Sunday, June 28, 2009

June Poll Results

In a non-scientific poll posted on this site, you were asked:
The biggest challenge to cycling in Toronto is?

Not enough dedicated bike lanes: 47%
Car drivers don't see us: 21%
Other cyclists behaviour makes us all look bad: 31%
No mandatory cycling courses: 21%
More education is required for all our road users: 26%
Yes...the totals are way over 100%. Multiple answers were allowed.

Well, as far as bike lanes...we have to wait and continue to press city hall for the creation of the infrastructure, so not much control over that.

The best ways to be seen by car drivers are to wear proper clothing that is highly visible, make sure you have the required equipment, but most importantly ride to be seen. Be predictable and be in areas that you are expected to be seen.

Other cyclists behaviour is certainly what is most easily remembered. When you see a cyclist doing something that you know is unacceptable speak up, be an ambassador for cycling.

The above point also goes hand in hand with education. Together we can all make a difference.

Thanks for all the responses. What you have done will help Traffic Services and the Toronto Police better direct messaging and help us work on educating drivers and cyclists alike.

The new poll question, which is on the right side of this blog at the top is:
Should a licence to operate a bicycle on city streets be required?
Yes a written test
Yes a skills test
Yes a written and skills test
No to testing

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bike Lane Enforcement

On Friday, June 26th, between 9:15 am and 11:00 am, I was travelling Harbord, College, St.George and Wellesley Streets keeping a committment I made to a cyclist that I would do some enforcement on illegally parked cars in the bike lanes.

I have to admit, it was nice to make the time to do some enforcement and get back to writing tickets and educating drivers and cyclists alike face to face.

Enforcement Results for my time = 2 Parking tickets, 7 cautions for parking in lanes, 1 caution for wrong way on one way street, 1 caution for stop sign offence.

Before I get crucified for cautioning drivers parked in the bike lanes, here is why I didn't feel the need to arrest them for criminal negligence, as some cyclists have suggestd we do.
-pulling up to the car/truck and asking the driver to move to a side street, stay out of the bike lane and tell them the danger they are causing to a cyclist and other traffic = 15 seconds
-making them wait for the parking ticket = 2 minutes
Problem is cleared faster, education is given and the chance for the driver to pay a little more respect is increased.

Caution for the wrong way? A cyclist on Richmond Street who was in the south lane travelling towards Spadina when I came around the bend aimed right at her. We had a discussion about the problem she was causing and the risk to her personal safety. She vounteered to walk her bike to Spadina on the sidwalk....great move!

Caution for stop sign offence? Liberty Village...2 cyclists WB at Hanna, one slows almost coming to a stop, the other slows and comes to a stop. One cyclist earned my respct as a road user sharing in safe and responsible riding habits, the other cyclist insulted the first and drew my attention by not stopping.

Were there more offences that happened...I am sure there were. While I was on College someone was probably illegally parked on Wellesley and while I was talking to a driver on Harboard there was probably a delivery truck on College.

The most frustrating event of my limited time out there was the following.

I was driving EB on Harboard coming up to Euclid and I could see a pedestrian that was about to cut between two parked cars right into the path of a cyclist. I created some space to allow the cyclist a place to move and when I was about to hit my horn, I heard a bell was the cyclist!! The pedestrian also heard it and held fast between the cars instead of coming out.

I was impressed with this cyclist who saw what was happening and had the equipment to attract the attention of the ped. We approached Bathurst, where there were three cars waiting to turn right. There was enough room for this same cyclist to push her way up the curb and go beside the traffic but instead, she stopped behind the last vehicle and waited.

I pulled along side to compliment her on the skill and awareness she was showing and she ignored me!!

I said my words louder and then noticed she was wearing ear buds and couldn't hear me!!! ARRGHHHH!!! Not the smartest thing to do when you need to hear what is around you for safety reasons.

Then as this was happening along came a rider who went from the road, to the sidewalk to move around all the stopped traffic, passed a TTC shelter with a person waiting in it, got to Bathurst and turned right down Bathurst...this left me shaking my head. Which cyclist is earning respect and which one is remembered by drivers?

I know that cyclists will scream at this next part but here is the reality. I never saw one car driving on the sidewalk, nor go through a red light, nor go through a stop sign or drive the wrong way on a one way street. I did see bicycles on the sidewalk, going the wrong way, go through stop signs...thankfully, no red lights though.

