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2019 Cycling Budget - Approved Funding Supports 27-year Network Rollout

February 2019:  The 2019 City Budget was approved with inclusion of a significant increase (over recent years) in capital funding for cycling infrastructure (per 'Column C' in the funding scenario chart).

NOTE: This increased level of funding (shown on 2019 Budget infographic) needs to be maintained at least at this level for the next three (3) decades, per the 2018 Cycling Master Plan Update (CMPU) approved without MCAC endorsement.  The CMPU is, at best, a 27-year plan to complete the cycling network.

In MCAC's Budget Submission (January 14, 2019) we recommended that the 2019 FTE hire in the Active Transportation Division be dedicated to ensuring that there is capacity to accomplish all planned new cycling infrastructure, from design through implementation -- the cycling network should be the focus.  Per the MCAC presentation at the Road Safety Committee, safe implementation is also required.

We also recommended that not only should infrastructure funding be increased, but that MCAC provide input on prioritized cycling network projects.  MCAC wants to ensure all monies allocated this year actually get spent this year, with priority network outcomes ongoing.  MCAC is preparing a (proposed) prioritized list of cycling infrastructure projects for the City's five-year capital plan.

COMMENTS?  Give suggestions about priority cycling network gap-busters on our Facebook posting.  You can also email us at contact@mississaugacycling.ca.  MCAC will propose a Priorities Plan at our next monthly meeting: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 6:30 pm.

► View MCAC's Budget webpage.




MCAC Cycling Safety Update to the Road Safety Committee

February 5, 2019:  MCAC citizen member Leonard Verwey provided an update presentation to the Mississauga Road Safety Committee (RSC) under Item 8.3 of the RSC Agenda (41p PDF).  The RSC had not met since June 2018 due to the municipal election campaign period.  This presentation was designed to inform the RSC members of the significant number of cycling safety-related issues raised by MCAC which have remained unresolved over the past several months.

► View the Presentation to RSC: MCAC Cycling Safety Update (February 5, 2019) - 34p PDF (slides).

CYCLING SAFETY ISSUES (supported by photographs) include:

- physical configuration, obstructions, and operational concerns of cycling Crossrides
- unsafe downtown cycling detours for the two-year Burnhamthorpe Water Project
- myriad obstacles and unsafe conditions on multi-use trails (MUTs)
- poor maintenance of bike lanes, and concerns on high-speed roads
- parking of vehicles in designated bike lanes
- obstruction caused by the decorative black bollards at intersections on the Burnhamthorpe Trail (Note: these will now be removed)
- ploughing of snow into bike lanes, and no snow-ploughing on some MUTs (even adjacent to ploughed sidewalks)

UPDATE (Feb. 14, 2019): This MCAC Update Presentation has been circulated to Mayor and Council to keep them apprised of current cycling safety concerns.




Bicycle Friendly Communities - FREE Stakeholders Workshop in Mississauga

February 2019:  Conducted by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, this interactive, full-day workshop takes place on Thursday, March 7, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm at the Small Arms Inspection Building in Lakeview, at 1352 Lakeshore Road East (map).  Attendee stakeholders will:

- Gain an understanding of the Bicycle Friendly Communities process.
- Explore Mississauga’s existing cycling assets and programs related to education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation & planning.
- Learn what communities similar to Mississauga have done to become better places for people on bikes.
- Create a short-term, action-oriented work plan to help Mississauga become more bicycle friendly.
- Build new connections with other stakeholders to ensure the resulting work plan becomes a reality.

► REGISTER NOW:  Via the EventBrite event page.  Agenda is posted.  FREE.




Cycling Infrastructure: Building Priority *Gap-Busters* vs. Waiting for Opportunities

February 2019:  MCAC began reviewing cycling infrastructure priorities at our February 5th meeting.  The MCAC Agenda (61p PDF) included: Item 7.1. 'Proposed 5 Year Cycling Implementation Plan', listing all the possible projects and their estimated cost.

