Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Still We All Ride And Ride

Postcard From The Prairies

Photo by W. Dalrymple

Mayor Miller Flogs A Dead Horse

"... Miller was contrite about the city's failure to significantly implement the ambitious Bike Plan.
"I learned a lesson here. My approach was to say, the bike plan is underfunded, let's put money in the budget for it, which we did. We increased the funding I think by $1 million a year. And it didn't result in many more kilometres. And the lesson I learned is, the only way for the bike plan to succeed... is we have to bring the cycling community together with the neighbourhoods and get some strategic routes in the plan first. It has to be a political exercise, not a money exercise. We tried to do it with money and it hasn't worked because of local opposition so now we have to try to work with communities and cyclists," he said."

Via Inside Toronto
Tammy Thorne has written a great post on Spacing Votes Highly recommended.

I Brake Cars

Art by Sally McKay

From my 'Art That I Love' files

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Star calls Cycling Co-Chair Giambrone a "lapdog"

Royson James panned Councillor Giambrone's performance over the last 3 years. He nails it perfectly calling the Co-Chair of the cycling committee the Mayor's "lapdog".

Read the full story here.

Contested Streets - Short Version

Bloor Street Bicycle Roulette

As I took these photos on Bloor West I could not shake the feeling that Miller will get re-elected easily and will do little more than keep the status quo/business as usual in the city for another four years as far as cyclists are concerned. Let me put it another way. If the CAA, the BIAs and the Chamber of Commerce are not complaining about how the Mayor is ruining the city for drivers and businesses - how much do you we think is actually getting done for cyclists and pedestrians never mind our lungs?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cyclists. Ward 35 does not need Dan Harris.

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) have started posting the results from their candidate survey as it relates to cycling. I urge you to read the survey results for your ward.

I found a real eye opening survey for the ward I live in. To avoid cross posting and to keep BLD neat and trim I have posted my observations here.

Take The Tooker - Ride!!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Take The Alley

Contested Streets - Thursday -

"Traffic Tales" ~ Bloor Cinema ~ Thursday October 26

Streets to Screens, the TPSC's monthly fundraising film series, has had some great audiences and good media coverage from The Toronto Star, the National Post, Torontoist, CBC Radio, and many other outlets. Paul Matthews, writing in Toronto Life Magazine's 'The Screening Room' film blog, even called us 'a perfect cinematic antidote' to the Toronto International Film Festival.

The last regular screening of the fall season is THIS THURSDAY (that's tomorrow!) at the Bloor Cinema at 7pm. It's our 'Traffic Tales' programme, featuring the CANADIAN PREMIERES of Stefan Schaefer's buzzworthy 'Contested Streets: Breaking NYC Gridlock' and Clarence Eckerson Jr's documentary short 'A Conversation with Enrique Penalosa'. Read all about these films on our website, www.streetstoscreens.ca

There is still one more bonus screening in the fall season, at the Toronto Free Gallery on November 9, then the winter season kicks off on November 23 with a very special CANADIAN PREMIERE, which will be announced tomorrow and on the website after November 16. Details are on the website.

Tickets are $9 at the Bloor Box Office, and all funds raised go to support the Toronto Public Space Committee. The film will be followed by a Q&A discussion panel moderated by Constance Exley of Planners for Tomorrow, and featuring:

* Les Kelman, Traffic Management Centre Director for the City of Toronto
* Yvonne Bambrick, Streets Are For People/PS Kensington
* Maogosha Pyjor, Community Bicycle Network
Councillor Adam Giambrone is also tentatively scheduled to speak. (someone, hold me back!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Imposter?

Our beloved transit Mayor

His action plan does include speeding up the Bike Master Plan but is short on specifics.
Can we actually believe this guy after four years of slow-pedalling?

Photo via Spacing Votes

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I95 to turn to pot.

Folks here at BLD have been experimenting with time travel on the web. We managed to capture bits of a transcript of a year 2012 NBC newscast by Tom Brokaw (I guess his recent retirement did not sit well with him).

TB: The US military confirmed that 7 American soldiers were killed in Iraq today. This brings the total number of US service people killed in Iraq to 19 758.

TB: President Jeb Bush today confirmed that it will demand that UN ban any member counrty from selling Elizabeth Taylor videos to North Korea. This is in retaliation for nuking a Japanese row boat in international waters. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Taylor's biggest fan, was deeply depressed over this but American made Prozac has eased some of his discomfort.

TB: Here in New York today Mayor Hillary Clinton announced that I95, once one of the east coast's major motorways, will be reduced to 2 lanes within 50 miles of downtown to make way for more community gardens. Cyclists are expected to demonstrate against this measure tomorrow night at Times Square. Cycling advocate Dan Archibald complained that since the last gas crisis more and more roadway has been given away to local farmers and community gardens. Mayor Clinton responded to the criticism through her office saying, "That if New Yorkers want food on their tables they must be prepared to give up I95. It is not as if any food can be trucked to New York".

--remainder inaudible--

Putting Cars Behind Us

Putting Cars Behind
Published October 16, 2006

(Gotham Gazette) by Enrique PeƱalosa

Transportation policy today means how to reduce car use. Transportation is not an end in itself. Very good transportation will not make us happy. It is a means to a kind of city. So what we really are talking about with transportation is what kind of city do we want. What is a good city?

There is a wonderful Danish urbanist, Jan Gehl, who says that a good city is like a good party – people do not want to leave. It is a city where people want to be out of their houses. We have to go out into the public space to work or to buy groceries, but the good city is the one where people want any pretext to be in the parks, on the sidewalks, in the cafes.

We have to chose between a city that is friendlier to cars or a city that is friendlier to people. I am not a car hater, but if you are with a three-year old walking next to an eight-lane highway it is clearly not a pleasant environment to be in. The slower the traffic, the narrower the streets, the wider the sidewalks, the more pleasant the city.

Adam Smith told us that each person seeking his own benefit will yield the best results for society. In the case of cities, that does not work. We cannot let every individual decide if they want to live next to a wide sidewalk or a narrow sidewalk, or what the height of the building will be

There is often a contradiction between private rationality and social convenience. What is good for the bee is not always good for the beehive. It is very logical for someone to try to use a private car. It is more comfortable than public transportation, you don’t get pressed next to people who don’t smell as you would like. But if everybody does the same thing at the same time, society will collapse. There has to be a collective decision on how we want to organize our lives.

What city model are we creating? Who benefits? What is our objective – efficient mobility for all and a certain kind of city, or do we simply want to minimize traffic jams? (rest of the article in the comments)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fall riding in Prince Edward County

Went for a ride over Thanksgiving last weekend. Lots of beautiful and quiet roads. Recommended.