Cycling News

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In late May, 2013, the Share the Road Coalition released polling data, which supports its campaigns to implement better cycling infrastructure and education in Ontario. While its press release targets the Toronto area where congestion has reached epic proportions, the information nevertheless highlights that many Ontario adults want better and safer cycling.

The poll was conducted by Strategic Communications Inc. of Toronto with a representative sample of 1523 adult Ontario residents over the period of May 14 to 17th, 2013

The 2013 results show that Ontario is at a tipping point when it comes to Ontarians’ support for cycling infrastructure and education. It also shows that there is a significant pent up demand across the province by people to bicycle more.”

Ontario Cycling Stats

  • Over 600,000 Ontarians are cycling daily
  • Active transportation is the most cost-effective transportation option available to Toronto. At Toronto costs, they could build 4,500 kilometers of new walking and cycling infrastructure for the same cost as building 18 kilometers of new roads.
  • 5.1 per cent of Ontarians say they ride a bike daily or almost daily, up from 4 percent in 2012.
  • 31.2 per cent of Ontarians report riding weekly or monthly up from 28 per cent.
  • A majority of Ontarians – 68 per cent — would prefer to cycle more often. This number is up from the 58 per cent of Ontarians surveyed in 2012.
  • 70 per cent of Ontarians believe that cyclists need more bike lanes or paved shoulders and 78 per cent believe that more people would cycle if there was more and better cycling infrastructure.
  • 76 per cent of Ontarians agree that “cycling gets people out of their cars, means fewer cars on the road, and provides more transit choices and that is a good reason for provincial support of cycling in Ontario”.
  • 73 per cent agree that health benefits and reduced healthcare costs for Ontario and that is a good reason for provincial support of cycling in Ontario.
  • 71% agree that cyclists are taxpayers too, have a right to use the roads, and a portion of provincial funding to roads should be earmarked to meet cyclists’ needs.
  • 89 per cent believe that the Ontario government should fund local active school travel efforts, including the development of school travel plans for schools across the province.

Cycling tourism is booming. In 2010, two million Canadian visitors went cycling while travelling in Ontario and spent $391 million

Cycling is great exercise and a viable means of transportation, but it can also be dangerous when vehicle traffic is part of the mix. It’s important for everyone to take an active role in bicycle safety.

“We always tell motorists that they have metal around them, while cyclists are vulnerable, but cyclists should be good road-sharing partners as well,” says Teresa Di Felice, director of government and community relations for CAA South Central Ontario. “We want to mitigate conflict and get to safety.”

It’s important for cyclists to think about safety and follow the rules of the road, since drivers can’t predict what cyclists are going to do. This includes riding with the flow of traffic (unless there’s a bike-specific contraflow lane), obeying traffic signals, and making eye contact with motorists at intersections.

Likewise, drivers need to give cyclists at least a metre of space when passing them, check for cyclists alongside when making right-hand turns, and look for oncoming bicycles when making left-hand turns. Drivers also need to stay farther back when driving behind a cyclist, since a bicycle can stop much faster than a car.

Cyclists have to use extra caution around big trucks, which have large blind spots despite their multiple mirrors.

“Cyclists are flexible and can get into smaller spaces, but that space between a curb and a car is different when it’s a curb and a truck,” Di Felice says.

“We tell cyclists to stay back behind the truck, to let it go and make its turn.”

Even though truck drivers make wide right turns, the trailer will always turn sharper than the truck, and a cyclist waiting at the curb could be crushed under the trailer’s rear wheels before he even realizes he’s in danger.

Di Felice also warns that while cars should move out to pass cyclists, trucks can’t always do this.

“There’s a responsibility for the trucker to give cyclists space, but they can’t easily weave out, especially if it’s uphill. We encourage truckers to do what they can, but cyclists must realize that no one’s trying to be aggressive, and they can’t manoeuvre a truck the way they would a car.”

Cyclists should also make themselves visible with lights or reflective clothing, especially at dusk, when those on bikes may still think it’s bright outside but motorists have less visibility through their windshields.

If one cyclist in a group has the brightest lights or clothing, put that person at the back of the pack, if possible.

“Cycling isn’t a fad, and we’re seeing it increase,” Di Felice says. “It’s important to address this, and our role is to look at what needs to be done.”

- - original article found at: Metro News

15 things you need to know if you're a cyclist in Toronto

Cycling in Toronto, depending on who you ask, is a risky move, a political statement, or an incredibly rewarding way to get yourself from point A to point B. With cycling-focused infrastructure and services steadily on the rise in the city, it's clear the folks who place themselves in the latter category are increasing in number.

But with so much to consider - the multitude of bike stores to shop at, the hair-raising traffic, and the ever-evolving lanes and regulations - getting started can be a bit intimidating. Study up on our handy cheat sheet, and you'll be cruising comfortably across town on two wheels in no time.

Here are 15 things you need to know if you're a cyclist in Toronto.

- - continue article at: Blog TO

 

New bike racks in Norfolk

Norfolk County has just gotten a little more bike-friendly.

Cyclists now have more options to safely lock up their bikes after the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and public works department installed 50 bike racks throughout the county over the summer.

“Our original plan was to focus on installing racks at county facilities like the libraries, administration buildings, museums and community centres,” said Michele Crowley, health promoter for the health unit.

Interest from area businesses prompted county staff to install racks curbside in the downtown cores as well, Crowley added.

The county hopes the new bike racks will encourage more residents to leave their cars at home and cycle to their destinations.

“It’s far easier to lock up your bike and walk into a shop than to have to circle looking for a parking spot for your car,” said Crowley. “It’s also much more environmentally friendly.”

Local cyclist Alyson Thomson is one Norfolk resident who relies on her bike to get around town and do errands.

“The new bike racks are great because now I don’t have to spend time looking for a pole or a tree to lock my bike to,” Thomson said. “It’s nice to see more support for people who don’t have a car or don’t want to use it if you’re just going down the street for groceries.”

- - Continue article at: Norfolk News

Great Waterfront Trail Adventure

Slowly but surely, pedal power is changing the tourism landscape.

That’s how organizer Marlaine Koehler described the impact of  events such as the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, a cycling tour that brought visitors from as far as Florida, Idaho and British Columbia through Brockville Thursday.

“What we’re seeing is that the cycling tourism argument keeps growing and growing,” said Koehler, executive director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

Bicycle chop shop in Guelph

The report came in as a medical call but when Guelph Police were finished at a home on Paisley Street they left with much more than a patient in an ambulance.

See video at CTV News Kitchener

locked bike was missing

When Lisa Ferguson’s bicycle went missing from one of the city’s busiest intersections on Wednesday afternoon, she presumed she’d been the victim of a bike thief.

Little did she know, the silver hybrid she had locked to a TTC pole at Bloor and Yonge streets 90 minutes earlier, was tucked safely away at the back of the nearby Hudson’s Bay Centre, removed by private security guards for apparent public safety reasons.

Efforts to get to the bottom of how a bike could be seized without warning erupted into a storm of bureaucratic confusion on Thursday, involving the city, the property owners, TTC and police.

Ms. Ferguson only got to the bottom of the “theft” because she spotted an all-seeing eye in the sky — a security camera.

Hoping for assistance in filing a police report, she approached a security guard, asking him if he’d seen anything.
She was shocked when he told her he had taken it, having snipped the lock at the behest of the property owner, Brookfield Properties.

“I looked at him in disbelief. There’s no sign saying not to park there, so I think most people would assume it’s OK,” she said.


continue reading at: National Post