Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Pedal Power films and discussion
Tonight at the Pedal Power event, a short but enjoyable discussion followed the movies.
People talked about what makes cycling good in
One of the questions asked was about why Bike Plan money is being spent on the suburban parts of
Suburban cyclists are faced with huge challenges that the Bike Plan will help with. The big challenges I see every day are:
- Riding on fast moving major arterial roads, and
- Crossing expressways like the 401, usually while riding on fast moving major arterials.
Both of these challenges are extremely intimidating and frightening for inexperienced cyclists. I’m sure many wouldn’t even consider riding on Yonge St. The Bike Plan will help people ride on some of the arterials by providing bike lanes. Even better, in some cases people will be able to avoid major arterials all together. And of course, providing safe places for people to cross expressways will lead to more cyclists being seen in the suburbs.
I have no studies to back me up, but I’m convinced there are many people out there who have entirely ruled out cycling as a way to get to work because of one or two of the challenges I mentioned above. These difficult areas may make up a tiny fraction of their overall commute, but as far as they’re concerned, their bike commute is impossible because of it. I can say that I almost gave up on my bike commute early this year until I found a better way to cross the 401.
Councillor Adam Giambrone did a good job of fielding the question about suburban Bike Plan spending. He pointed out that it was important to give people in the suburbs the option of riding to work or to transit stations, and that there are potential cyclists all over the city.
I don’t know of any more scheduled bike events like this. I hope they keep coming. I’ll do what I can to go and represent the suburban
Darren J 9/27/2005 11:51:00 PM
I'm faced with no choice but to use these intimidating routes. I can take Bathurst, Yonge or Bayview southbound from Richmond Hill. If there were other roads, I would likely take them. As it stands, I can take less traveled roads for about half of my 20km round trip commute.
I know that bike lanes are controversial, but some mornings during the rush I really wish I had one to use as an option.
The north-south route near Yonge and the 407 is terrible. All the decent roads like Willowdale and Henderson come to dead ends. I had to ride on Yonge up there a month ago and was sweating just from the stress.