Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Calling all cars! Calling all cars!




...the street is clear!

Updating a previous post.


In the last four days since the storm my driveway's wind rows have been done no less than three times. They have also come to widen the intersection at least five times for the cars. Nothing done for the pedestrians, actually they made it worse by piling 4 feet of snow on the sidewalk.

While I appreciate their resources are probably stretched to the limit they do not have to make things worse. While this is a minor street is sees more than the average number of collisions, mostly vehicles running into the bus stop or neighbouring houses, because of a small strip mall across the street. Drivers get confused with traffic coming at them at all directions.Actually shortly after posting the original post there was a good bang up at the corner, no pedestrians were injured cause they made it onto the bus in time to avoid being hit.

Just find it a strange set of priorities.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The world has come to an end.



Those who said that Toronto would come to a complete standstill and crumble into chaos if you reduced the number of lanes on multi-lane roads, using the space for bike lanes, were absolutely right. The storm last Sunday was proof positive of this. The snow reduced widths on hundreds of City roads and very few have yet to be returned to their full width.

Since the storm the City has not moved. The financial community is in complete chaos. Retailers are slapping up "Bankruptcy Sale" signs in middle of the Christmas rush. The Mayor is thankful that it is so cold outside, thousands of seniors are suspected of passing away in the ensuing chaos and if it was not for the cold the air would be filled with their rotting stench. Garbage is piling up and attracting rats wearing wool sweaters the size of poodles... or are those poodles abandoned by their overwhelmed masters.

Yes. Toronto is at a complete standstill. Things are hopeless and probably will not get any better until spring when those lanes get returned to us.

PLEASE DO NOT PANIC. STAY IN YOUR HOME. HELP IS ON THE WAY.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Liberate A Bike Lane With A Jazz Soundtrack

Action by ARC back in when? 2003? Anyways, maybe we should get out the shovels again, eh? Last time Joe Pantalone was real embarrassed when the CBC reporter called. Promised to keep the bike lanes free of snow in future. Right.
Here is some great music to go with it from the new CD Kensington Suite by Richard Underhill called Bike Lane.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

pics for posters














I've received some really excellent submissions for the bike poster contest, and submissions are still open until January 4th at 4:00pm

(contact info below)




3 different versions of posters will be printed up and distributed to Libraries, Community Centers, Civic Centers, Environmental Groups, Bike Event Holders, City of Toronto Offices, various Associations and of course the Bike Shops.

The top works will be shown at Metro Hall Jan7-Jan 11th

The official Reception and Judging will take place Thursday January 10th at 6:00pm-pm

hope to see you out. As usual I'm eager to hear any/all input on bike month ideas feel free to let me know. cboucha@toronto.ca 416-392-7592
















Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reviewing the predictions for 2007

Last December I posted predictions for 2007, let us see how well I did. Yes there are a few weeks left.

Predictions for 2007
1. Cyclists become more organized, strike.
Cyclists did not strike but there looks like that for first time Toronto cyclists will be organized through the Cycling Union. I am taking a half point for this.
2. Mayor Miller forgets about cycling.
Easy prediction, full point.
3. TTC fares increase to $3.
The cash fare remained the same. Tokens and passes went up. We were threatened with the removal with several routes, it at best was a poorly designed bluff.
4. PS Kennsington becomes permanent.
Unclear.
5. Major accident on Gardiner causes structural damage therefore closure.
The Gardiner lives. Though two American cities had major highways devastated to infrastructure problems.
6. 5 kms of bike lanes created.
4.7kms were created. Full point.
7. Case Ootes succeeds in removing Cosburn bike lanes.
Thankfully I was wrong.
8. Gas averages $1.30/L throughout the year, with highs approaching $2.
The highest it averaged for the year was $1.18, except for the folk in Labrador City who routinely face prices higher than $1.30. We did have a gas crisis though.
9. 65 people killed by cars in Toronto.
Thank fully another prediction that was wrong... lets hope it holds to the end of the year. 49 people were killed.
10. Worst year for pollution in the last 10.
Full point.

My predictions were 35% right. Not bad for my first try. Will post my predictions for 2008 in a week or two.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Holidays from O.U.R.S!

I have been asked to post this via a hand-written note that showed up at work yesterday.
It read like this:

Dear Martin, please post this message on Bike Lane Diary. Thank you very kindly.

