I occasionally like to post articles in which I’m quoted. Â I’ve highlighted my quotes in bold.
Cycling Sense: Advocates urge road-sharing initiatives
By, Sarah Ratchford
Novae Res Urbis, Toronto Edition Vol.18 – No.13 Â –Â Friday March 28th, 2014
Spring, maybe, is coming to Toronto, ensuring a resurgence of cyclists and a fresh round of discussions on effective road-sharing strategies.
The annual Ontario Bike Summit will be held in Toronto on April 14-15, with an agenda that includes a discussion on how to create bicycle-friendly communities.
Meanwhile, a new report from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute calls for the inclusion of â€œactive transportation,â€ such as cycling and walking, as a building block of healthy, sustainable communities.
The report, a follow-up to a 2012 study â€œHealthy Communities and Planning for Active Transportation,â€ says that many Ontario municipalities are in the process of establishing policies and practices to include cycling, walking and related activities as part of their regulatory frameworks.
â€œFurther progress is needed, however, as few communities have implemented these policies in the development of their transportation network,â€ the report states.
Long-time Toronto cycling advocate Yvonne Bambrick says that, even with city bike plan in place, increased efforts are needed to promote road-sharing knowledge by drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Â
â€œWhat we need is public education,â€ she told NRU â€œBikes belong on streets, and we need to look at how bikes are to interact [with others using the road].â€ She says those norms will be best set by public education campaigns, which she argues have been neglected in the last five years.
She describes marketing campaigns on sharing the road as a â€œworthy investment.â€
(YB note: During the interview I was clear that these public education campaigns should be targeted to all road users, not just people riding bikes.)
The OPPI report says planners have a role to play in implementing the provinceâ€™s Cycling Strategy, developed in response to a 2012 review by the Office of the Chief Coroner that cited 129 cyclist deaths between 2006 and 2010 and 95 pedestrian deaths in 2010. The coronerâ€™s office concluded that â€œ100 per cent of [pedestrian and cyclist] deaths wereÂ preventable,â€ according to OPPI.
In emphasizing the role of planners in the development of active transportation policies, OPPI states that â€œwidespread action is needed to implement an active transportation systemÂ that reduces automobile dependency, increases use of active transportation modes, addresses sedentary lifestyle issues and decreases pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths throughout the province.â€
A â€œcritical next step,â€ according to OPPI, is a shift in publicÂ policy that puts a priority of the development of a â€œcompleteÂ streetsâ€ approach to the design of roadways and a people centredÂ approach to community development
In a press release on the OPPI report, association presidentÂ Paul Stagl stated he is impressed with examples where healthyÂ community best practices are included in official plan policies,Â subdivision design and site plan approvals.
â€œThe success of these strategies is reflected in largeÂ measure by the broad partnership of interests thatÂ have come together to embrace and to implement theÂ objectives of healthy communities – planners, healthÂ officials, municipal managers and provincial andÂ municipal leaders, among others.â€
Echoing OPPIâ€™s message for all communities to address active transportation in their plans, Bambrick says cycling infrastructure needs to be developed for inner suburbs in Toronto, not just for downtown residents.Â
â€œWe shouldnâ€™t just be focusing our attention on the core,â€ she tells NRU, suggesting there is room for bike lanes on arterial roads. â€œWeâ€™re still well behind schedule [in the suburbs].â€ â€œJust because people donâ€™t live in the downtown core doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t want to use their bikes,â€ she says.