Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fast lane to safer cycling

Globe and Mail, July 7
Author: Albert Koehl

[An opinion article, but with some interesting suggestions about moving to the next stage. -MH]

Ontario planning law already puts a healthy emphasis on cycling, walking and transit. Both the Toronto region's growth plan and the Provincial Policy Statement, which is currently under review, require cities to consider the safety of cyclists. The growth plan directs cities to ensure that bicycle and pedestrian networks are integrated into transportation planning “to provide safe, comfortable travel for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Unfortunately, the law has just enough ambiguity to allow a “business as usual” approach. By imposing minimum standards on cities - such as the requirement to install bike lanes on roads with specified cycling levels or when road redevelopments take place - the province will move the municipal debate about bike lanes from “if” to “how.”

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