"If you want a new bike lane or someting else bike-related installed for Christmas please leave a comment on Bike Lane Diary.

'They say city is broke. We fix. No Charge!'
Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Official Urban Repair Squad


P.s.: Thank you for taking those photos, we enjoyed them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

O.U.R.S. Spotted in Brazil!!!

These are the first pictures of Toronto's O.U.R.S executing a guerrilla tactic in Brazil. At least that is what we think, we do not speak the language. It sure does look like they are painting bike lanes.


Check out the entire site.

This next pic is of work of an artist that I recognize, Mona Caron.
She has done some pretty spectacular CM artwork over the years.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bikes to Rwanda

What a great combination: Coffee & Bikes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPReMcBTF2M

Why the car will always be king in Toronto... or why our City is broke.





For the life of me I cannot understand why so many taxpayer dollars were spent on re-plowing the roads in my neighbourhood. They are plowing snow that will be gone in a couple of days anyways. On Sunday I hand shoveled the sidewalk to keep it clear for peds. Then they plowed the streets pushing it all back onto the sidewalks. Then they plowed the sidewalks. Today they plowed the streets and you see the results in the photos. No way I am going back out there to shovel it, I would only do it if I had a snowblower which right now I am really tempted to get. Please also notice the nice job they did on the wind rows in the driveways. What for? The snow will melt and now the peds have to fight it out with the cars on the streets.

All this from a City Hall that is constantly whining for money. Another irony is the excuses one gets if you ask for the bike lanes to be plowed. Somehow they cannot manage that.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

November 2007 Critical Mass video

Here is a Windows Media file of last month's CM. Very loosely edited, mostly due to numb fingers during capture. I will try to post a Quicktime version later.

VIDEO

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Copenhagenize!

I just saw a link posted over on Velonews about a site called Cycleliciousness. It basically deals with Copenhagen bike culture, along with information to help people around the world to "Copenhagenize" their streets. I've spent some time there and I have to say it felt like bike paradise (well, other than the whole Nordic climate thing).

Cargo bikes? Check! Cycle Commuters outnumbering Cars? Check! Cute Cycle Chix? Check? Fitting lots of C-words into that list? Check!

I'm looking forward to adding this site to my list of bike-nerd rss feeds. Dear Copenhagen: Next time I visit, I'm bringing a bike!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Critical Mass : Celebrating Friends



It is finally available! 10 years of photos of Toronto’s Critical Mass in a book. That is how long I have been photographing CM and you while riding my bike. I have taken those photos, just over 200 of them in colour and b&w, and put them into a 9″ x 7″ softcover book of 224 pages. Follow this link to purchase yours today, http://www.lulu.com/content/1528476 If you place your order before December 4th you should have it by December 24th.

The following people contributed to the book.
Foreword by Derek Chadbourne
Edited by Rick Conroy
Contributions by (in no particular order) Martin Reis, Tammy Thorne, Roger Moore, Henry Martinuk, Tanya Quinn, Chris Carlsson, Jim Swanson, Leanne Eisen, Margaret Hastings-James, Tooker Gomberg, Paul White aka Steeker, Herb Vanden Dool, Jacob Allderdice, Brandon Zagorski

Wrestling your bike.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poll: What are 'Sharrows'???

Take this poll to see if you know what 'Sharrows' are. Soon to be on a street near you.

My bicycle license



Got this many eons ago. If memory serves me well, I also had to take a bicycle rodeo course to get it. Regardless, you could not ride in the City if you did not have one. Pincourt is an island between the Island of Montreal and the mainland.

Poll: Licenses, what do you think?

Thursday, November 22, 2007


In somewhat related news, if you have any good bike photos (not season specific) then there's a call out now for Bike Month Poster images.
Metro Hall's booked for the week of Jan7-11 to showcase submissions the top 3 pics which will be printed up as full colour glossy posters.

(Remember this gem submitted by Martin from the spring?)

links can be sent to cboucha@toronto.ca or call me at 416-392-7592 with any questions/ ideas/concerns

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Send us cycling in snow pics!


So we can post them here for all to see. Yes, the above is not a snow pic.

