Torontonians could enjoy more bike lanes, new signage, and extended bike routes soon, thanks to a new $25-million investment from the province that will fund cycling infrastructure across Ontario over the next three years.
On April 14, the provincial government announced the investment as part of its #CycleON Action Plan 1.0. #CycleON is a 20-year strategy to improve cycling in the province through a series of ongoing, multi-year action plans. This first action plan lays out steps to “design active, healthy and prosperous communities”; improve cycling infrastructure; make streets and highways safer; “promote cycling awareness and behavioural shifts”; and increase opportunities for cycling tourism.
Public Works looks at public space, urban design, and city-building innovations from around the world, and considers what Toronto might learn from them.
ParkCycle Swarm was showcased last year at an Azerbaijani public arts festival. Image courtesy of Rebar.
Sometimes you just need some grass where there is none. If you’ve ever surveyed the great concrete plains of the city and wondered how you could add a little more green space, ParkCycle Swarm is for you. Created by Rebar Art and Design Studio and N55 art collective, the ParkCycle Swarm is a system for mobilizing green space—or, more precisely, it’s a swath of living grass on a platform attached to a cargo bicycle.
Here’s the scenario: you are heading out for a leisurely day in an herbless urban setting. You hop on your ParkCycle and pedal the 2.25-by-1.2-metre patch of green to your desired location. Then you just fold the bike seat and handlebars under a panel of turf, and settle in for luncheon on the grass, or what-have-you. Suggested customizations for a ParkCycle include pavilions, trees, sound systems, solar panels, and portable grills—all the accoutrements of real recreational green space, only with wheels.
If you think alleyways are safe places in which to get up to some underhanded business, you’re wrong. There are eyes everywhere. Sure, these eyes don’t involve the same consequences as surveillance cameras, but they are far more judgmental than shop owners and security guards. We feel guilty just looking at it, and we haven’t even done anything wrong!
SPOTTED BY: Cherry blossom enthusiast Steven Joniak
WHERE: High Park
WHEN: Wednesday, April 9
WHAT: In one of the first signs that spring has finally arrived, the High Park sakura—more commonly known as cherry blossom trees—have begun the second stage of their blooming process. According to cherry blossom watcher Steven Joniak, that’s in keeping with their schedule for most years—which means they’ll be in peak bloom in early May.
Spotted features interesting things our readers discover in their journeys across Toronto. If you spot something interesting, send a photo and pertinent details to email@example.com.
Whatever happened to the War on the Car? I miss it. And I struggle to accept the fact that one madman’s election has really put an end to that great cause. But when I sift through the current campaign material published by his would-be successors, I can barely detect even a whiff of the old fighting spirit.
The word “bicycle” would qualify in that respect. But the only candidate who so much as mentions that most controversial conveyance on his website is Richard Underhill, an accomplished jazz musician who is currently ruining his promising second career as a fringe candidate by taking it seriously. And even this recently de-bearded downtowner is soft-pedalling [sic] the cause, promising a Tory-esque compromise to build bike lanes “with minimal effect on parking or traffic flow.” The usual squared circle of political promiseland, in other words.