BIXI’s latest expansion plan does not include the Danforth because of the expense, yet the Annex is thriving with its new fleet of shared-bikesby Vanessa Pinto
BIXI released plans to relocate existing stations and to slowly increase bike stations in Toronto, and the Danforth area was not one of the proposed areas for expansion. However, in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, along Bloor Street, BIXI stations have exploded. The Toronto-Danforth area, less than five kilometres east, and just across the Don River Valley, appears to be of less interest to the City, and to BIXI.
BIXI spokesperson Marie-Hélène Houle confirms that the company has no plans to expand to the Toronto-Danforth neighbourhood, but “it doesn’t mean it won’t get there someday.” If a community wanted to petition to get BIXI stations in their area, whom should they contact? “They should contact their councillor and request the City for expansion,” explains Houle. “We are always in discussion with the City of Toronto, so if it is approved, we will go along with their request and add new stations.”
Local representatives do take the issue of a bike-friendly Danforth. In an interview with Toronto-Danforth Councillor Mary Fragedakis she reveals that she has already been in talks with BIXI and the City in order to press for bike-sharing stations in her riding. “I do hope to bring BIXI stations to the Danforth. Unfortunately, the people at BIXI have told me that they have no plans to expand to the Danforth due to costs.”
Fragedakis plans to work with local residents and businesses to see what can be done. “What gives me the most hope is the sheer dedication and ingenuity of cycling enthusiasts both in Ward 29 and across Toronto.” says Fragedakis, “Despite the recent setbacks, they have brought a wonderful spirit to this issue that will I believe, in the long run, produce some wonderful results.”
Fragedakis’ current cycling initiatives include the Pottery Road Reconstruction’s incorporation of a bike lane and an improved-for-bikes intersection, and increasing the number of bike parking rings. It is these initiatives that are making Ward 29 “more bike-friendly than it has been in the past,” says Fragedakis.
A map of BIXI stations—in service and to come—can be found on the BIXI Toronto website.
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