Spring. It’s time to plant more bike lanes! 🌷 🚲

Newsletter of Ward 14 Bikes View this email in your browser
Ward 14 Bikes: The Cycling Advocacy Group in Toronto-Danforth
Photo of Ward 14 Bikes' painted canvas banner, which displays a red bicycle and the group's name, along with its Twitter handle, @Ward14Bikes, in the bottom left corner. Photo by Vivien Leong.
Ward 14 Cycling Update – Spring 2021

Greetings, everyone! Ward 14 Bikes has been meeting online and here’s a few things we’ve been up to. Thanks for reading, and come join us the third Wednesday of each month. Find the date and time of the next meeting in the Upcoming Events section. Keep cycling, keep safe.

Construction Tender Issued for Riverdale Park Pedestrian Bridge “Sloped Path” to Lower Don Trail

This January 2021, the City issued a “Request for Tender” (RFT) for construction of the Riverdale Park Pedestrian Bridge “Sloped Path” down to the Lower Don Trail (LDT). This is the accessible access that Ward 14 Bikes and other advocates have worked to advance for many years.

A rendering of what the ramp will look like (image POV: standing on the Lower Don Trail and looking north from beside the existing stairs that extend off the Riverdale Park Pedestrian Bridge). Rendering by DTAH; image via City of Toronto, from “Lower Don Trail Phase 2 Improvements: Site Information Bulletin, January 25, 2021,” by DTAH, City of Toronto and Mott MacDonald.

Construction companies had until February 25 to submit bids, and the City will choose one. Construction is slated to happen this year and closure of the LDT for periods of time is anticipated – keep an eye out for the detour route. The tender also includes a staircase for the Dundas Street Bridge and other LDT and East Path improvements. To view more details, go to this Site Information Bulletin that has been publicly released (PDF).

Yay!

Spring Tune-up

Tires low on air pressure? Chain needs oil? Brakes pads are worn? Maybe your bicycle has been sitting inside all winter or maybe you rode it through the salty slush. Either way, it is a good time to tune your ride. There are plenty of do-it-yourself videos. Or you can beat the rush (hurry!) and take it to neighbourhood bike shop to let the pros do it. Or you can book a spot with South Riverdale Community Health Centre’s “Rescue Bike,” which is offering free bike tune-ups and safety checks on Thursdays between 3pm and 5pm at the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre, 86 Blake Street. Text Paul at 437-228-1445.

Photo showing a colourful, painted shipping container with its door open. Yellow caution tape runs from the door to a nearby folding table which is topped by some sanitizing and other supplies. A sandwich board advertising the "Bike Rescue" program is next to the table. Behind the table, a pink child's bike is atop a bike stand.
The colourful Rescue Bike shipping container in the parking lot on the south side of Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre. Photo by Paul Young.
 

Cycling Advocacy 101

Cycle Toronto’s 2021 Advocacy Forum presentations are now viewable. The forum engaged online participants over the course of three days during the first week in February. Six sessions were held, as panel discussions and presentations, and featured community organizers and activists, safe streets advocates, City of Toronto councillors and representatives from the Cycling and Pedestrian Projects unit, and Cycle Toronto board members and staff. Participants used chat boxes and breakout sessions to ask questions and discuss issues of concern. To learn more about cycling advocacy and equity, bike lanes and infrastructure, and community projects like ActiveTO, view the resources from the forum sessions.
  Photo shows three women, two wearing hijabs, at a table with table microphones near them. The woman in the middle is speaking. The image is overlaid with the Cycle Toronto logo, and these words: "Get Involved in Cycling Advocacy at the 2021 Advocacy Forum." Courtesy of Cycle Toronto.
 

Destination Danforth

One of the good things to come out of the year of the pandemic was the cycle track that was installed as a pilot project along the Danforth. No doubt you’ve also noticed the colourful curb extensions that reflect the four distinct BIAs, along with street greening, art installations and expanded patio space. Currently, the bike lanes stretch from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road, but their extension to Victoria Park Avenue has just been approved!
  An adult and child are cycling in the cycle track on Danforth Avenue. Planters demarcate the cycle track here, and an artistic curb extension has been created using colourful paint on the roadway.
Danforth Avenue beautified with artistic curb extensions and planters, and made safer for people of all ages to cycle. Photo by Jamie Kwan.