Prior to the cycling campaign the TPS had issued over three hundred thousand tickets with less than nine hundred going to cyclists. I would hardly call this a fact that cyclists are targetted or that there are sting operations to go after cyclists. Are the numbers going to increase...sure they are; nicer weather, more cyclists and this campaign will see to that.

So cyclists, lets try an experiment. For one week everyone stay off sidewalks, obey all the rules of the road, have and use all the required equipment...essentially act like a responsible road user and see if drivers take notice and give you more respect.

Keep up your demands for the legislative changes you desire but until those changes occur, obey the laws that exist. Make it so that drivers are suprised when you don't obey the rules of the road as opposed to being unphased by it. Earn the respect as opposed to demand it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pride Celebration - Weekend Road Closures

The weekend of June 26th through June 28th will see the culmination of the Toronto Pride Week Celebrations with lots of events and festivities that will see many roads closed.

The following list includes the road closures and times for those closures taken from Toronto Police News Releases. The originals can be found at

Pride Week 2009 will require road closures, beginning on Friday, June 26, 2009, at 6 p.m. and
ending on Monday, June 29, 2009, at 7 a.m.

The area will be shut down in two stages:
− on Friday, June 26, 2009, at 6 p.m., Church Street will be fully closed to all vehicular traffic,
from the north side of Carlton Street to the south side of Wellesley Street East,
− on Saturday, June 27, 2009, at 2 a.m., the closure on Church Street will be extended, fully
closing the roadway, from Carlton Street to the south side of Hayden Street, and closing
Wellesley Street, from the east side of Yonge Street to Jarvis Street.

When the full road closure is in effect, TTC buses will not have access to Wellesley subway
station. All buses will be re−routed.

Vehicles in the area may experience traffic delays.

This event will proceed regardless of weather conditions.

On Saturday, June 27, 2009, the Pride and Remembrance Run will take place at 10 a.m.

The event will consist of a 5 km road race or walk.The road closures will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The race/walk route will start at 10 a.m.Formation area:
Wellesley Street East of Church Street, full roadway, between Wellesley Street and JarvisStreet,
− Westbound on Wellesley Street, full roadway,
− Northbound on Queen’s Park Crescent East, full roadway,
− U−turn at Charles Street,− Southbound on Queen’s Park Crescent West, full roadway,
− U−turn at College Street,
− Two laps around Queen's Park,
− Eastbound on Wellesley Street, full roadway,
− Dispersal area:
Wellesley Street East Of Church Street, full roadway, between Wellesley Street and

Jarvis Street Motorists are advised to consider the road closures when planning their travels.

The event will proceed regardless of weather conditions.

On Saturday, June 27, 2009, Pride Toronto will host the annual Dyke March.

As of 1 p.m., the following roads will be fully closed to prepare for the parade:
Bloor Street, from Bay Street to Jarvis Street,
− Church Street, from Yonge Street to Hayden Street,
− Carlton Street, from Bay Street to Jarvis Street,
Yonge Street, from Davenport Road to Gerrard Street

The Dyke March will start at 2 p.m. and will proceed along the following route:
Bloor Street East at Church Street,
− westbound on Bloor Street East
− southbound on Yonge Street,
− ends on Yonge Street at Carlton Street

Vehicles in the area can expect delays.

On Sunday, June 28, 2009, the Pride Parade will take place.

At 8 a.m., the following roads will be closed to all vehicular traffic:
− Aylmer Avenue, from Yonge Street to Park Road,
− Park Road, from Rosedale Road to Church Street,
Rosedale Valley Road, from Park Road to Bayview Avenue.

At noon, road closures will also come into effect on:
Bloor Street East, from Bay Street to Jarvis Street,
− Church Street, from Yonge Street to Bloor Street East,
− College Street, from Bay Street to Jarvis Street,
− Gerrard Street, from Bay Street to Jarvis Street,
Yonge Street, from Aylmer Avenue to Dundas Street

The Pride Parade will start at 2 p.m., and will proceed along the following route:
Bloor Street East at Church Street,
− West on Bloor Street East,
− South on Yonge Street,
− End Yonge Street at Gerrard Street

All roads are expected to be re−opened by approximately 6 p.m.

The College/Carlton streetcar route is the only east/west surface route available north of
Gerrard Street.

Vehicles are advised to take other routes as there will be traffic delays in the area.

Although it is stated in each press release, Traffic Services reminds everyone that traffic delays will be expected through out the weekend.
Road closures always lead to frustration and impatience with those people who are not prepared or aware of those closures.
-Leave lots of extra time when planning travels.
-Know alternative routes around the areas that you anticipate travelling in.
-Don't take your frustrations out on your driving behaviour.
-Take public transit.

