Ryan Whitney, the Complete Streets Researcher and Program Manager here at TCAT, has been busy establishing the methods for the Complete Streets Gap Analysis due to be completed in mid-January 2012. The Gap Analysis will provide a comprehensive overview of Complete Streets policy language, or similar policy language, in Ontario as well as barriers to implementing these policies. The research will also include a Case Studies section that will profile several exceptional communities across the province working towards Complete Streets.
In most of Canada's urban areas we take it for granted that the importance of having sidewalks on each and every street is not a matter of contention, at least not to the same extent as it is in parts of the U.S. But up until now there has been one historical significant gap in downtown Toronto's pedestrian network, on Richmond Street between Spadina and Peter Streets.
One of TCAT's goals for last month's Complete Streets Forum was for the City of Toronto to adopt a complete streets policy. As such we were quite pleased that Gary Welsh, General Manager of Transportation Services and many other senior transportation staff attended the Forum. Mr. Welsh was quoted in the Toronto Star the day after the Forum that he will take a serious look at adopting a complete streets policy in Toronto.
The City of Toronto's Cycling Infrastructure and Programs unit is hosting a Public Open House on proposed upgrades to the existing multi-use paths in Trinity Bellwoods Park. It will be important for cyclists and pedestrians to attend and share their feedback on the proposed realignment and resurfacing, both with City staff and fellow park users.
Date: Wednesday, February 24
Time: 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Trinity C.R.C., 155 Crawford St., Assembly Hall
The City of Toronto is proposing an amendment to the Official Plan to introduce area-specific policies for properties on Bloor Street West, between Avenue Road and Bathurst Street. The draft amendment is intended to implement a vision for the area as determined through the Bloor Corridor Visioning Study process, in consultation with the local community and area representatives.
Date: Tuesday, November 10
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Committee Room 1, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
According to a June 16th SDSU NewsCenter article, "No matter which country you are in, new research finds those who live in an urban neighborhood are twice as likely to be physically active the those in the suburbs. According to a San Diego State University study published in this month's American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the biggest single factor influencing physical activity around the world is accessibility to sidewalks.
On June 3rd, TCAT will be addressing the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on the following four issues:
1. Motorized Bicycles on Sidewalks. TCAT supports the Toronto Pedestrian Committee's recommendation that no bicycle that includes a motor of any kind be allowed to travel on the sidewalk. For more info, see this recent Toronto Star article.
Roncesvalles will be reconstructed in 2009-10 and the community is actively involved in debating how to best balance the needs of everyone who uses the street. To find out more about the design proposals being considered and to comment on how to best incorporate walking and cycling into the process, go here.