Are we losing the battle to become a bikeable city? Well, only 48 kilometres of bike lane have been built in a 1,000-plus kilometre plan. Do the math.
When you look at what other cities are accomplishing - Bogota closes its core to cars every Friday and on holidays; Chicago has bike racks on all its buses; Montreal two-way lanes - it's hard not to feel a little deflated by the state of cycling in the Big Smoke.
The car-first mentality at City Hall - we don't even incorporate cycling in our transportation thinking - needs to be radically turned around, and fast, or we'll just continue to spin our wheels. The mayor has committed to completing the bike plan by 2012, but can he given the obstacles that have historically been put up by parking happy biz and car crazy councillors from the burbs?
We hope the mayor's cycling advocate, Councillor Adam Giambrone, will be able to answer these and other questions at the upcoming NOW forum on cycling Wednesday (April 11, 7 pm in the NOW Lounge, 189 Church Street). The city's top cycling bureaucrat, Dan Egan, will also be there, as well as some of this city's most committed and longtime cycling advocates. Please come armed with questions and ideas.
We need to start thinking seriously about making cycling a serious transportation option. We're already too close to being doomed to a future of choking on exhaust fumes.