I’m going to devote the next two posts to some present (and potential) cycling infrastructure in one part of Toronto’s suburbs.
We have friends who live on the outskirts of Aurora, which is on the outskirts of the “Greater Toronto Area”. In other words, the edge of suburbia.
I sometimes get sick going up there because their neighbourhood (which was farmers fields at the turn of the millenium) is right beside huge plots of hundreds of acres of land, being scraped off in preparation of new wasteful subdivisions.
Anyhow, on this trip to suburbia, I took along the camera to take photos of the cycling infrastructure I had noticed:
I’ll start with the good – actual paved paths for cyclists between the sidewalk and the road (specifically, Bayview Ave. between Wellington and St. John’s Sideroad) which helps hugely with safety. Although the posted speed limit here is 60 km/h, the real speed along here is about 80 km/h, with it not being rare to see cars going close to 100 km/h.
The bad part of these paths is that there is nothing special where they cross roads – no differently coloured pavement, or bricked walkways, or anything.
Getting into the actual subdivision where our friends live, there is a big hydro corridor cutting through it (itself a subject of controversy among those who think electricity causes cancer). This hydro corridor extends from close to Barrie down through northern York Region, where it essentially comes down to Toronto close to Highway 404, before meeting up (near Eglinton & Victoria Park) with what I believe is called the Sagueney Hydro Corridor (which goes all the way to Quebec).
Whenever I see this hydro corridor I think of the missed opportunity to have a dedicated cycling path from northern York Region all the way to Eglinton.
While it may be too much to ask people to commute by bike from Aurora to Toronto – the possibility of going from Aurora to Markham, or Markham to Toronto is quite doable. The recreational cyclists would love it too.
Part Two is about bikelanes in Aurora subdivisions.