The bike budget that pays for everything except bike lanes

The Bike Budget Explainer*

We'd like to call this an *Explainer, but we can't, because, well, it's kind of inexplicable

by Albert Koehl 

Does Picasso paint Toronto’s bike lanes? You might think so when comparing the $11 million in capital spending on cycling last year with the 8.5 km of bike lanes that were actually created. Following the money offers a better, even if less satisfying, explanation. The bottom line is that only 11.5 percent of last year’s spending (plus some amount for painting the lines) from the cycling infrastructure budget went to what most people would expect from such a budget – new bike lanes.

In the spring of 2016, community advocates fought hard to secure $16 million in annual funding for cycling infrastructure. At the time, there was hope this higher funding could accelerate the Bike Plan’s ten-year timeframe for the 335-km of anticipated new bike lanes (including sidewalk level paths).

So how did we get so few bike lanes from the $16 million capital budget for cycling – of which $11 million was actually spent?

The question isn’t simply academic. Toronto’s bike infrastructure falls far short of cities like Montreal, where 90 km of new lanes were installed over the last three years alone. In fact, forty years after our first bike lane, there are bike lanes on a mere two percent of Toronto roads -- and we’re still a long way from having a coherent bike network. The lack of progress is disturbing for a year when there were five cycling fatalities – a toll not exceeded since 1998.

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Toronto Bike Show 2019

Words and pictures by Jun Nogami

Today was the first day of the annual spring Toronto Bike Show. A lot of the trends that were apparent last year are continuing. There is a lot of activity in the e-bike area, and the technology is incrementally improving.

The Amego booth had their usual broad range of e-bikes.

These Riese and Müller cargo bikes caught my eye.

This one has a rear facing child seat for a larger kid.

Speaking of cargo bikes, Bob Bell from Wike was proud that their Salamander convertible bike won a gold award at Eurobike 2018. They are starting to sell into Europe as well.

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The Make Den Maven: Irene Stickney on how fashion changed her life

~This story originally appeared in summer 2011, issue 9 of dandyhorse. We are reposting this article in memory of Karl Lagerfeld, long-time artistic director at Chanel, who has died today at age 85 near Paris. ~

Irene is pictured in both her gang colours (seafoam) and as alter ego, unicorn Karl Lagerfeld. Photos by Kristen White. Interview by Rebecca Matus.

The Make Den Maven

Irene Stickney thought she wanted to be a doctor. Then she learned to sew, and there’s been no stopping the fashion designer/bike gang member since.

dandyhorse caught up with the owner of The Make Den to find out how fashion has changed her life.

Who are you?

The daughter of a mathematician and the granddaughter of a Dandy.

How appropriate for this article!

Favourite designer?

There are so many designers! Right now I love digital prints so I’m into Mary Katrantzou but it changes every 5 minutes. I love that I have a love/hate relationship with Karl Lagerfeld. The Alexander McQueen exhibit made me cry. And I wear a lot of vintage, and things I’ve made so that’s outside the whole fashion bubble.

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Bike Lane Dig Out Saturday February 16

Dundas St E looking west at Curzon St February 15, 2019. Photo credit: Michael Holloway, Ward 14 Bikes
You're Invited to the East End Bike Lane Dig Out
Meet this Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. at the SW corner of Dundas and Jones
Do you want the city of Toronto to do a better job clearing snow out the bike lane?
Come join other community members in front of the Jones Branch of the Toronto Public Library at 1 p.m. this Saturday, February 16, 2019 - that's tomorrow! - for a "dig out" of one of the city's most popular east end bike lanes.

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