Earlier this year, Marvin Macaraig (Health Promoter, Access Alliance) teamed up with the leaders of Cycle Toronto, and The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT), and participated in the inaugural Leading Social Justice Fellowship program offered by the University of Toronto School of Cities and the United Way Greater Toronto.
Their project was to address equity around the lack of cycling infrastructure in Scarborough and how to elevate community voices who have been historically marginalized and have been provided with no safe active transportation options for their trips.
Their work in the fellowship resulted in the creation of Scarborough Needs a Cycling Network, an 8.5 minute documentary of people riding bicycles in Scarborough.
The team’s goal was to uplift the voices of ordinary residents, talk about equity, and give them the opportunity to share their lived experiences. Specifically, some of the barriers they faced and also what they loved about riding here.
What they found were many positives shared across these experiences — joy, health, utility, cost savings, and more. However, there was an equal amount of fear, danger, lack of safety, and the common knowledge that Scarborough roads take lives.
There was one thing that every single person said: Bike lanes would make Scarborough roads safer and better for people.”