Pressure from all sides
If Jarvis St is not quite part of the Village, it is at least a close relative, the gaybourhood’s rebellious younger brother. Or, to switch metaphors entirely, Jarvis is a release valve — a neighbouring hood with a large queer population, but slightly lower rent.
The strip is rougher around the edges than the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood, but the Jarvis Street Streetscape Improvement, which earned environmental approval early this year, seems bent on changing that.
So far, debate over that plan has focused — relentlessly — on traffic. It’s true that the plan calls for bike lanes, but with only two minutes of added driving time expected during rush hour, it’s not exactly a pedestrian takeover.
Rather, mock-ups imagine Jarvis as a Richard Florida–style “cultural corridor,” anchored by the National Ballet School and Rogers’ headquarters and lined with granite curbs, bronze sidewalk inlays, trees, planters and sidewalk light fixtures.
Filed under Features, Xtra!
Campus police officers stood by two miniature stop signs set up outside the Sid Smith building, stopping cyclists as they passed southbound on St. George yesterday afternoon.
But though they were pulled over by the cops, no one was getting in trouble.
“We’re doing an educational bike spot check,” says Veronica Amodeo, bike coordinator for the U of T police. “It’s not enforcement related…we’re not giving out tickets or fines.” Instead, they are telling cyclists about potential tickets they could be getting, as part of Safety Week, run by campus police.
The Bike Chain opens amid fanfare
A party of music, food, and bike races on the SAC lawn yesterday launched The Bike Chain, a student-run bicycle repair shop that will operate out of OISE’s underground parking lot.
“The barriers to bicycle commuting at U of T and in Toronto are enormous,” said one of the coordinators, Carlene Martin, in a press release.
The Bike Chain will aim to break down those barriers with workshops on bicycle maintenance and repair. Experienced mechanics will be on standby with tools every weekday afternoon to teach students and faculty, and do repairs with bike parts sold at cost.
THE ANNEX – A bus, a bike rack and my bicycle; all of the ingredients are on the platform at Bathurst station, I’m just not sure how to put them together. I’m trying out the bus-mounted bike racks that have been installed on 98 buses spread over five (soon to be six) TTC routes for a one-year pilot program. Each bus can carry two bikes at a time, and they ride for free. But as many times as I read the pamphlet on which handle to pull when, I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to get my battered CCM on transit.
I wave my intention to the driver. Then I wave again, in confusion. In an act that seems well above the call of duty, he gets off to give me a tutorial. I learn to pull a handle up slightly to unlock the rack, fold it out towards the ground, place my wheels in two grooves and pull a black foam-covered U over my front wheel.
Filed under Eye Weekly, News
City cyclists all have first- or second-hand stories to tell about accidents, close calls, car doors and other perils of urban cycling. Derek Chadbourne, a member of Advocacy and Respect for Cyclists (ARC) is no exception. Chadbourne’s friend was thrown off his bike after hitting a particularly large pothole near Adelaide and Victoria. The accident destroyed his front wheel, but he got off with a few bumps and bruises. You could call this good luck — at least he didn’t find himself underneath a passing vehicle.
It’s a situation that wouldn’t surprise Daniel Egan, the city’s manager of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
“I’ve talked to lots of cyclists who’ve hit a pothole and crashed,” he says.
Potholes are inconvenient in a car. Rough roads also cause wear and tear on the vehicle. But on a bicycle, potholes are downright dangerous.
Filed under Eye Weekly, News