The City of Toronto just announced a new free app called BikeSpace, which will be used to improve bike parking across the city.
When it comes to the topic of cycling in Toronto, especially downtown, there are two main points of discussion, road safety and parking. If you’ve ever biked in the city, you’ve likely experienced having to lock up your bike a block away from where you need to be, or you’ve locked up somewhere where you’re not supposed to like a street sign or tree.
The BikeSpace app is trying to change that. Developed in partnership with Civic Tech Toronto and Code for Canada, the app gives cyclists a way to communicate with the City’s planning department.
“The BikeSpace app is a great example of the City, its civic community and tech talent coming together to support cyclists in our city by tackling shared challenges,” says Mayor John Tory in a press release. “This offers the cycling community an easy tool to share information with each other and the City to help improve our cycling infrastructure.”
Through the app, you can report broken bike locks, full racks, locks with seemingly abandoned bikes, and you can highlight areas in need of bike parking. You also have the option of providing a photo or leaving a comment on your report.
Businesses are also being encouraged to use the app in order to identify areas where bike parking would be useful around the property. If cyclists can access your business easier, they may frequent your business more!
“We are always looking for new and innovative tools to deliver improved services for cyclists,” says Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “This app will provide information directly from the public to help the City make informed decisions about where bicycle parking facilities are needed.”
With all the buzz around Sidewalk Toronto, the smart neighbourhood project on Toronto‘s east waterfront, The City addressed concerns about data privacy right out of the gates with the announcement of the BikeSpace app.
Some Torontonians have expressed concern about how a smart tech area like Sidewalk Toronto may take advantage of personal data. With BikeSpace, the City ensures that no user data will be collected and no user profiles will be generated. The only use of the app is to identify areas and ways to improve bike parking.
“I’m incredibly proud of this important collaboration and the positive change this app will produce,” says Jake Miller, BikeSpace Product Manager. “We built BikeSpace to allow road users to inform and directly impact the development of high-quality cycling infrastructure in Toronto.”
Summer is in full swing, so cyclists are taking over the streets! Everyone stay safe out there, watch out for cars! And motorists, watch out for cyclists. Remember, we’re all sharing the road and want to arrive safely and in a timely manner. Happy cycling!