WTF is up with the Bike Plan? Under 9 km installed 2018

Not quite 9 km of new bike lanes installed in Toronto in 2018

About the same planned for 2019

by Robert Zaichkowski and Albert Koehl 

This 750m bi-directional bike lane along Harbour-Lakeshore Blvd W. (between Bay and Rees Streets) was the only new downtown addition in 2018.

The final Bike Plan numbers are in for 2018 -- and they are not pretty. 

It’s hard to call 8.7 km of new bike lanes “progress” given our road network measures over 5,600 km. Almost three years into the new plan, we’re not much closer to achieving the 335 km of new on-road infrastructure to be installed in the ten-year timeframe. Yes, it takes time to plan new bike lanes, but it only takes seconds for a cyclist’s life to be violently ended. Five of our fellow city residents were killed --- the worst toll since amalgamation (1998) --- and many others have been seriously injured while riding bikes in the city last year. We need infrastructure - in the form of protected bike lanes that connect to each other - now.

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Bike Plan Tracking document revised January 2019

Bike Plan Tracking - Revised 20190112

Read the full story here:

WTF is up with the bike plan

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Man of Steel: The story of Mike Barry and Mariposa bicycles

Man of Steel

~ On December 29, 2018, Canadian cycling legend Mike Barry passed away. This story is republished now in his memory and was featured in dandyhorse issue 2. Because of Mr. Barry's relationship with artist Greg Curnoe we were able to use his artwork - a painting of one of the Mariposa bicycles Barry built for Curnoe - on the cover of issue 2. Thank you Mike Barry and may you RIP. ~ 

Story by Adam Hammond. Photos by Molly Crealock 

Looking out their windows in the early months of 1970, the residents of Davisville Avenue would have seen something strange. Half visible in the falling snow, two grown men were taking turns riding an unpainted, rusty, brakeless bicycle along the icy roadway.

Looking as delicate and out of place as a butterfly in the winter scene, the bike was designed not for the Canadian January in which it found itself, but for the smooth and immaculate banked surfaces of an indoor velodrome. The men who rode the bike, seeming just as out of place and speaking with foreign accents, had built it in a nearby basement. They were Mike Barry and John Palmer. It was the first Mariposa bicycle.

Mike Barry arrived from England in 1964—along with the Beatles, Kinks, and Rolling Stones—to a Toronto very much in need of British invasion. “After leaving London and the pubs of London,” he remembers, “We were very amused by the Toronto pubs. There were ‘Men’s Beverage Rooms’ which were bleak featureless rooms filled with guys drinking beer at Formica tables. A waiter would circulate the room with a tray of glasses of beer. As soon as he saw someone finish a glass he would slap another down in front of him. There was no choice of beer—you got whatever they were serving that day. There was no food available. The impression you got was ‘drink or get out.’” There were other attractions. Jazz clubs at Yonge and Dundas where, as Barry recalls, “one could see the best jazzmen in the world for the price of a beer.”

And, with some effort, there was cycling.

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Nzinga Wright: Midwife on two wheels

This story is from the dandy ARCHIVE issue 9, 2012. Photo by Molly Crealock.

On December 12, 2018, Doug Ford the Premier of Ontario, announced that his government is cutting funding for the Ontario College of Midwives. He's also cutting funds for other important things like education, including specialized programs such as those that help at-risk youth. Shame on you Premier Ford. And, Merry Christmas, eh? 

Nzinga Wright: Midwife on two wheels

by Kaitlyn Kochany

Nzinga Wright says she’s a bad-ass. She’s a midwife who rides a second-hand single-speed bicycle to client appointments, carrying fetal heart monitors and stethoscopes as she goes. She’s working to empower women about their bodies and their choices during pregnancy. Bad-ass? You better believe it.

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Making Bloor safe for cyclists is not as easy as you might think

Photo by Martin Reis from Pride and Privilege on Bloor a dandyhorse story.

Making Bloor safe for cyclists is not as easy as you might think

by Albert Koehl

For all the simplicity and joy of riding a bicycle, making roads safe for cyclists is a very complex matter once it reaches City Hall. It’s hard to imagine that building colossal projects like the Don Valley, Gardiner, and Allen expressways could have been as difficult. By contrast, it’s worth remembering that our national railway was planned, financed, and built in about 15 years. The story of the Bloor bike lane already stretches back at least 50 years. When a 2.4- kilometre bike lane pilot on Bloor St. (between Shaw St. and Avenue Rd.) was made permanent in November 2017, it was only after the city completed what its transportation manager described as the most comprehensively studied road project in North America. Some folks might then have expected the extension of the Bloor bike lane to become easy. No such luck, as it turns out.

So, what’s going on in the latest chapter of this saga?

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