Toronto lags in bicycle use...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Toronto lags in bicycle use...

    Nothing new here...


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    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...2154&t=TS_Home

    Cycling here is stuck in traffic
    We lag major Canadian cities in bicycle use and promotion
    More people bike to work in chilly Montreal
    KEVIN MCGRAN
    TRANSPORTATION REPORTER

    Toronto is trailing other Canadian cities when it comes to cycling, and Ottawa and Queen's Park are doing little to help, say researchers at a prestigious U.S. university.
    John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, of New Jersey's Rutgers University, say promoting cycling as a healthy, affordable, pollution-free mode of transportation would be an ideal way to reduce greenhouse gases. But it can't be achieved as long as Ottawa and Queen's Park continue to "neglect cycling as a serious transport mode," they say.
    "It is time for the federal government and Canadian provincial governments to provide the sort of support for cycling that would enable cities to make the needed investments in cycling infrastructure, as well as fund complementary educational, training, and law enforcement programs," they say in the study, "Cycling Trends and Policies in Canadian Cities," recently published in the journal World Transport Policy and Practice.
    Statistics from the 2001 Canadian census show that cycling accounts for 1.2 per cent of all work trips in Canada, which pales in comparison to the 10 per cent achieved in western Europe but is still far greater than the 0.4 per cent in the United States, according to the study.
    But Toronto trails all major Canadian cities, with 0.8 per cent of work trips made by bike, although that increases to 1.3 per cent in the downtown core.
    "If Canadian cities really want to further increase cycling levels, they will have to further expand cycling infrastructure, curb low-density sprawl, and impose more restrictions and charges on car use," the authors say, adding a "carrot and stick" analogy to promote cycling and discourage car use.
    As "carrots," they advocate:
    More bike paths and bike lanes, separated from car traffic.
    Policies that promote mixed-use, denser and less car-dependent land use in suburbs.
    Traffic calming in residential neighbourhoods, plus car-free zones and parking restrictions.
    The co-ordination of public transport with bicycling, including convenient and secure bike parking at rail and bus stops, bike racks on all buses, and accommodation of bikes on all rail transit vehicles.
    Provincial funding for a mandatory cycling education course for grades 3 or 4.
    Among the "sticks," the study advocates higher gasoline prices, higher motor vehicle registration fees, higher sales taxes on cars, more roadway tolls and higher parking prices. Unless cities can implement such measures, "it may be difficult to convince increasingly suburbanizing Canadians to drive less and bike, walk, and take transit more often," the study states.

  2. #2

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    Read this this morning in the metro, if my employer would let me bring my bike indoors I would be riding to work. From where I live it's actually 10 minutes faster than transit.

    One thing that does bother me is the "sticks" which are mentioned

    My wife and I are about to buy our first car and obviously it will be cheap but adding more levy's taxes etc would just be unfair oppression, we have to have a car to visit her parents. I guess if they actually created a half decent infrastructure for cyclists to commute like more bike lanes, more interconnecting paths and even lockable bike boxes instead of exposed racks more people would choose to ride to work, and then we wouldn't need punishment as incentive.

  3. #3
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    Toronto - an outsider's perspective

    The major problem with cycling in TO is the sprawl. People who live in Bramalea and etobicoke and Barrie work in Toronto. Kind of hard to ride those distances back and forth every day. To their credit, torontonians, though, have embraced their mass transit system.

    ANd as for cars and increasing the cost and taxes - I'm all for it. By chosing the type of car and how and when you use it you can offset the difference in price. However, I should mention that I have arranged my life so I can ride almost everywhere (live downtown, cheap 'outside bikes' that won't be stolen). We have a car for my wife's work, and we use it to drop the kid off at daycare in winter, but it stays home many days throughout the year.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  4. #4
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    The problem with Toronto is poor urban development instead of fewer cyclists compare to other cities. The city of Toronto must force urban planners to design business infrastructure to spread out evenly outside of downtown core. This will aleviate traffic problems significantly.

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