If you live in the affected areas and you find you route in or out of your home in the world did you not know and make plans ahead of time for travel in and out????
But, having said that, approach a police officer closest to where you need access (don't try to tell the officer from behind your windshield, with your windows closed using hand gestures what you need), actually park your car, get out, walk out and explain the situation politely.
The officer may be tied up and busy dealing with the safety of other motorists/pedestrians and will not be able to leave their post, so be patient and respectful please.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Toronto Police Launch "Safe Cycling - Share the Responsibility Campaign"

Monday, June 22, 2009, 7 a.m.,
College Street, between Augusta Avenue and Bellevue Avenue,
Launch of "Safe Cycling − Share the Responsibility" campaign
Broadcast time: 05:00
Monday, June 22, 2009
Traffic Services

The launch of the “Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility” campaign will take place on
Monday, June 22, 2009, at 7 a.m., on College Street, between Augusta and Bellevue

The campaign begins Monday, June 22, 2009, and concludes on Sunday, June 28, 2009.
This one−week Traffic Services initiative is designed to promote awareness and education by
reducing the potential for cycling−related injuries.

Traffic Services officers, along with Yvonne Bambrick, Executive Director of the Toronto
Cyclists Union, will be on hand to support this initiative.

The Toronto Police Service reminds motorists of the dangers of opening car doors in the path
of cyclists, and the importance of checking blind spots prior to making right turns. Officers will
pay particular attention to those motorists who endanger the lives of cyclists, including
vehicles parked in designated bike lanes. Attention will also be paid to cyclists whose
aggressive riding puts themselves, pedestrians and motorists at risk

Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians have a responsibility to share the road equally by driving
safely, riding responsibly, and obeying all the rules of the road.

Police would like to remind cyclists of the importance of registering their bikes. Click here for
details of the TPS online bike registration program.

Traffic Services is dedicated to ensuring the safe and orderly movement of traffic within the
City of Toronto. Stay informed with what’s happening at Traffic Services by following us on
Twitter (TrafficServices), and Facebook (Toronto Police – Traffic Services).

Original Toronto Police News Release, click here.

Kenzie: Right turn ban wrong move

Wheels Section - Toronto Star
June 12, 2009

Mayor David Miller and several Toronto councillors voted last month in favour of banning right turns on red lights at selected intersections as part of a one-year pilot project. Then they voted to remove driving lanes from various major roads in favour of bicycle lanes.
These politicians maintain that they are not "anti-car."
People, you really ought to go with that explanation, because the only available alternative explanation is way less flattering.
Woody Allen's character in Annie Hall maintained that he wouldn't want to live in a city (Los Angeles) whose only contribution to culture was the ability to turn right on a red light. But even that dedicated Manhattanite recognized it as a positive contribution.
The only other jurisdiction in North America that banned rights on reds was Quebec. The supposed reason was to protect pedestrians, which is the proffered reason in Toronto, too. But Quebec studied the situation carefully, and realized what any sane person would realize: there are no safety gains to be had for pedestrians at all.
So Quebec rescinded the ban.
Sadly, the Quebec legislature also included "enabling" legislation which allowed individual municipalities to opt out if they chose to go back to the Dark Ages.
Make no mistake, Mayor Miller and councillors who think we live in Bicycle Fantasy Land (are you riding your bike up the Avenue Rd. hill in February?): the mass transit system of choice in Toronto and all major metropolitan areas in North America is the private automobile.
And all mass transit systems have one primary function: to move people and goods as efficiently and safely as possible.
In recent years, "as greenly as possible" has been added to mix.
Banning right turns on red lights fails spectacularly on every count.
Efficient? How efficient is it to sit at any intersection at 2 a.m. waiting to turn right until the bleedin' light changes? That's just stupid.
Safe? How safe is it to only allow cars to turn right during the only time pedestrians are allowed to cross that street? The cars have been waiting impatiently for their chance to turn. When that light goes green, they're gone!

If cars could use the gaps in the crossing traffic while waiting on the red to make their turn, then everyone – driver and pedestrian – gets home sooner, safer.
Green? Car engines (except for hybrids) are at their least efficient and most polluting when the car is idling. Infinite fuel consumption and infinite emissions per kilometre – you're dividing by zero.
What could possibly be worse for the environment than a car or truck, idling at a red light, waiting to turn right?
What is wrong with these people?
I can't expect these 18-speed New Democrats to do anything intelligent about traffic in our city, such as flyovers at major intersections, roundabouts everywhere there is room to install them or pedestrian tunnels to totally separate the walkers from the drivers.
That would require genuine understanding of the problems at hand, and of solutions that have been proven to really work in the real world in which we really live.
But banning right turns on red lights? These people are out of their freakin' minds.

