And more reasons why electric scooters are bad for Ontario
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities http://www.aodaalliance.org [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance
October 11, 2019
Here are bits and pieces of accessibility news to share, that have been building up in our virtual in-tray! We hope you enjoy this information, on the 254th day since the Ford Government received the final report of David Onleys Independent Review of the AODAs implementation and enforcement. How much more we would have to give thanks for on this Thanksgiving weekend if the Government were to have announced a comprehensive plan to implement the Onley Report.
On the national front, we want to let you know that on the evening of October 16, 2019, a federal election forum will be held in Toronto to focus on disability issues in the current federal election. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has been invited to be one of the events speakers. We encourage you to attend. The full details are set out in the event announcement, below.
We remind one and all to raise disability accessibility issues with the candidates in this election. Use the AODA Alliances new Federal Election Action Kit. It gives you great action tips and all the background that you need to help press our issues. Please retweet the tweets that @aodaalliance is now tweeting to candidates for Canadas Parliament, where we ask for election commitments on accessibility for people with disabilities.
Turning to the provincial front, the AODA Alliance has been trying to play a leading role in raising concerns with the Ford Governments plans to expose Ontarians to the serious safety and accessibility risks posed by allowing electric scooters (e-scooters) in Ontario.
We have no word from the Ford Government on the results of their rushed consultations on this issue last month. In the meantime, opposition continues to grow to the Governments plans. Below, we set out the October 2, 2019 news release by the City of Toronto on the subject. It recognizes a need to ensure protection for both public safety and accessibility, and reflects a cautious approach to allowing e-scooters in Canadas and Ontarios biggest city.
Torontonians need to press their city council members as well as the Ford Government to not allow e-scooters onto our streets, sidewalks or other public places, since they pose a safety and accessibility threat. We expect that the companies that want to make money renting e-scooters in Ontario and having them parked for free all over our sidewalks, like Lime and Bird, are heavily lobbying both the Ford Government and members of Toronto City Council, behind closed doors.
We also set out below an October 5, 2019 guest column in the Toronto Star that highlights how much of a safety risk e-scooters have proven themselves to be. We also show you an October 9, 2019 letter to the editor in the Toronto Star that reinforces those safety concerns.
We wish one and all a happy and barrier-free Thanksgiving.
Announcement of October 16, 2019 Toronto Area Federal Election Forum on Disability Issues
2019 Federal Election Forum on Accessibility and Disability Justice
The GTA Disability Coalition invites people with disabilities and their allies to join us for a federal election forum on accessibility anddisability justice.
– Engage with an informed panel ofexperts speakingon the federal parties platformsonkeydisability issues
– Raise your awareness about actions you can call on parties to take to advance an accessible Canada
– Ask questions and share your civic voice in #AccessibleCndVOTE
DATE: Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
TIME: 7:00pm to9:00pm(doors open at 6:00 pm)
LOCATION: Ryerson University, Tecumseh Auditorium,Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould Street (SW side of Gould and Church St)
RSVP to Robin Simmonsat 416-599-2458 ext.293 byMonday, October 14, 2019.Seating is limited. You can also register for this event via Eventbrite
Submit your questionson Twitter to #AccessibleCndVOTE
Forum Partners: Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians. A-Way Express. Balance for Blind Adults. Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Centre for Independent Living in Toronto. Doris Power. Ethno-racial People with Disabilities Coalition of Ontario. Empowerment Council. Kim Adlard. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. ODSP Action Coalition. Older Womens Network. Ryerson University. Springtide Resources. Students for Barrier-Free Access -U of T. Working for Change.
October 2, 2019 City of Toronto News Release on E-Scooters
City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:
October 2, 2019
City of Toronto moves to ensure safety and accessibility at forefront of planning for e-scooters
Toronto City Council today adopted a series of recommendations focused on dealing with the future oversight and management of e-scooters in Toronto.
The City is carefully planning for the provincial government’s anticipated introduction of e-scooters in Ontario by prioritizing safety and accessibility for the use of e-scooters in Toronto. Among comments provided to the province, municipalities in Ontario including Toronto have requested that municipalities maintain oversight on how e-scooters are regulated and how they are deployed on local streets.
City Council voted to direct Transportation Services, Municipal Licensing and Standards, the Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Parking Authority, to report later this year on a program to enable the oversight and management of e-scooters on City roadways, including the possibility of adding electric scooters to the bike share fleet as a way of managing e-scooters in the public right-of-way, with the goal of ensuring a safe and accessible transportation network for all users during the proposed 5-year Provincial pilot project.
Until proper regulations are developed, City staff successfully recommended that City Council continue to prohibit the use of e-scooters on City sidewalks and pedestrian ways, prohibit any person from parking, storing or leaving an e-scooter on any street, sidewalk and pedestrian way.
Currently under the Province of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA), vehicles such as e-scooters are not considered legal for use on city/public roads, including in bike lanes. As motorized vehicles, they are also not permitted for use on municipal sidewalks.
The Ontario government has proposed regulations for the use of e-scooters, including details for a five-year pilot window. The HTA will not be altered but the rules around pilot projects for e-scooters in Ontario are expected to be outlined. Timing is currently unknown while the province reviews public input.
E-scooters are being piloted in several North American cities, including Canadian jurisdictions outside Ontario, as well as in a variety of American jurisdictions. Programs have had varied success and outcomes with regard to use, safety, sidewalk clutter and parking. More data is being collected in other cities on safety and environmental impacts of e-scooters.
While a number of cities have piloted e-scooters, some cities are reviewing and consulting the public such as Boston, Seattle and Boulder. Examples of cities that currently prohibit e-scooter programs include London (UK), New York City (Manhattan), Philadelphia, Dublin and Honolulu.
Once the regulation for Ontario is made available by the province, City staff will review it and are expected to report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee in December on a proposed framework that enables the oversight and management of e-scooters on Toronto roadways, with the aim of ensuring safe, sustainable and accessible transportation for all users during a proposed pilot project.
Documentation of the motion that City Council adopted today is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.IE7.13
A letter from the Toronto City Manager to the Ministry of Transportation is available at https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-138531.pdf#xd_co_f=ODM2YzZiMjYtMzIwZi00MGQ5LTlhZTgtZTNiYTU2Mjg1ZTI0~.
Link to the relevant portion of the Highway Traffic Act (PDF file): https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_950.pdf
“We must plan responsibly for e-scooters on our streets with safety and accessibility at the forefront of those plans. I believe this approach to this emerging transportation option will ensure we go about this in the right way that listens carefully to our residents, community groups, and businesses.” – Mayor John Tory
“We all want safe, sustainable and modern travel options in Toronto. Learning from other cities, we know that success means taking care to develop an e-scooter program for Toronto.”
– Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cityoftoronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.
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Media contact: Eric Holmes, Strategic Communications, 416-392-4391, 416-629-4891 (cell), [email protected]