Send the pics to darrenstehr@gmail.com
Please put "Snow Pic" in the subject and nothing larger than 600 pixels across.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Great Bike Art On Richmond

We're pretty lucky in Toronto to have great artists like Janet Bike Girl. You can check out her artwork at the annual and very popular 401 Richmond Marketplace in December. Thursday December 6 - Sunday December 9 / Thursday + Friday 11 - 8 / Saturday + Sunday 11 - 5.

Janet's photos on Flickr

Show details

Postcard

Sunday, November 18, 2007

scared/mad

I was riding westbound on the Lakeshore bike lane this afternoon when about 25 metres in front of me, at the corner of Logan and Lakeshore, another rider was crossing into the intersection on a green light.  He was moving pretty fast when he was suddenly cut off by a driver making a right turn up Logan.  He swerved to avoid the car. His bike slid out from under him and careened into the intersection, while he flew off the bike and hit the pavement.

The driver didn't stop - just carried on, perhaps oblivious to what had happened. When I got to the cyclist he was still lying on the pavement face down. He was spitting blood, his face was a mess, his arm was broken (at least it looked it), he was in shock, but he was conscious. The second person on the scene was an off-duty paramedic who happened to be driving by. I rescued the guy's bike from the road, the paramedic checked him out and called an ambulance. We hung out on the side of the road and waited for them to come and figured out what to do with his bicycle.

It scares me when I think that it could easily have been me riding into that intersection. It really scares me when I think about how much worse the ending to this story could have been. It pisses me off that the city creates infrastructure for cyclists that puts them at danger. It is unfathomable and beyond infuriating to me that the driver didn't see what happened and just drove away.

City orders cyclists to stop imitating.

The City of Toronto issued by-law 3045-49. It orders cyclists to immediately stop imitating the City's car drivers. Cyclists will no longer be able to;
1) Ride on sidewalks
2) Blow red lights
3) Ride the wrong way on one-way streets
4) Operate a bicycle impaired
5) Ride while using a cell phone
The CAA is reportedly very upset with the City because it still allows cyclists to speed and run down the elderly in crosswalks. The CAA said this should remain a privilege of tax paying motorists.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Critical Hot Chocolate and Film Night

Welcome all,

The Community Bicycle Network wishes to thank all the participants of Critical Mass by hosting a warm chocolate filled film night. All are welcome at 8pm, after the ride, at 761 Queen St W (Queen and Euclid).

Hot Chocolate will be supplied inside by Choco-sol, fair trade organic South American coco company on a pay what you can basis.

Films on Nov 30th
8pm
Documentary on Critical Mass Toronto, filmed three Masses back by Ryerson Students

8:30pm
Martin Reis and his stunning shorts

9pm
You Never Bike Alone.. The origins of Critical Mass: Vancouver

For further information, call CBN at 416-504-2918 or come on down.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Smart Set



The Folding Bike Rally November. Looking good. Submission by Justin LaFontaine.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Open house - Revitalizing Union Station

Open house - revitalizing Union Station

This Wednesday, Mayor David Miller and councillors will host an open house in Union Stations’ Great Hall from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. on November 14 to obtain public input for the revitalization of Union Station.
It'de be great to have people drop in whenever possible and voice the need for cycling infastructure as part of this project.

Details and a copy of the Union Station Master plan are at
http://www.toronto.ca/union_station

hope you can make it out.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fred Flinstone's car back on the road!

http://www.micheldebroin.org/projects/spc/video.html

Bicycle Class 101

Hello all,

My name is Geoffrey and Martino recently gave me permission to contribute...and thank you all. I have a serious issue to bring up. I wish to ask all of you who read as to your ideas on a bike class. This class Will be held in the format of Free University and Bike Pirates. I want to build a class on bike with a flexible curriculum and focus.

Classes will be every week, at Bike Pirates...Tuesday nights . Discussions will be formulated by the interests of the people that attend. If one person has a question on bike mechanics, it will be discussed, if one person wants to commit to mechanics, a workshop will be organized by the people interested. If a person wants to talk about bike safety, history, bike lanes,...etc, it will be discussed. Organizing community events is the goal of such a class.