~~Editor's Note~~
Missing information from the above article.
There has never been any mention anywhere that the City of Toronto is planning an all-out ban on 'right on red' turns.
The original conversation on this topic occurred in early May this year.
The city merely stated that it was looking at increasing the present number of intersections in Toronto that would have this restriction placed on them.
The vast majority of intersections that already have no right turn on red light signs at them have safety issues which is why you can't do it.
Intersections with restricted visibility from the left, multiple left turns from the opposing direction and multi-phase intersections are just a few of the reasons they are banned.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Man killed after falling onto road

Jun 17, 2009 07:13 PM
Comments on this story (1) Jesse McLean Staff Reporter - The Star

An elderly man is dead after he was struck by a truck during a hit-and-run in the city's west end, police said.
Witnesses told police the 78-year-old man was walking along Keele St. near Dundas Ave. just after 5 p.m. when he fell onto the road.
"He was walking with a cane. Apparently, he fell backwards onto Keele," said Const. Mig Roberts.
He was hit by the truck, which then continued northbound on Keele.
The man was taken to St. Michel's Hospital with severe head injuries, where he later died.
Police are describing the suspect vehicle as a white cargo truck.
There were initial reports the man had been pushed onto the roadway. However, police are not currently looking for suspects on the ground.
"There's nothing indicating (he was pushed). That hasn't been confirmed," Roberts said.
Keele is currently closed between Dundas and Annette St.

12 year-old hit by car

Jun 17, 2009 06:12 PM
Comments on this story (2)Jesse McLean Staff Reporter - The Star

A 12-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after he was hit by a truck in East York.
Emergency crews responded to Pape and Donlands Aves. around 3:15 p.m., where they found the injured boy.
"It's my understanding that two youths were jaywalking across the street and one was hit," said Staff Sgt. Kelly Dory.
He was taken to the Hospital for Sick Children with minor injuries.
The other youth was not injured, police said.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Driver charged after motorcyclist struck

Jun 13, 2009 09:21 AM
Jesse McLean Staff reporter

A 45-year-old motorcyclist is in hospital after he was struck by a car and thrown from his bike.
The victim was driving north on Leslie St., south of Sheppard Ave. E., just before 11 p.m. Friday when an oncoming Toyota Camry made an abrupt left turn and hit him, police said.
"He was launched right over the car," Sgt. Tim Burrows said.
Although the collision happened right outside North York General Hospital, paramedics took the man to Sunnybrook hospital's trauma centre.
"When (the paramedics) first got on scene, he had really laboured breathing, so they were worried about internal bleeding," Burrows said.
The man is expected to recover.
The driver of the Camry, a 24-year-old man, has been charged with careless driving.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Court rolls back alcohol, care-and-control ruling

Conviction offers little hope for anyone with a car who has alcohol in their system, lawyer says

Jun 12, 2009 09:51 AM
Comments on this story (16)
Tracey Tyler

The Ontario Court of Appeal may have narrowed a common defence in drinking-and-driving cases when it ruled yesterday that a Georgetown woman who was found standing beside her car in a steep ditch off Airport Rd. had "care and control" of her vehicle.

The prosecution of Connie Banks was one of scores of "car in the ditch" cases and her conviction yesterday, said her lawyer, offers little hope for anyone charged with having care and control of a vehicle while their blood alcohol level is over the legal limit.

"I think the court is sending a message that they're going to interpret the current law as it relates to these cases so narrowly," said defence counsel John Collins, "that ... really, the only safe option for any citizen now is to not operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances after they've consumed alcohol."

Banks veered into the ditch at about 12:45 a.m. on April 14, 2008, while driving home from a visit with one of her daughters in Brampton. During her 4 ½-hour stay, she said she had consumed four bottles of beer.

Banks later testified that she had assumed her car was damaged and was reaching for her cell phone to call a tow truck when an officer arrived at 1 a.m. The keys were out of the ignition and the lights were off as she stood outside.

Breathalyzer tests at 2:52 a.m. and 3:13 a.m. showed Banks had .120 and .119 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood — over the legal limit.

