April 25, 2012
Recent TCAT activities and news items:
- Complete Streets Forum 2012 Highlights
- TCAT releases new report: Complete Streets Gap Analysis
- TCAT awarded Metcalf internship grant
- Mountain Equipment Co-Op Run on Apr 28, Proceeds to TCAT
- TCAT Invited Speaker at Toronto Board of Health meeting
- Controversial Info Pillar Placement Guidelines to be improved
- Join the TCAT Steering Committee
1. Complete Streets Forum 2012 Highlights
What a great day! A record breaking number of delegates participated in TCAT's fifth annual Complete Streets Forum on Monday April 23, 2012 at the Evergreen Brick Works. There were 230 delegates gathered in Toronto and another 20 joined in through webcasting for a total of 250 participants! This represents a 13% increase from last year and 29% from our first conference in 2008. We are thrilled that so many people from Toronto, across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and beyond find this to be a worthwhile and important event. This year there were more registrants from outside of the GTA than in previous years including Chicago, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Chicago and New York. 30 speakers delivered keynote presentations, participated in panel discussions and led workshops, sharing their expertise and experiences.
In the first keynote of the day, Gary Toth from Project for Public Spaces discussed how the principles of Complete Streets help communities reach their true potential, while making streets more efficient for all users. John LaPlante, P.E., PTOE, from T.Y. Lin International discussed how Complete Streets approach helps community and transportation goals. Monica Campbell, from the City of Toronto, and Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel, discussed recent studies demonstrating the importance of active transportation to citizens' health and well-being. Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute shared his discoveries from over 4,000 'walking audits' during a keynote that included unique photographs and stories from cities across North America. As well, breakout sessions throughout the day gave delegates the opportunity to discuss complete streets policies, planning, and engagement.
Toronto was already talking about Complete Streets in the early hours of Monday morning, as keynote speaker Gary Toth discussed the philosophy of Complete Streets with CBC Radio's Metro Morning. The interview is archived online.
Most of the powerpoint presentations from the Forum are now available to view on TCAT's website. The rest will be uploaded shortly. In the upcoming month we will be uploading video, photos and a summary report to the website.
Thanks so much to our generous sponsors, our inspirational speakers, our fantastic volunteers, advisory committee and staff and everyone else who participated and made the 2012 Forum such a great success.
Photo Credit: Dan Burden
2. TCAT releases new report: Complete Streets Gap Analysis
3. TCAT awarded Metcalf internship grant
Please contact Ryan Whitney (email@example.com), Complete Streets Researcher and Project Manager, if you think that your community is a good candidate to be profiled for this research.
4. Mountain Equipment Co-Op Run on Apr 28, Proceeds to TCAT
Be a part of MEC Toronto's first running event:
MEC Toronto 5K Lakeside Loop - Saturday April 28
The MEC 5K Lakeside Loop will start at Coronation Park, head west along the Martin Goodman Trail, then loop back and finish at Coronation Park. Click here to view the route.
This fun community race will get the juices flowing and help kick off spring in our city and there will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in both men's and women's categories, and of course, there will be an amazing assortment of draw prizes! All are welcome!
Check-in starts at 8:30am. The 5k measured run starts at 10:00am.
Race kit pick-up: Friday April 27th at MEC Toronto (400 King St. West) from 10am to 8pm, or at Coronation Park from 8:30am – 9:30am on race day.
Registration fee: $10, and $15 (cash only) on day of event.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, Outreach Co-ordinator, Mountain Equipment Co-op for more information.
All proceeds go to TCAT! See you there!
5. TCAT Invited Speaker at Toronto Board of Health meeting
Eva Ligeti and Nancy Smith Lea have been invited to present TCAT's Complete Streets by Design research at the April 30 Toronto Board of Health meeting. On the agenda is Toronto Public Health's report released April 23rd titled "Active Transportation & Health". This new TPH report, part of the Healthy Toronto by Design report series, reviews literature discussing transportation and health, presents data about the walking and cycling mode shares in Toronto, and quantifies the health benefits of active transport in Toronto. It includes a number of recommendations for improving active transportation in Toronto, including a reduction of vehicle speed limits (read Dylan Reid's Spacing post here), improved traffic signal phases for pedestrians and cyclists, and improvements to transit infrastructure that support more "bike and ride" trips.
6. Controversial Info Pillar Placement Guidelines to be improved
Thanks to Gord Brown and other pedestrian advocates, there is some good news to report about concerns expressed regarding the placement of the new info pillars on Toronto sidewalks.
On April 23, 2012 the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) recommended the following:
That Principle 4 be removed from the recently proposed InfoPillar Placement Guidelines that would would have permitted special exceptions for the InfoPillars to be placed within the Pedestrian Clearway, contravening the previously approved Vibrant Streets Guidelines.
- That Principle 3 be strengthened - clarifying that placement in furnishing zone (outside of the Pedestrian Clearway) be required, not optional.
- Adding additional restrictions with regard to sightlines and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
- Specifying maximum concentration in any Ward.
The recommendations have been referred back to Transportation Services for consideration who will report back to PWIC, probably at their May 16th meeting. The full committee decision document can be viewed here.
7. Join the TCAT Steering Committee
A reminder that TCAT has one spot on its Steering Committee to fill. Applications accepted until April 30th. For more information, the full description and background can be found here. Have a look and consider joining our team!