L-R: Arthur Sowinski, Sandra Tsai and Rick Indris are part of a growing bike-to-work community at West Park. The trio looks forward to covered bike parking to shield their two-wheelers from the elements.
Year-round, when the weather conditions are dry and above -5 Celsius, clinical pharmacist Sandra Tsai cycles about seven kilometre one-way from her home to West Park. For her, it’s not only about getting exercise, but also for her mental wellbeing.
“The ride to work helps to increase my mood and spirit, and prepares me for work in providing compassionate, optimal care of patients,” says Sandra. “The ride home, especially during the past few years with the pandemic, helps me to process my day, release stress and celebrate the rewards of caring for patients.”
As the month of May is National Bike Month, Sandra and the rest of West Park’s cycling community will be delighted to know that planners and architects had them in mind when designing the campus. By providing convenient access to bicycle racks, it not only promotes staff, patients and visitor fitness and mental health, it is also contributes to West Park’s efforts in environmental sustainability.
Here are a few features of bicycle parking in the future:
- There will be more than 100 bicycle parking spaces across six locations on the future campus. Currently, there are only about 25 bicycle parking spaces across three locations. For a map of future bicycle parking locations, click here.
- The style of bike racks will be individual, steel loops (upside down u-shapes) embedded into the ground. The simple design is effective and functional whereby bikes can be locked by the frame with a u-lock or wire lock.
- The majority of bicycle racks will be available within 70 metres of the new hospital’s main entrance.
- The majority of bicycle racks will be covered by a canopy to protect bicycles from the elements.
- To foster a safe and friendly cycling environment, the racks are located in areas of high visibility to prevent theft and vandalism, and have adequate lighting for safety and security. There will also be one enclosed bicycle parking structure for extra security nearby the Main Entrance.
Though it may not be exactly like Switzerland where Sandra used to ride between the shores of Lake Geneva and the French Alps, cyclists coming up the current back service road off Emmett Avenue will ride between landscaped therapeutic gardens and the Humber River ravine.
If you’re thinking of riding your bike to work, Sandra has some useful advice.
“Plan and start out slowly. Plan out the route and look for bicycle paths and lanes. Start slowly – even if it is partial way with rest of trip on TTC, or once a week,” says Sandra. “Continue with it for at least a month to see the positive results.”