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Morning Brew: Bike lanes on University Avenue, bike-sharing program in sights, pharmacies cut services, York University sued over lax security, 905 area code near full, Jays' Ricky Romero almost earns no-hitter

Advocates for cycling in the city have lots to celebrate today. It looks like dedicated bike lanes are coming to University Avenue, which is great because there are so many Bay Streeters who live in Forest Hill that would prefer to leave their Lexus' at home all winter to ride downtown in their suits at 6am. The test phase would run from July to September, but to make it representative I think they should run the test from July to February.

The Public Bike System Company, the company behind Montreal's "Bixi" bike sharing program, is aiming to have 1000 public-access bicycles at our disposal here in Toronto by May of 2011, and the city has secured a safe and modest deal to make it happen with little risk or huge financial burden. Now if only we could get a few thousand more bikes on the road so we can do away with the Queen Street streetcar tracks altogether... except during the five months of wintry weather we experience every year.

We're paying too much for prescription drugs here in Ontario, and in an attempt to cut drug costs for consumers, proposed changes to the province's drug plan policies have the big pharmacies calling foul. As a result, Rexall has canceled free prescription drug delivery and Shoppers Drug Mart is cutting store hours (starting in Health Minister Deb Matthews' riding).

York University is facing a $3.5-million lawsuit related to the alleged failure to ensure the safety of students in campus residences. The lawsuit is a result of the rape of a student in 2007, and comes after the university invested about $3-million in security upgrades following the incident.

Remember when you use to be able to dial just seven numbers to call your friend in Scareborough? Or like how if you knew the place is just outside Toronto, you could count on it being area code 905? Those days are numbered. Within a few years, "the 905" will be known as "the 905 and 289 and 365" because we're running out of telephone numbers and require additional area codes for Mississausage and beyond. And it's predicted that we'll require 12-digit dialing by 2039.

And young Jays' pitcher Ricky Romero came really close to getting a no-hitter against the White Sox last night. He gave up a two-run homer in the 8th in a 4-2 Jays win. The only Jay to notch a no-hitter is Dave Stieb, way back in 1990.

Photo: untitled by Jude Marion, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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