The Danforth Study (Terms of Reference PDF) encompasses several municipal arms, namely, Transportation Services, Economic Development and Culture, and City Planning. These three departments will weigh and consider feedback from various stakeholders to bring about a “complete street” in which businesses can thrive, long-term planning is considered, and multi-modal transportation can occur easily and safely for people of all ages and abilities. Most recently, two community meetings were held virtually in December 2020 and January 2021: the former focused on the Complete Street Study (Broadview to Victoria Park); and the latter focused on the Planning Study (Broadview to Coxwell, the second segment of the Danforth Avenue Planning Study), addressing issues such as land use, building heights and development density. There has also been a proposal to upgrade the intersection of Danforth Avenue and Royal Drive (on-ramp to the Don Valley Parkway) in order to make it safer to cross. Changes would include a cycle track, signalized crossing for cyclists with bicycle detection, and an explicit prohibition of right turns on red for motor vehicles. These improvements are a result of persistent advocacy from Ward 14 Bikes members and local residents, with support from the local councillor and Cycle Toronto staff. The proposal was passed by the Infrastructure and Environment Committee in late March and by City Council in early April. Read more about the Danforth Avenue Complete Street and Planning Study.
 

Congratulations & Thank You, Gerry!

And a belated congratulations to former Ward 14 Bikes member Gerry Brown, who was one of the recipients of Cycle Toronto’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year awards! He and Mary Ann Neary (from 32 Spokes, in Ward 19) were recognized for their work on the Danforth Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which helped make Destination Danforth a reality. His efforts, along with many others’ over the years, helped put bike lanes on the Danforth, at long last! Gerry has moved away from Toronto, and we’ll miss all his dedicated advocacy in Toronto and in our ward – especially his bike marshalling and corking* acumen, and his enthusiasm for stakeholder advisory committees! *Corking is the practice of placing one’s body and bicycle at a intersection in front of other crossing road users and blocking them, so that a large group of people can proceed through the intersection without stopping at traffic signals or stop signs.
  A waist-up photo of Gerry Brown taken from an angle. Gerry is standing outside, wearing a blue Bells on Danforth t-shirt and looking into the distance.
Gerry Brown, sporting a coveted Bells on Danforth volunteer/organizer t-shirt. Photo by Vivien Leong.

Facebook: Ward14Bikes – Public Group
Twitter: @Ward14Bikes
Website: https://ward14bikes.home.blog/ Email: ward14bikes@cycleto.ca

Ward 29 Bikes logo and Ward 30 Bikes logo, side by side, with Twitter handle @Ward14Bikes underneath.  

Upcoming Events

Woodfield Road-Monarch Park Avenue Project

The City proposes to make improvements for cycling and walking to Woodfield Rd and Monarch Park Ave, between Sammon Ave and the Lake Shore Blvd East trail.

View project details and register for the public consultation meetings:
 • Virtual Meeting #1: April 14, 2021, 7pm to 8:30pm
 • Virtual Meeting #2: April 15, 2021, 7pm to 8:30pm

StreetSmartsTO: Safe Cycling 101

Community for Climate Action – North Etobicoke is hosting a free online workshop by Cycle Toronto, which will guide you through everything you need to know to bike with confidence in North Etobicoke. April 19, 2021, 5pm to 6pm.


Ward 14 Bikes’ Meeting

Our next meeting is April 21, 2021, 7pm to 8pm. Email us for access details to join the online meeting.

Useful Bike Links

Cycle Toronto

TCAT (The Centre for Active Transportation)

bikeSauce

SRCHC’s “Rescue Bike” Repair Clinic

Toronto Community Bike Collectives

City of Toronto – Cycling in Toronto

Paula Fletcher, City Councillor Ward 14: Toronto-Danforth

Toronto 311

Danforth Loves Bikes

In Other Bike “News”

Sean Galbraith on bike lanes & the Ever Given

Copyright © 2021, Ward 14 Bikes. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Ward 14 Bikes
c/o SRCHC
955 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario  M4M 3P3

For past newsletters, visit the Ward 14 Bikes email archive.

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