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Calling All Toronto Cyclists


Sorry for the bitter reminder of winter, but I just couldn't help but use this photo. I took it last February on the South side of Queen West right across from Trinity Bellwoods, and I couldn't even begin to explain how happy I was NOT to be the owner of this bike. To me though, this just seemed like the perfect example of how most bikes and cyclists are treated in this city; like they aren't even there. I've been lucky enough to have avoided any serious accidents or collisions with a car during my 4 years as a cyclist in this city, but I can't say the same for a few of my friends. I'm sure you all have horror stories as well... motorists blocking off bike lanes, trying to dodge swinging car doors, smacking giant SUVs as they neglect to notice they're cutting you off... the list goes on.

So as a concerned cyclist, do you ever wish you could do something more than simply smashing a negligent (or even malicious) driver's sideview mirror off with your U-Lock? Though the thought of this rash form of retaliation is quite tempting (actually VERY tempting), the City of Toronto is offering perhaps a much more constructive method of expressing your opinions on this matter...

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As I unlocked my bike on King Street the other day, I found this slip of paper stuck under my break cable. And as I looked around, every other bike seemed to be sporting the same little note. So it seems the word is spreading: Toronto wants your thoughts, opinions, complaints, suggestions, feedback... whatever you want to call it. And they want it this coming Thursday, July 26th at 6:30pm in St. Lawrence Hall on King Street East. Discussions and presentations will be focused around the current status and ongoing growth of the Toronto Bike Plan and how some positive changes can be realized, hopefully in the near future. The plan hopes to tackle a number of different issues from more bike friendly streets to better locking posts and more designated public locking sites.

Some of this may sound like the same old thing, but it's still worth a peek. Nothing will really happen to change things if we don't take these opportunities to be heard when people are actually listening. We'll definitely be doing a followup on this open discussion, so come by on Thursday, and at the very least we'll be able to share some horror stories and maybe even bitch a little. And who doesn't love that?

For more about the discussion, see the website for details. Until then, ride safe... and keep those U-Locks handy (purely for safety reasons of course).


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