But because the Criminal Code required the tests be administered within two hours of a person being in "care and control" of a vehicle, the case turned on whether Banks was in control of her car as she stood next to it in the ditch — and whether she could have set it in motion, placing the public at risk.

A trial judge convicted Banks, saying even though she had planned to have her car towed, there was a possibility that after getting it pulled from the ditch, she might have decided to drive it anyway.

Last year, however, Superior Court Justice David Corbett overturned that decision and acquitted Banks. The Crown was required to prove Banks would have driven home but it didn't establish that beyond a reasonable doubt, he said.

Yesterday, Collins argued it was "fanciful" to think Banks might have continued on her journey after being pulled out by the tow truck.

That could only have happened, he told the court, if she had been able to persuade the tow truck driver to take it off the hoist and conduct a mechanical inspection, in fog and darkness on a busy road, to see if it could be driven.

Still, a three-judge appeal panel ruled yesterday it was open to the trial judge to have concluded Banks might have driven the rest of the way.

"These are very hard cases," said Justice Michael Moldaver. "But, as you know in your heart of hearts, the best way to avoid these things is to not be in a position of being `over 80'."

The court reinstated an $800 fine that had been imposed on Banks by the trial judge. The conviction also carries an automatic 9-month license suspension, the prospect of high insurance premiums and a requirement that a breathalyzer be installed on her car ignition.

~Editors Note~
Follow the link below to read the public comments, some of which are truly laughable.

The most interesting line in the entire article, which was provided by the defence counsel, "that ... really, the only safe option for any citizen now is to not operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances after they've consumed alcohol."

What did he mean NOW?? How about the only safe option for any citizen is to not operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances after they've consumed alcohol!!!

Well thank goodness that the lawyer sees that NOW you shouldn't drink and drive...hey we've converted another person.

Police seek witnesses after woman struck by two cars

Jun 11, 2009 08:41 PM
Adrian Morrow Staff Reporter - Toronto Star

A 44-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries after she was hit by two vehicles while crossing Eglinton Ave. Wednesday afternoon.
Around 3:45 p.m., the woman was crossing Eglinton Ave. W. a few blocks west of Bathurst St. when she was hit by a westbound car. A truck following behind the car then hit her a second time, and she was stuck underneath.
She was taken to hospital in critical condition.
No charges have been laid as police are still investigating the incident.
Anyone who witnessed it can contact police at 416-808-1900.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cyclists need to obey laws to earn respect

Toronto Sun - By GARY GRANT
Last Updated: 2nd June 2009, 3:17am

City Hall seems hell bent on inundating the city with bicycle lanes whether we need them or not.

The latest "must have" streets being Jarvis and, maybe the Danforth in the future.

I'm not against bicycle lanes in principle, and in moderation, but the streets that currently have them share two characteristics: The bike lanes are under utilized and traffic is a mess. People need to get to work and school and until our mass transit system is vastly improved the practical way for most people to get downtown is by car.

Does the anti-car faction really believe our downtown office towers are going to be filled by thousands of happy, healthy and sweaty cyclists?

Which brings me to the cyclists themselves. I acknowledge cycling is healthy, cycling is green, cycling is cool, yada, yada. But cycling can also be dangerous, especially in the big city. And while cyclists are big on demanding their rights, when it comes to acknowledging their responsibilities -- not so much.

Anyone who heard me during my tenure as Toronto Police's top traffic cop or has read one of my columns in the Sun knows I am no apologist for the thousands of idiot motorists out there.
But most cyclists are no better. Notice I didn't use the politically correct cop-out that most cyclists are law abiding and the few bad ones spoil it for the rest. On the contrary, in my experience most cyclists routinely ignore the most basic rules of the road and engage in risky and selfish behaviour.

In my policing days, I routinely referred to cyclists as cycle-estrians because it seemed they wanted to enjoy the rights of both. Red light coming up? No problem, just make a quick turn and drive through the pedestrian crosswalk on a green light. Obstruction up ahead? No problem, just jump the curb and speed along the sidewalk sending pedestrians scattering. Then, when it pleases you bounce back onto the road and scream obscenities at the motorist who opens his car door into your path. No wonder he didn't see you, you weren't there a second ago, you were on the sidewalk!

I can't remember the last time I saw a cyclist obey a red light at a "T" intersection. Sometimes they stop and then ride through but most often they don't bother to stop at all. If a motorist can't do that why should a cyclist?

I defy anyone to be able to see a cyclist approaching from behind on a dark rainy night when the cyclist is without a light or any reflective clothing or equipment. Not even a bell to warn the unsuspecting motorist they are about to squeeze between his vehicle and the curb.

