We are 32 Spokes, a cyclist advocacy group promoting cycling safety in Toronto's Ward 19–Beaches and East York. We are volunteer residents, self-organized and funded through donations.
We envision a future in which Beaches-East York residents shop locally and enjoy the neighborhood in safety. Seniors have use of assisted mobility vehicles and snow-cleared "bike" lanes, and children have safe routes to school. We envision that our ward has become known for safe use of "micro-mobility" options ranging from skateboards and scooters to bikes to electric-power-assisted vehicles. In this future, Beaches-East York has ready connections for travel to the rest of the city for commuters, and to bring visitors to our ward. The neighborhood is seen as a desirable place to raise kids and retire, a top choice in the city. Property values reflect this.
We envision a world not suffering gasoline-fueled climate chaos, ecologic collapse, and economic ruin. One where ultra-low-emission micro-mobility shoulder our transportation needs while we tackle climate change.
We support for clean, modern, efficient, accessible and affordable mass transit solutions as improving transportation would make every single point above much more likely to be a reality. We know that residents of Beaches-East Work would love to get out of their car if they could rely on mass transit to get them to work and to pick up a child. And we know that absent working mass transit, the cars, racing yellow lights, congestion, frustration, inappropriate use of sidewalks, pedestrian injuries and fatalities, etc. won't improve.
Cyclists continue to die on the streets of Toronto every year. Our ward has bike lanes on Woodbine Avenue, Dundas Street, on Cosburn Avenue, and on Dawes Road and in two major parks (along Taylor Creek and the Lakeshore). As the map below shows, these do not form any sort of continuous network, leaving cyclists to blend with vehicles. What the map doesn't show is that all of the lanes except Woodbine Avenue are simply lines of paint on the street. As a cyclist fatality on Dundas Street in 2018 shows, paint is not enough. Our city and our ward need separated lanes.
In Beaches-East York we're blessed with some of the cleanest air in the city. We'd like to keep it that way, and think that the use of micromobility vehicles in our ward would go along way.
Cycling and other forms of micro-mobility can save the world. A car produces 4kg of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses per liter of fuel used. That's what a human at rest puts out in four days but it's only enough fuel to get the average car through one commute—one-way!
Challenges to cyclist safety in our ward include growing residential density, substantial commuter traffic on major east-west routes that connect the city center with outlying suburbs to the east, the railway tracks that limit options for north-south traffic, and the absence of protection for cyclists on the busy shopping area on Danforth Avenue.
The priority of our group is to have a bike lane on Danforth Avenue.
Air pollution map by Barreaua et all, 2011. Sourced here.