More Toronto Cycling Infrastructure Benefits Everyone

To the City of Toronto Infrastructure Committee
Re: Cycling Network, IE 26.9

From Aaron Binder
Chief Experience Officer
Segway of Ontario

Soon after moving to Toronto in 2006 I sold my car.  Who needs a car in the big city, right? I’ve always been an avid cyclist and since 2008 have commuted by bicycle over 300 days of the year. As an avid user of the Danforth-Bloor corridor, it has been incredible to see whole families taking advantage of the extra Cycling Infrastructure created for people of varying experience levels – not just experienced riders like me.

As the Chief Experience Officer at Segway of Ontario, I’ve heard many stories from our Electric Kickscooter customers about how much they love Toronto’s improving cycling infrastructure. They own and ride electric scooters for pleasure, to earn an income and to commute.

Our Summer 2021 customer survey indicated that just over 30% of our customers have exchanged some car trips for electric scooter trips. We expect this number to increase with the rollout of friendlier road infrastructure. Interestingly, an increasing number of our customers have purchased from us because of physical disabilities – many have told us this is the best way for them to get mobile in a city that prioritizes cars that many can’t physically use or afford.

Our customers desire the same thing that our Cycling advocate friends want – safer streets, more cycle lanes, and a focus on efficient use of space for ALL road users. With new Cycling Infrastructure on arterial routes, we’re starting to see a broader, more diverse group of Toronto’s population taking to the streets.

From multiple studies done in global cities, cycling routes improve trip frequency to local businesses, reduce car usage, and increase the health of a population.  All net benefits to a growing city like Toronto. Every trip taken by bicycle or Electric Scooter also reduces wear and tear on Street Infrastructure – our devices weigh 40 pounds instead of 5,000 for the average SUV. This needs to be a major consideration knowing that over 40% of car trips in Toronto are solo drives.

Our staff at Segway of Ontario and our customers stand with our friends at Cycle Toronto.  Toronto is expected to grow by 35,000+ new residents per year and we’ve simply run out of space to build new streets. We can either adopt more efficient means of transportation like Public Transit, Cycling and privately owned Micromobility – or we can pretend that 35,000 new residents a year won’t impact car traffic and already at capacity street-parking.

So many folks in Toronto want to get out of their cars but don’t feel safe taking other forms of transportation like their bikes or electric scooters. That’s why Segway of Ontario is supporting the Toronto City Staff recommendations to:

  • Make all of the ActiveTO bikeways permanent and upgrade them
  • Approve the proposed cycling network projects for 2022-2024 — these are meaningful projects City staff are proposing
  • Streamline the bikeway adjustment process — less staff time writing detailed reports, more time being responsive to local community priorities by adjusting bikeways after installation
  • Grow the staff team — meet the staffing levels that the City needs to hit its 2022-2024 implementation goals, and plan for a ramp-up in future years across various divisions to support the planning, designing, and installing of bikeways

Balancing the transportation needs of Canada’s largest city is no easy task. Ensuring that Complete Streets are the default will accelerate this uptake of people using privately owned Micromobility devices that act and impact the same way as bicycles.

Our team wishes the Infrastructure Committee and City Council wisdom and good guidance as this decision will determine how livable Toronto remains for generations to come.

Peace and Wisdom,

Aaron Binder
Chief Experience Officer
Segway of Ontario

More Toronto Cycling Infrastructure Benefits Everyone
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