street or lane closure in your own neighbourhood. Please share widely!
Dear John Tory and Toronto City Council,
Across Canada and around the world, cities are expanding their public realm for public health.
I am requesting Toronto also take a lead in helping its citizens stay at home and practice physical distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a network of lane and road closures in high density neighbourhoods throughout the city.
Toronto can become a part of a movement of over 60 cities that have turned over road space to people on foot and bike to maintain their distance as they head to work, shop for essentials, and get outside for physical and mental health.
Some of these cities include:
- Montreal – Reallocated a lane of parking along Ave. Mont Royal to allow for residents to practice physical distancing; Charlevoix St. Bridge closed to cars.
- Brampton – Will close some traffic lanes to create temporary bike lanes.
- Winnipeg – Closed 4 streets daily from 8am-8pm from car traffic to operate as active transportation routes until May 3.
- Edmonton – Closed lanes on two roads along its river valley to create more space for pedestrians, cyclists, and joggers.
- Calgary – Piloted temporary weekend lane reductions for active transportation.
- Vancouver – Stanley Park closed to vehicles; Eastbound lanes of Beach Ave. temporarily closed to vehicles.
People are already walking on the streets to avoid passing people on the sidewalk. Let’s make sure everyone can navigate their neighbourhoods safely!
April 22, 2020
Gerry Brown/Michael Holloway
Co-Chairs Ward 14 Bikes