One reason MCAC did not endorse the 2018 Cycling Master Plan Update was lack of stated infrastructure priorities; the plan is largely opportunistic and lacks ongoing accountability for addressing the most serious needs and deficits expeditiously.  Strategic order of installation enables the potential cycling network to become more efficient far sooner than the City's 27-year CMP goal (to 2046, at earliest).  Critical gaps need to be addressed in priority order, to optimize what we already have, achieve a safe minimum grid soonest and foster multi-modal transportation per the City's Transportation Master Plan.

► Mississauga is a City of Barriers -- waterways, railways, highways and major arterials crisscross our landscape, per the Barriers MAP (at left) depicting major barriers in black to highlight the magnitude.

COMMENTS?  Give suggestions about priority cycling network gap-busters on our Facebook posting.  You can also email us at contact@mississaugacycling.ca.  MCAC will propose a Priorities Plan at our next monthly meeting: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 6:30 pm.

Until there are active transportation links built under or over major barriers, or along-side busy arterials, cyclists have limited options to traverse the City.  Going *around* is inefficient or impossible.  MCAC has provided prioritized lists dating back to 2010, but these have not been proactively included in annual Budgets, which instead tie-in with planned road reconstruction and resurfacing projects.  At minimum, to start, MCAC has long-advocated for a 'hashmark' (#) approach, with at least two (2) north-south and two (2) east-west continuous safe cycling routes, including all required river, rail and highway crossings.

EXAMPLE:  Routes for MCAC's Community Rides series have been limited to the same roads and trails within the same specific communities year after year, because there is no functional way to ride into adjacent neighbourhoods.  One reason the Community Rides were initiated in 2012 was to showcase new (annual) cycling infrastructure construction, but very little new infrastructure has been built since, especially the 'critical kilometres' which could safely traverse barriers and further connect the network.

► The composite Community Routes MAP (at left) illustrates the ongoing inaccessibility and isolation of communities lacking any safe connections to a potential cycling network within their own city.




Signalized Crossrides *Closed* - Bike Signals Bagged, pending Safety Review

January 17, 2019:  Thank you to the City's Transportation staff for moving so quickly to deactivate and bag the bike signals at all Signalized Crossrides (safety concerns) in Mississauga, as directed by Council (GC) on January 16, 2019.

MCAC MOTION: Amended and approved per the General Committee of Council Agenda (January 16, 2019) - Item 9.1 MCAC Report 1 and subsequently at Council (January 23, 2019):

GC-0027-2019 (1p PDF)
1. That all newly installed crossrides be deactivated immediately due to safety concerns raised by the MCAC.
2. That City Staff report back on how the crossrides were implemented and the studies and standards that were established for the crossrides, including the Region of Peel.
3. That the matter be referred to the Road Safety Committee.
4. That the recommendation be forwarded to the Region of Peel for their consideration to deactivate the crossride at Winston Churchill Blvd and Britannia Road.
(MCAC-0004-2019)

RSC MEETING:  Four (4) representatives from MCAC (including our Chair) attended the meeting of the Mississauga Road Safety Committee (RSC): February 5, 2019.  The RSC Agenda (41p PDF) contains cycling safety concerns including Crossrides and the BWP cycling detours -- two (2) members of MCAC made presentations:

Presentation to RSC: MCAC Cycling Safety Update (February 5, 2019): Leonard Verwey, MCAC citizen member & RSC liaison (34p PDF - slides)

Presentation to RSC re Crossride Safety (February 5, 2019): Glenn Voakes, MCAC citizen member (6p PDF)

REVIEW BY MCAC:  Item 7.2. 'Bicycle Signals and Crossrides Operational and Layout Review' was listed on the MCAC Agenda (61p PDF) for February 5, 2019.  No Staff Safety Plan was provided; this will now be appended for review to the Agenda for the next MCAC meeting: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 6:30 pm.

CROSSRIDE LOCATIONS:  The City has three (3) signalized crossrides on Rathburn between Creditview and Mavis, three (3) on Burnhamthorpe between Dixie and Ponytrail and one (1) at Terry Fox and Matheson.  There is also one (1) mid-block crossride on Burnhamthorpe between Fieldgate and Ponytrail at the north-south hydro corridor.  The Region of Peel has one (1) at Winston Churchill and Britannia (see link to images below).

