July 8, 2013

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the context is important...

Getting up to a separated bike lane network will be something important, but often, we aren't really being smart about what we are pushing for, or at least it feels that way in Caronto, Ontcario, where some high-profile new, costly and yes, welcome separated lanes are providing cover for either taking away bike lanes elsewhere, or simply not doing things for urban cyclists in the other 99% of the city.

So the context of what is proposed is really important. Does it make sense to upgrade some roads and are these well suited for connectivity, cycling numbers, etc.? If there are separations, does the City do a good enough job with maintenance during off-seasons etc., or is it being a luring of sorts into criticism for all this money and urban space being wasted?

Are the roads wide enough to re-allocate enough space for cyclists? Having a one-way road makes it far easier. And with bi-directional, some of which are emerging as controversial and with cause in TO - are there too many conflict points ie. intersections and alleys, with turns that could take out cyclists?

With the Harbord lane proposal in Toronto, the proposal is for bi-directional, but this is occurring ahead of doing long-awaited core bike lanes, on an existing facility that is the best/only one in west end TO, but it ends at Ossington, while Bloor St. W. of Ossington is being redone with zilch for bikes.

So some of us are being duped methinks into supporting an allegedly higher "safety" feature, whilst the overall city is avoiding doing what is needed for a real network, in cities, where it's needed.

hamish wilson more than 1 year ago

Making the transition

I love riding bikes. I ride every day to work and around the city in which I live, Portland, Oregon.
Today, I checked in on the local biking blog,, only to see several stories about bicycle riders who were injured over the past week.

There is a group from Sweden addressing transportation safety, called Vision Zero Initiative They have a great short video outlining their position. It is worth a look.
The premise is that ANY LOSS OF LIFE is unacceptable. Whether you are walking, biking, or driving... safety should be guaranteed.
What I like about this concept, is that it accepts that we are prone to accidents regardless of transportation type, and that it is the function of the internal transportation structure to take into account and eliminate the effect of human error.
Blame of the individual is tossed out and the focus is on how to shape the environment to create safer experiences.
I love dedicated bike lanes, bike boxes (in front of cars at stop lights), and bike signals.
Portland, OR

Amma Z more than 1 year ago