Any thoughts, feedback is a must on this community project in the works.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

a question of style

Right around the same time Tino asked me to contribute to BLD (Thanks, Tino!) another friend sent around this link to a cycling blog from Copenhagen:

http://copenhagengirlsonbikes.blogspot.com/

I have been thinking about the question of bike style ever since. Does a Toronto bike style exist? Or has it been crushed under the heavy weight of the omni-present, monolithic, ever-so-practical, MEC reflective jacket? How about some serious Italian style like this gentleman captured on a Sunday morning on the Piazza della signoria in Florence...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sign the petition.



Streets Are for People wanted to deliver their petition to Queen's Park today, unfortunately the police did not think it was such a hot idea. TO BE CONTINUED...

In its place they did a little march over to Queen's Park. It was much appreciated by folk out on the street. Photos here.

Reminder: Centennial Park Masterplan meeting

Don't forget tomorrow is the public meeting with Parks, Forestry and Recreation to discuss Centennial Park's new Masterplan. We need to get more cycling-specific items included in the plan!

Previous post here.
Press release on the Pedal Magazine website here.

Date: Thursday, November 1st
Time: 6:00pm.
Location: Centennial Park Olympium, 2nd floor, 590 Rathburn Road, just West of Renforth Road

Is this Tino wearing Lederhosen mit Birkenstocks?

Anne's Pumpking mover

You have to see this video, very timely being Halloween and all.
http://tinyplanet.ca/~ccumbaa/PumpkinMan2007.wmv

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We need photos!

BLD staff have told of the "real" reason why Tino left BLD. A high-placed source at a major department store told a staff member that Tino has gone to work at the Art Gallery. Apparently he has seen a future for himself as a volunteer muse, a nude male muse. We were shocked and hoping that his partner is not finding out about this for the first time on BLD.

Please! Please! Please! If you are visiting the Art Gallery and see Tino at work grab a photo for this here blog. We need to increase readership.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

I love British People


Hey all,


I wanted to post a link to this amazing cinema ad by the British outfit 'CTC' (which stands for either cycle touring club or coast to coast).
it can be viewed at http://www.cyclehero.com/
be sure to check out both the long & short versions!
thanks to Janet for pointing this out to me.
bye for now.

The sidewalk rush.

911: Police, Fire, or Ambulance?
BMW: POLICE! My car was just hit by one of those scofflaws and he left the scene.
911: OK sir please calm down. Are you injured? Can you tell me what happened and your location.
BMW: I am not injured but my car has hit by a cyclist, he has done a lot of damage. He got back on his bike and took off. South bound on George St...right through a stop sign...um... he was dressed all ratty like with a bag on his shoulder.
911: Ok sir we have an officer enroute. Was the cyclist injured?
BMW: Who cares! Look what he has done to my car! Those damn cyclists think they have the right to break the law. They need license plates! I was just going in to get my morning coffee! IS THIS CITY NOT SAFE ENOUGH TO PICK UP YOUR MORNING COFFEE? Are you going to arrest that cyclist?
911: Sir, the officer has arrived but cannot find you. Are you the BMW parked in the bike lane.
BMW: No. My car is parked on the sidewalk outside Tim Hortons. What is he blind?!

CM Tonight. SCARY!


Bring treats for all! Especially for all the kids behind the wheel. They need encouragement to come back next month with their bikes.

Bloor and Spadina, 6pm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Toys and veichles







Some people like cars and dolls since the early ages...










... and they grow older and still don't belive that's dangerous to drive and use mobile phones at the same time.














And while they're always stuck in traffic...












...I'm free to ride my bike.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Signs for the future



First of all, it's a great honor being invited to write on this space. I live in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and that'll be a great pleasure to bring some news from the south to this canadian virtual space.

The sign above was made by Jose Alvaro, a bicyclist from Belo Horizonte, during World Carfree Day 2007. Some other signs (in potuguese) can be seen here. And more about WCD in Sao Paulo, here (also in english).

Thanks to Martino for oppening his house and best wishes to my partners on this Bike Lane journey.

Intelligence captured.



For quite some time BLD staff have suspected that the real Tino was abducted several months ago, a suspicion that was raised with multiple sightings of Tino at the same time in different areas. We posted photographic evidence at the time only to have it refuted.

Suspicions were raised again when Tino announced he was leaving BLD. Staff contacted a retired member of the US Air Force's Project Blue Book. Acting on his advice we had Tino followed by an intern. The intern returned in state of total fright, before passing away he left us with this sketch confirming our worst fears.