PLEASE NOTE:  There are a few crossrides along the multi-use trail (MUT) on Eglinton between Etobicoke Creek and Renforth.  This is a boundary road and the City of Toronto installed and maintains these crossrides even though they are on the Mississauga (north) side of Eglinton.

An MCAC audit ride was conducted to confirm the closure of the crossrides.  See photos of closed crossrides at: Rathburn and Perivale; Burnhamthorpe and Bough Beeches; Burnhamthorpe and Ponytrail (also shown above) which exemplify some of the infrastructure issues.

► REGION OF PEEL:  See images and descriptions (concerns) on the MCAC Facebook album for the first signalized crossride (August 2018) near the intersection of Britannia Road and Winston Churchill Blvd, which was installed by the Region of Peel.  This crossride has also been bagged.




Vision Zero for Mississauga? No Funding Yet...

January 2019:  MCAC's Budget Submission letter (January 14, 2019) states:

"Vision Zero is mentioned as a 'Service Area Trend' in the Roads Presentation.  We would like to know what funds specifically are being allocated to this approach insofar as cycling infrastructure and road safety in general are concerned.  Many of the basic Vision Zero principles such as lower speed limits, restricted right turns, and intersection re-configuration, would greatly improve cycling safety. ... 2019 initiatives for Vision Zero should be explained, perhaps through a joint meeting with the Road Safety Committee."

UPDATE:  No funds towards achieving Vision Zero in Mississauga are allocated in the 2019 City Budget; no Joint Meeting is scheduled.

PRINCIPLES:  The principles of Vision Zero are well-documented at visionzero.ca which states:

Excerpt: "Throughout North America politicians, transport engineers, police and professional advocates are now piously declaring that 'no loss of life is acceptable' on our streets and highways.  Many would have us think that by saying this, and that by setting zero or interim 'moving towards zero' targets, they are 'committing' to 'Vision Zero'.  But in most cases they are not doing anything worthy of the name.

"The essence of Vision Zero is not a nice sentiment or a target.  It is, rather, the action of continuously and preemptively removing the very possibility of violence (and that means serious injury as well as death) from our transportation systems.  True Vision Zero systems prioritize the safe passage of our most vulnerable populations, whether they are walking or using any number of light mobility devices from bicycles to wheelchairs."

INFORMATION REPORT:  "Taking Action on Vision Zero" (Transportation & Works Dept).  At General Committee (Council): Wed. January 30, 2019 GC Agenda Item 8.11, pp46-56 (PDF).  Indicates the pending Transportation Master Plan will guide Vision Zero actions going forward.

MCAC MEETING:  Vision Zero will be a topic when the Draft Transportation Master Plan is presented at the monthly MCAC meeting: February 5, 2019.  ► View MCAC Agenda (61p PDF).

BUDGET:  The 2019 Roads presentation (including Cycling) at Mississauga Budget Committee took place on January 21, 2019.  The image (above left) indicating Vision Zero is a 'Service Area Trend' and featuring the new Mississauga Vision Zero logo is located on p331 of the PDF.  No funds are allocated to Vision Zero in 2019.

BACKGROUND:  The Motion to Adopt Vision Zero was unanimously approved at Mississauga Council on February 21, 2018 (Agenda Item 15.1 - p45), as sponsored by the City's re-instated Road Safety Committee.  After years of MCAC advocacy for Vision Zero in Mississauga, this was seen as a positive step for all roadway users.  The February 2018 Motion states that a "Vision Zero framework" will guide the road safety process.

► View the City's Transportation & Works Report (February 14, 2017):  The Vision Zero Approach to Road Safety (pp7-20 of the PDF).  It was received by Council for information only.  Excerpt:  "The Mississauga Moves project that begins this year will deliver a formal Transportation Master Plan to guide our strategic priorities and actions going forward, and will provide an opportunity for all road users to take part in the conversation about today’s pain points and tomorrow’s possibilities for our roads and road safety aspirations."

