Toronto has made great strides in making the city easier to navigate for cyclists. Condo communities contribute by providing storage and amenities for the growing number of cyclists that navigate its’ roadways.
Mexico City provides more than 50 kilometers where anyone can cycle or walk without competing with automobiles. Every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. streets are closed for what they call Ciclovia or cycleway. Thousands of people can be found cycling, jogging, walking and pushing strollers. Many have dogs running alongside or in bicycle baskets. The route incorporates activities that include bicycle repair classes, dancing and hula hooping. The city has a bike share program, Ecobici, with more than 450 stations throughout the city. A three-day pass costs $14. Free bicycles are available along the route. At intersections where vehicles cross there are uniformed people who pull banners across to allow vehicular traffic to pass. Monitors along the route inform when Ciclovia is over and traffic returns to its normal state.
Mexico City has a population of 20 million which is about three times that of Toronto and the GTA.
Many remain reluctant to use a bicycle in Toronto. Toronto’s Open Streets is a more limited version of Ciclovia that happens on two Sundays each year in a much smaller area.
In Toronto there is a constant battle between cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Roadways lost to cars, even when they accommodate more pedestrians and cyclists, are viewed by many as a bad thing. In a time when fewer people are choosing to own a personal automobile it may be time to take back some roadways for more pedestrian uses.