And while motorcylists are obliged by law to wear a helmet, cyclists 18 and older are not.
I know they wouldn't look as cool in a helmet but are they any less susceptible to a serious head injury?

By all means we should protect the rights of cyclists, but we should also hold them accountable to the same standards as all road users.


That means obeying the rules of the road, utilizing safety equipment and acknowledging that road safety is a shared responsibility. Maybe then cyclists will be more consistently afforded the respect that they demand.

Perhaps the time has come to consider a small licensing fee for bicycles. The revenue could be used to create a database to assist the police in recovering some of the thousands of bicycles stolen each year and it would enable the cyclists to make a small financial contribution towards the ever growing network of bike lanes.

They would have the pride of ownership, just like motorists!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Traffic Fatality #15 2009

Broadcast time: 9:46 AM
Saturday, June 6, 2009

Traffic Services

On Friday, June 5, 2009, at approximately 3:47 p.m., police responded to a personal injury collision at Finch Avenue West/ Halesia Drive.

It is reported that:

- a motorcycle was travelling eastbound on Finch Avenue West approaching Halesia Drive,

-A van was stopped westbound Finch Avenue West waiting to turn southbound on Halesia Drive,

- the van proceeded southbound through the intersection, at this time the motorcycle also entered the intersection and struck the van.

The rider of the motorcycle was taken to hospital with life threatening injuries.

On Saturday June 6, 2009, the victim succumbed to his injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416−808−1900, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

Traffic Services is dedicated to ensuring the safe and orderly movement of traffic within the City of Toronto. Stay informed with what’s happening at Traffic Services by following us on Twitter (TrafficServices), and Facebook (Toronto Police – Traffic Services)

Driver loses control, hits pedestrian

Charges are pending in a Howard Park Avenue and Parkside Drive car crash involving a Dodge Viper striking a another vehicle and a pedestrian Thursday evening around 9:30 p.m.

The 32-year-old driver of the Viper was travelling west on Howard Park Avenue and turning south onto Parkside Drive when he lost control of his vehicle, according to Const. Wendy Drummond.

"It entered into the northbound lane of Parkside Drive, mounted the east curb and struck a 26-year-old woman then a house at the corner of Constance Street and Parkside Drive," said Drummond.

The woman sustained serious, but non-threatening injuries, Drummond said. The occupants of the vehicle the Viper hit, including a six-year old boy, suffered only bumps and bruises.
The driver of the Viper suffered minor injuries.

"There was no mention of alcohol," Drummond said.

Toronto Police Traffic Services is investigating while the building department will assess the damage to the home.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gardiner AND DVP closed Sunday

National Post - Allison Hanes

Cyclists will take over the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway Sunday for the annual Heart and Stroke Ride for the Heart.

Motorists could be left to stew in coronary-inducing gridlock due to a number of road closures, big and small in the city this weekend, and overflow traffic clogging alternate routes.

The Gardiner will be blocked to traffic from the Humber River to Carlaw Avenue while the DVP will be shut its entire length from the 401 to the Gardiner.

The closure of both arteries will occur from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday – one of several street shut downs and events taking place across Toronto this weekend.

The city is advising people looking to get in an out of the core Sunday to use Lake Shore Boulevard, Bayview Avenue or Victoria Park Avenue.

A number of local road closures will also be in effect this weekend for neighbourhood events.

Here is a list of some of the events:

Portugal Day Saturday road closure:- Lansdowne Avenue from Bloor Street to College Street will be closed in both directions on Saturday, June 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.- there will be a number of road closures in the area bounded by DundasStreet in the north, Crawford Street in the west, Queen Street in the south and Bellwoods Avenue to the east from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Family Fun Fit, Kids of Steel Triathlon (bike race)- westbound lanes of Kingston Road from Danforth Avenue to BirchmountRoad will be closed on Saturday, June 6 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Maya’s March-Conlins Road from Ellesmere Road to Military Trail will be closed on Sunday, June 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Blue Jays -In town with afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday. Both days game time is 1:07 p.m.

Ride For Heart Web Site

Further to the city's recommendations, Traffic Services recommends these additional points:

1.) Choose alternatives - if you don't need to travel into the areas that will be affected don't. Travel to the area on Saturday or Monday instead of Sunday. Take public transit such as the TTC or GO.

2.) Leave extra time - If you must come to the area, leave much earlier than you normally would.