► City of Mississauga Press Release (February 22, 2018):  No Loss of Life is Acceptable - Vision Zero Road Safety Approach Approved by Council.




Mississauga Moves - Draft Transportation Master Plan to 2041

January 2019:  The City of Mississauga has been developing a first-ever Transportation Master Plan that will shape our transportation system and how we move from today to 2041.  We can plan together for the future of travel on our roads, sidewalks, trails and transit.

The Transportation Master Plan will be presented to General Committee of Council for approval in Spring 2019.

PHASE THREE - How Do We Get There?  View the Draft Transportation Master Plan.

► City Press Release (January 9, 2019): City Seeks Feedback on Draft Transportation Master Plan.

MORE:  See the City's Mississauga Moves consultation website.




Mississauga's *New* Signalized Crossrides - Safety Concerns

January 2019:  Mississauga's (and Peel's) first signalized bicycle crossing was installed in August 2018.  MCAC was not consulted ahead of time regarding the design.  Vision Zero principles appear to have not been followed.

The City's idealized and simplistic concept image (shown at left) does not convey the dangers to cyclists, especially given how the initial crossrides have been installed (per below) and the reality of traffic conditions in Mississauga including speeding, congestion, wide multi-lane roads and driver frustration.

► See images and descriptions (concerns) on the MCAC Facebook album for the first signalized crossride (August 2018) near the intersection of Britannia Road and Winston Churchill Blvd which was installed by the Region of Peel.

SAFETY ISSUES:  Since August 2018, MCAC citizen members have experienced safety issues with the placement and operation of the signalized crossings, and witnessed drivers not seeing nor following the new signals, including three (3) times where drivers didn't stop at all.  MCAC cyclists have dodged getting hit, including once ditching their bike in the road.  NOTE:  The bike signals are now bagged, pending a safety review.

But since August 2018, and most recently on January 4, 2019, the City has announced additional crossride installations (tweet) without addressing the safety concerns expressed not only by MCAC and other cyclists, but by drivers, e.g. this message sent to MCAC:

"I always thought cyclists had to dismount before crossing an intersection, right?  The city installed one of these [crossrides] right near me and I'm afraid a cyclist is going to zip through the intersection when I'm making a right hand turn.  Of course drivers need to be careful, but I'm just concerned if a cyclist zips through even after you check to see if anyone is coming."

It is indeed harder for car drivers at an intersection to see cyclists in a crossride because it is set further back from the central intersection, and cyclists can move so quickly into the crossride, even after the driver has checked prior to a turn (assuming the driver even notices there is a crossride).  Cyclists, for their part, will see the green bike signal and assume that crossing is safe, unaware that a driver may be about to make a right turn across their path, or even a left turn through the intersection after only checking the closer (and more familiar) pedestrian crossing.

Further danger is presented by Mississauga's actual installation of the crossride signal poles which encroach into the new crossrides themselves (and without hazard markers) and with the bike signals severely misaligned with the road markings.  View examples at 1) Burnhamthorpe Road East and Fieldgate Drive (updated, showing hazardous bollards); 2) Burnhamthorpe Road East and Ponytrail Drive (also updated; shown at left with hazardous bollards).  Here is what a broken bollard looks like: what a danger for cyclists on the Burnhamthorpe MUT!

Another example at Rathburn Road and Deer Run shows the paint in poor condition already.  The crosswalk used to be where crossride is now.  Pedestrians have been moved quite close to through-traffic.  Right-turning drivers are into the crosswalk right away.  This is even shown in the City's tweet promoting supposed safety of the crossrides!  Also, over-salting is visible.

MCAC advises that crossride locations should be marked out on the road surface before the pole bases are poured, and the use of longer mast arms as necessary to position the light signal heads appropriately and directly over the crossride.  Obviously, all new cycling infrastructure should be inspected during construction as well as upon completion.

As stated by MCAC Vice-Chair Irwin Nayer, it is MCAC's contention that the crossride installations have increased the danger for cyclists.  Regardless of the errors presented in the physical layout and installation, the bigger concern is the implication that a green bike signal indicates that it is safe to proceed.  Many cyclists will view this as an 'All Clear' and go with impunity, with the potential for a tragic collision with a motor vehicle.