In hindsight we realized we missed a significant fact. Tino's riding had gotten real slow at the same time our suspicions were raised, he was routinely being passed by the Ladies' Auxiliary Riding Club on his commute. It should have been obvious to us, the impostor never wore Birkenstocks when riding his road bike. Tino without Birkenstocks is like a wheel without a tire.

Gotta run. There are some nice men in black at reception asking us to sign our organ donor cards.

Take a poll

This links to a three question poll on the number of cyclists and attitudes on the road. Working on expanding this poll with other bloggers to get a more extensive read on what is going on out there.

http://www.torontocranks.com/?p=191

Blue Bike Lane




Hello All,


Here's a pic of the new blue bike lane installed on Strachan Ave. today. (sbnd at Lake Shore Blvd)

The blue is inended to highlight a conflict point where drivers merge across the bike lane to make a right turn. The City is currently testing the blue material for durability.
cheers for now.
cris




Saturday, October 20, 2007

La Fuga di Olmo (Olmo's Escape)


My first film. Shot in Super 8. A lonely blue ladies bike runs away from home.
Much of what I have ever wanted to say about biking, bicycles and enviro-politics
I tried to say with this short film.

When I started Bike Lane Diary almost 5 years ago I thought it would be a good idea to document bike conditions and bike culture in Toronto. Judging from the many good comments I have received from cyclists far and wide it seems I was right. It was a good idea. Even though some of you won't believe this: I think it's time to pass on the torch to other cyclists.

Over to you, Brandon, Bruce, Cris, Darren, Guido, Goshka, Hannah, Tammy & Wes.
No worries, I'll still be around but less so on BLD. Must be moving onto other projects. The old film camera beckons. Mez needs a commercial or two. My wonderful partner Wendy wants to do something cool and exciting. Think I'll join in on the fun.

Thank you all so much for reading & writing and being so supportive.
See ya all in the Bike Lane.

Ride on!

Your friend always,

Martino

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Meeting: Centennial Park Masterplan

Parks, Forestry and Recreation will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, Necember 1st to discuss the new Masterplan for Centennial Park. This is a multi-year plan dealing with the revitalization of the 525-acre site as a public community recreation facility. Unfortunately the plan does not currently seem to include much in the way of cycling-specific needs. In fact, there has been opposition from staff regarding the addition of new cycling infrastructure in the park.

The Midweek Cycling Club (a great local cycling club that hosts weekly race series' including great learn-to-race programs for novices) hopes that enough cyclists will show up at the public meeting to show the Parks department there are enough people out there who support such facilities. They have released information detailing some of their ideas for how the Masterplan could better incorporate cyclist's needs. Some highlights include:

"All areas identified by double yellow to be asphalt surfaced with photo-cell street lamps on a timer system to enable evening use of the facility."

"
A 250m, 333m or 500m inside diameter 5m to 7m wide paved surface with slightly raised banks circle for both track-cycling training and interval training."

"
Adding showers to the ski centre's chalet and exterior access public washrooms"

"
No un-fenced leash-free dog areas within the course or adjacent to it"

"
There is no safe pace for children to learn how to bike ride; this path system would give them such a place."

"
This facility would enable a group like Midweek to host Friday night races under the lights from May until Labour Day like is done in major cities around the world."

"
Midweek currently host International Ranked Cyclo-cross races within the facility each November; the goal is to move these up to World Cup status within 5 years."

"
Other cycling disciplines (BMX, mountain and recreational) requires safe, traffic-free space, this would supply it"

"
It is estimated this facility would be used daily by novices to internationally ranked cyclists to usage levels matching those of Centennial's soccer and baseball fields."

"BMX: A track to UCI standards to be built within the new paved area of the currently unutilized hydro corridor."

"
Track: excluded at this time but may be added in the future after we have proven that these facilities get significant usage to warrant considering taking the financial and usage risk that a track would entail."

Actions Speak Louder Than Words


As Darren over at Toronto Cranks reports 27km ain't going in this year. No Surprise! As far as I am concerned A. A. Heaps has no credibility whatsoever. You can defend him all you want.
Too bad he just had to shoot his mouth off repeatedly and mislead people.

Moreover, Ian Stuart points out that Bike Lanes are all crap anyway.

Oh, well. Fuck it all. Let's ride!