3.) Know alternative routes before you leave home. There are multiple choices beyond the normal streets like Bayview, Victoria Park, Lakeshore or the Queensway. Sometimes going further out of your way will actually make your journey easier and faster.

4.) If you are in the anticipated delays; relax, stay calm and go with the flow. Getting upset will only cause you stress and may lead to you making poor choices behind the wheel which could endanger you and others.

5.) Park with regards to all the by-laws. Illegal parking can greatly disrupt traffic flow and further restrict capacity of the alternates. Many times illegal parking can also be a safety issue to other road users.

6.) Be mindful not to block intersections. It is illegal to enter an intersection that you can not also exit without disrupting other traffic. Never assume that you will be able to clear an intersection.

7.) Minimize distractions by keeping your priority on driving.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Deputy Chief Jane Dick/Traffic Services to Assist with

Media advisory,
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 5 a.m.,
Pearson International Airport, 6420 Airport Rd., Air Canada hanger 8,
Broadcast time: 15:30
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Traffic Services

On Thursday, June 4, 2009, the Canadian charity, Dreams Take Flight, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. This amazing organization has been helping children who would never have the opportunity to go to Disney World. Through generous donations, this non−profit charity will send its 20,000th child for a dream come true.

For several years the Toronto Police Service – Winged Wheels Motorcycle Team, has entertained the children the night before the trip with their spectacular show. They also attend when the planes, Mickey1 and Minnie1, leave Toronto for Orlando.

This year, to celebrate the 20th year of the Winged Wheels team, with the assistance of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the officers will meet the children in Orlando and escort them on 15 buses from Orlando International Airport to the Magic Kingdom.

While at Disney, the team will be honourary Grand Marshals in the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” Parade along with Deputy Chief Jane Dick and top celebrities from Toronto.

“To have been invited to take part in this great day was an absolutely humbling honour,” said Deputy Chief Jane Dick. “Dreams Take Flight and Disney are so committed to the happiness of children that you end up asking what else can I do to help, and the response is nothing, just be there for the children.“

The kick−off will take place on Thursday, June 4, 2009, beginning at 5 a.m., when the children will be escorted to Pearson International Airport, 6420 Airport Rd., Air Canada hanger 8, to start a whirlwind day of fun and excitement.

There will be live music by the Coppertones, Loonette the Clown, stars of the WWE, hockey great Doug Gilmour and Walter Gretzky.

The children will board Mickey1 and Minnie1 for a departure of 7 a.m. to Florida, returning later that day, after enjoying everything that Disney has to offer.

Marlie Morrison, Director, Marketing and Sales, Disney Parks (Canada), said, “This year, we take all of life’s special moments and occasions and then make them more magical than ever before. We are delighted that Deputy Chief Jane Dick will be on board this year's flight and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Toronto Police Service's Winged Wheels at Walt Disney World.”

Constable Hugh Smith, Public Information, for Sergeant Tim Burrows, Traffic Services

Original Toronto Police News Release

4 hurt in wild pile up


A woman is fighting for her life and three others are in serious condition after a wild three-car crash in the downtown core last night.
Streetcar and other traffic was shut down in the University Ave. and Queen St. W. area for hours as Toronto Police traffic officers probed the pileup that occurred shortly after 8 p.m.
Witnesses said a Chevy Trailblazer, reported stolen in Niagara Falls, slammed into the southwest corner of the busy intersection.
When one suspect opened a door, cash flew out and passersby grabbed the money and held it for police, one witness said.
Traffic Sgt. Reg Eldridge said four people were injured including a woman pinned by the SUV who was listed in critical condition.
A witness, Ron, who only wanted his first name used, said two officers on bikes tried to stop the SUV after it made an illegal turn a few blocks to the east.
The SUV driver then sped off and entered the intersection against a red light, witnesses said.
Ron said the east-west lights had just turned red while traffic on University's eight lanes began going through on green.
"I was sitting in my car," said Ron. "He scared ... me. I jumped two feet in the air.
"He had to be doing a buck forty (140 km/h).
"He almost hit me," Ron said. "So I pulled into the inside lane and he went around me.
"He came through here (the intersection) and then I saw them smash, bang, boom. Then they got out and fled."
Toronto resident Justice Francis was handing out flyers on Queen when he heard a loud crash and saw a telephone pole falling.
Francis looked around to see someone chasing men who took off from a vehicle involved in the crash.
He ran to one of cars and tried to pull out a bleeding woman.
"The lady was bleeding pretty bad and we tried to pull her out," Francis said. "We tried but couldn't open the door."
The woman was moaning from pain and blood was pouring from her face.
"We tried hard to pull that door open," Francis said. "I hope she is all right."
Three suspects who bolted from the Trailblazer were later rounded up by police. Their identities haven't been released.
The SIU has been called to investigate because bicycle cops first tried to stop the SUV.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Drain cramp: Pair of sunken grates menacing Dupont cyclists