MCAC is advocating for safety by design, rather than hoping that any drivers will actually read the complex series of instructions on the City's Crossrides and Bike Signals webpage.  For example under 'When Cycling' the City directs cyclists to: "Travel at a speed that allows you to stop quickly if a vehicle turns across your path."  Under 'When Driving' there is no mention of slow speed.  We suggest adding: "Make turns at a slow speed so you can stop your vehicle quickly if a pedestrian or cyclist moves across your path."  The entire list could use improving, but our original point remains: design for safety.

We also note that the crossride signage (images are shown on the City's webpage) is confusing, and inconsistent in the actual installations.

One solution MCAC immediately proposed in August 2018 was to prohibit cars from turning right while the bike crossing lights are green.  There should be signal coordination at intersections aiming to give cyclists a start free of conflicting motor traffic.  This should also include provisions for motor vehicles turning left through an intersection.  Councillor Pat Saito (chair of the City's Road Safety Committee), and staff in the City's Active Transportation Division were immediately notified about this proposal.

UPDATE:  This matter was on the Agenda (30p PDF) for the MCAC meeting on January 8, 2019.  Outcomes of the Meeting.




Burnhamthorpe Water Project - Disruption for Active Transportation

January 2019:  The Burnhamthorpe Water Project (BWP) began construction in the Mississauga City Centre in Fall 2017, and incorporates twelve kilometres of infrastructure, including a new 1500mm watermain under Burnhamthorpe Road from Grand Park Drive to Cawthra Road, together with the associated water and sewer improvements to accommodate significant planned development in the downtown.  Work in the Mississauga City Centre area will not be completed until 2021.

The project along Burnhamthorpe Road is severely impacting the use of existing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.  The Burnhamthorpe Trail is rendered either inaccessible or dangerously obstructed.
► See images on the MCAC Facebook album.

While the Burnhamthorpe Road watermain is being installed by tunnelling instead of open-cut to "minimise traffic disruption" along this long and busy corridor, what about pedestrians and cyclists?

SAFETY ISSUES:  In August 2018, MCAC expressed concern about the safety of cycling detours (PDF map, shown at left) and alternate pedestrian routes provided by the contractor in conjunction with the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel.  MCAC proposed improvements, including *protected* on-road bike lanes to eliminate the need for unsafe detours.

AUDIT RIDE:  A January 6, 2019 audit ride of the detour area confirms that conditions are still unsafe: again, about 80 to 90% of detour signs are down, missing or pointing in wrong direction.  Signs pointing at each other are still there.  The City/Region/Contractor are still not inspecting / maintaining the detours.  A further audit ride on January 12, 2019 revealed there have still been no changes.  All signage is still deficient as per previous checks.

Dangerous example: On the Burnhamthorpe MUT at the Erindale GO exit (image shown at left), a contractor has left a couple of thick steel plates on the trail partially marked but with the unmarked corners sticking out into the middle.  These are at least 1 inch thick (if not more) and would be similar to hitting a street car track at the wrong angle.  Reported to 311 on January 7, 2019.

UPDATE:  This matter was on the Agenda (30p PDF) for the MCAC meeting on January 8, 2019.  Outcomes of the Meeting.




Future Cycling Advocacy Group in Mississauga

November 30, 2018:  After the current MCAC term is completed in early 2019, some citizen members are planning to continue their interest in promoting a safe cycling network in Mississauga by helping to form an independent, not-for-profit advocacy group.

The City has encouraged formation of a 'third party' cycling advocacy group for some time, to take on initiatives beyond the scope and mandate of MCAC.

All residents who ride bicycles in Mississauga are invited to be part of this first step in the process, either by volunteering for the initial Steering Committee (which would develop the mission and operating structure of the new advocacy group), or by attending the first General Meeting (2019 date TBA) which will formally constitute the group.  At that time volunteers will be nominated to carry out specified tasks so the group may function for the first year.  Please stay tuned!