Alternate forms of transport

Someone is commuting to work by bicycle.

A man in a purple shirt is riding a bicycle with panniers

Pottery Road update

Torontonians will recognize Pottery Road as the space warp that gets them from the Bayview Extension to Broadview Avenue north of Danforth. As such, it takes a lot of pressure off other arteries to and from downtown, such as the  big bridge (the Princes’ Viaduct) over the Don Valley Parkway. It’s an old road that winds down a steep hill, ducks under the Don Valley Parkway, and  crosses the Don River via an old cement bridge. This summer the city undertook to improve the road and sidewalk and install street lights. It was supposed to open September 7th.

Pottery Road in the Don Valley

I hope you haven’t been holding your breath.

It didn’t open on time. It was going to open September 30.

I hope you weren’t holding your breath.

The latest is that the hillside above the road is safe but not up to safety standards. I’m not sure which retaining wall  they’re talking about since most of the north side of the road is natural slope. Did I mention that someone just built an apartment building looming over the road? Regardless, the engineers aren’t satisfied and they’re taking measurements and considering what to do.

“The wall is safe…but, it’s not within acceptable engineering limits,” said Gord MacMillan, director of design and construction for the City of Toronto.

Here’s the update. I think they’ll be finished about February. What do you think?

 The City’s design consultants have been working on an engineering solution to increase the stability of the embankment above the newly constructed retaining wall on the north side of Pottery Rd, east of the Don Valley Parkway which remains the sole reason for the continued road closure.   

 On the basis of engineering designs prepared by the consultant, Technical Services is in the process of obtaining price quotations and realistic construction timelines. The General Contractor’s sub-contractors are expected to submit quotations and construction schedules by October 7th 2011.

Unfortunately, we still do not have a date for the re-opening of Pottery Road

A ship named after a politician

The other day we saw the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin passing under the lift bridge out of Hamilton Harbour.  It was built at Port Weller for  Canada Steamship Lines about 2002.

Finch Avenue sinks again

Why doesn’t the city just admit that there’s a stream running under the street and put in a culvert? Or a bigger culvert? Or an actual bridge? There is a culvert, but flooding can overload it. It’s a remnant of the time when Toronto’s treatment of creeks within the city was to bury them.

Sinkhole-Finch-E-of-Dufferin-2009

Son of the hole that ate Finch Avenue

This is the second time in four years that the soil under the road has washed away. Some people called it the Finch Flood.

Eco-friendly canvassing

Here’s one man in Missouri who volunteered to visit his neighbours to canvass for Barack Obama–by horseback.

Old bikes

I had an old bike once. It was a heavy, old delivery bike with balloon tires, very stable.

It looked sort of like this, only mine was red:

Biking to work

It takes me a while to get organized. But now I’m set up in my preferred summer situation: I have a contract in easy biking distance and I’ve found a pair of heavy-duty bike locks. So I can bike to the client site and thus add two workouts to my day. I arrive warmed up and wide awake. It can be faster to bike than any other method, including driving. Of course, parking a bike these days is not as simple as just hopping off it or slamming a car door. Thieves have made it necessary to lock any bike well. I use two different kinds of locks, so that anyone who wants my bike has to carry two tools.

my bike

my bike

I’ve been biking to work in fine weather since 1984 and have not had any bikes stolen from my employment parking. I have had a new bike stolen from the back porch, where I locked it with a single thick cable. It was right after I saw someone lurking in the lane and looking into the yard. A week or two later, I saw a scruffy-looking man riding the exact same model. I should have confronted him, as police have been known to ask obvious street people to produce receipts for their expensive bikes.

At any rate, I’m not planning to leave this bike locked on the street. But I have access to Torstar’s overcrowded underground parking for bikes; so that should be good enough. That puts it behind a key-card access lock and in front of security cameras.