Jun 01, 2009 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (4) Jack Lakey STAFF REPORTER - Toronto Star

A sunken catch basin and its lowdown accomplice are operating as a tag team to body-slam Dupont St. cyclists.
Toronto has ambitious plans to make cycling a more viable way to get around, with city council approving a proposal last week to reduce Jarvis St. traffic by one lane to accommodate bike lanes.
Creating dedicated lanes is worthwhile, but our mean streets still have plenty of perils for two-wheelers, often at curbside where the lanes are located.
Pietro Taleporos emailed us photos of a sunken storm-sewer grate on the north side of Dupont, just west of Edwin Ave., with a utility cover next to it that caught the wheel of his 14-year-old son's bicycle and sent him sprawling.
"He was all bruised and scraped down one side, but at least he didn't break any bones," Taleporos said on the phone yesterday, adding the teen was lucky he wasn't hit by a car that passed just as he went down.
We went there and found the sewer grate and utility cover side-by-side, extending halfway into the curb lane on Dupont, which is often choked with traffic due to nearby Junction Triangle construction. A cyclist has no way to avoid the deadly duo without veering into the flow of bigger, faster vehicles. Yikes.
The sunken grate and cover have created a hard lip to the pavement that any westbound cyclist has to risk life and limb navigating before reaching the normal road surface.
STATUS: Toronto Water is responsible for catch basins and most utility covers. Catherine Pitt, who deals with media for the department, told us she'd make sure the right people were alerted to the problem.
Taleporos then contacted us again to say a small cone and a much larger, orange-and-black traffic pylon were placed over the rough patch the day after we talked to Pitt – which at least gives cyclists a warning. We'll let you know when a permanent fix is done.

Dreams Take Flight Buses will have a Presidential Style Police Escort from Orlando Airport to the Magic Kingdome for their 20th

Dreams Take Flight Celebrates 20 Magical Years
~ 20,000th Child On Board Air Canada Flight to Walt Disney World ~

TORONTO, ONT. -- On June 4, 2009, ‘Dreams Take Flight’ celebrates its 20th anniversary with a day-long magical journey from Toronto to the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The day begins well before sunrise, when children arrive at approximately 5am to a fully decorated Air Canada hangar (see details below) and will be greeted by;

Singer/Song Writer Jully Black
WWE™ Superstars Mickie James & Tiffany
Former WWE™ Superstar Trish Stratus
NHL great Doug Gilmour
Walter Gretzky
Deputy Chief Jane Dick, Toronto Police Service
Original ‘Loonette the Clown’ Alyson Court
Hypnotist and entertainer ‘Danny ZZZZ’
Entertainer Wayne Malton
The Coppertones
Disney VoluntEARs…

Once on board, children are treated to a warm breakfast, followed by in-flight entertainment and games of toilet paper races in the aisle, pillow fights and more.

“Today is all about the kids,” says Bill Sanderson, President, Dreams Take Flight (Toronto). “Walt Disney World is the place where dreams come true and where magical memories of the day will be remembered a lifetime. There are a lot of wonderful people that we have to thank for this, that make this day possible and to those we are truly grateful."

Upon arrival into Orlando, approximately 450 children and group leaders immediately board 15 waiting coaches that will be police escorted from the Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World by approximately 30 motorcycled officers from the Toronto Police Services Winged Wheels and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The day’s mission is to meet Disney characters, watch the parades and experience popular Disney attractions such as Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, It’s a Small World, Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.

“This year, Disney Parks asks ‘What Will You Celebrate?’, as we take all of life’s special moments and occasions and then make them more magical than ever before,” explains Marlie Morrison, Director, Marketing and Sales, Disney Parks (Canada). So, we’re thrilled that Dreams Take Flight is celebrating their 20th anniversary at Walt Disney World this year.”

After an unforgettable day, the children find themselves back home in Toronto where they are showered with more gifts donated by local and national sponsors.

The Year of 20,000 Dreams!
"The 20th Year, with a Gift so Precious & Dear!"

*Note: Video b-roll of the day will be made available upon request

Media Contact:
Bus. (905) 374-4888
Cell (905) 351-1732