LPRO is very committed to a better community for all of us to enjoy and as such we are a strong supporter of active transportation, whether you walk, cycle or roll. We believe in sustainable, affordable, healthy and enjoyable ways for us to get around our neighbourhood and city. We demonstrate this commitment through a close relationship with several advocacy organizations, including Cycle Toronto, the City’s leading cycling advocacy group, elected officials from all three levels of government, neighbouring residents' associations, and the local Business Improvement Areas (BIA’s).
Our Advocacy has had a favourable impact on the community with several safety enhancements over the past several years. We were instrumental in having the city install a refuge island on Bathurst Street to connect the Belt-Line Trail for the benefit of walkers, joggers and cyclists. We also consulted on the establishment of the Avenue Road Pedestrian Safety Zone that resulted in a speed limit reduction to 40km/h, added a curb-side buffer-zones to protect pedestrians and eliminated parking. This has resulted in a calmer and safer experience. More work still needs to be done on Avenue Road and all major arterial streets with a view to improving safety for all users.
ActiveTO Midtown: Yonge Becomes A Complete Street >
In April 2021, Toronto City Council approved the installation of a Complete Street Pilot on Yonge Street between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue. A Complete Street is a transportation policy approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. The Complete Street on Yonge incorporates two programs that were introduced by the City in 2020: ActiveTO, an enhanced network of protected bike lanes to allow cyclists to move around Toronto more safely, better connect the city, and mirror major transit lines; and CafeTO, an on-street dining initiative to support restaurants, bars and cafes. The objectives are:
Support Vision Zero, the plan adopted by the City to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities related to vehicle collisions.
Support climate change goals such as TransformTO, designed to reduce GHG emissions to net zero by 2050. Walking and cycling are much easier on the environment than driving.
Encourage neighbourhood shopping at a time of unprecedented competition from e-commerce, big-box retailers, and bigger shopping malls.
Reduce speed, including street racing, a dangerous problem all along Yonge Street.
Manage increased population density by making alternatives to driving viable.
Support equity on our streets. Walking and cycling are the least expensive ways to travel and put less wear-and-tear on infrastructure than cars.
Create a north-south route for cyclists that connects to an east-west network.
In April 2022 Council extended the Complete Street on Yonge Pilot until January 2023. While the Pilot is doing well by many measures, such as increasing cycling and walking trips in the area and reducing speeding, there are some further adjustments proposed to alleviate car congestion, support local businesses and residents, and improve TTC’s shuttle bus operations.
Cycling Myths Debunked >
As cycling becomes more popular as a means to travel around our city, opinions versus facts also seem to increase. The link below attempts to address this controversy:
Bike Thefts Are on the Rise >
Bike theft has become a serious problem in Toronto. The police are reporting that nearly 4,000 bikes were stolen in 2020, roughly three times higher than 2014. The recent boom in cycling and a limited supply of new bikes from manufacturers, both due to the pandemic, are likely contributors to this large increase in crime. Although it is impossible to protect your bike in every situation there are many common sense, effective steps you can take to significantly reduce the likelihood of losing your cherished ride to theft, including registering your bike with the Toronto Police. See the City of Toronto’s website for tips: Bike Theft Prevention
You can also register with Project 529 to increase the odds of recovering your bike if it is stolen. Their community includes over 400 law enforcement agencies, universities, bike clubs and bike shops around the world, as well as individuals like yourself. To learn more and register your bike click here: project529
Cycling Safety Tips >
The following videos were created by CycleTO and provide valuable instructions for both cyclists and drivers on staying safe while cycling: Road Rules for Cyclists and Drivers
Connecting Neighbourhoods Across the 401 >
If you have ever ventured across the 401 on foot or by bike at any of the several main arterial streets, you will know how perilous a journey it is. These crossings are dominated by vehicle traffic moving at high speeds as they enter and exit the highway. This has had the long-term effect of dissuading people cannot or choose not to drive from attempting to connect with neighbourhoods on the other side.
Our city should not have barriers for people to move freely and safely if they choose to walk or cycle.
LPRO and CycleTO have engaged the City of Toronto, which governs the streets on either side of the 401, and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which governs the space in between, to coordinate a plan that safely accomplishes this. City Transportation staff and Councillor Mike Colle are supportive of this initiative.
Crossings such as the 401 present many challenges and finding the right solution for all purposes is very difficult. The on-ramp to the DVP at the east side of the Bloor Street bridge (aka the Bloor Viaduct) is one of the better examples to learn from. Next spring the first crossing scheduled to be addressed will be the Avenue Road bridge and, depending on the results, may provide a working model that can be applied to Dufferin, Bathurst, Yonge and Bayview crossings at the 401 as well.
Automated Speed Enforcement >
Enforcement is a key driver of street safety
Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is an automated system that uses a camera and a speed measurement device to detect and capture images of vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limit. It is designed to work in tandem with other methods and strategies, including engineering measures, education initiatives and traditional police enforcement. ASE is focused on altering driver behaviour to decrease speeding and increase safety. The images are reviewed by Provincial Offence Officers and then tickets are issued to the owner of the vehicle regardless of who was driving. Upon conviction, the only penalty is a fine – no demerit points will be issued nor will the registered owners driving record be impacted. Automated Speed Enforcement systems are currently active in Community Safety Zones near schools. In the first month, it handed out 22,301 of them. Mayor Tory said that’s a “horrifying” number of people speeding in school zones.
See the current locations of speed cameras in the City of Toronto: Camera Locations.
Our goal at LPRO is to make North Toronto’s sidewalks and streets safe for its residents of all ages. You can help us by identifying high risk areas to pedestrians and cyclists and making suggestions on how to improve them.
Eglinton Connects >
Canada’s longest continuous bike path is coming in…2022?
The new streetscape design for Eglinton Avenue will include protected and marked cycle lanes along the Eglinton Crosstown route from Mt. Dennis to Kennedy Road. This is one of our highest priorities: once completed it will represent the longest bike lane in Canada at 19km long!! Our task is to lobby all three levels of government to make sure funding is in place so that the bike lanes can be completed as planned and at the same time as Eglinton Crosstown is put into service. Originally estimated for mid-2022, the opening of the Eglinton Crosstown has been delayed – again. The new expected opening date has yet to be announced. Stay tuned!
If you love to ride your bike to commute, shop or exercise and would like to get involved in our advocacy journey, consider joining the CycleTO Midtown group – a committed and fun group to engage with. Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org