(Cross-posted to I Bike T.O.)
Another great post from BikeToronto.ca:
The city is resuming work on McCowan Park Trail construction – a 2 km stretch of paved trail that will eventually form part of a 9.4 km path through Southeast Scarborough on land reserved back in the day for the ill-fated Scarborough Expressway (what the now-gone Eastern Stub of the Gardiner was supposed to link up to) – from around Midland northeast all the way to Morningside. (you can click that map to make it much bigger)
Apparently, there’s been some local resident opposition to this, because some in Scarborugh apparently think that bicycles = crime:
Two weeks ago I rode on the path to see whether it had been completed or not and to see what had the residents upset. I imagined the path must run right along their fences to generate this responses. I was surprised at how much room was available in the corridor and how much distance and how many trees there were between the path and the fences of some of the back yards. At Brimley where the trail starts the corridor is at its narrowest you can see the back yards of some of the houses through the trees but the park widens out towards McCowan where the bulk of the area of the park is. There it features a playground and walking paths.
Here looking east the path heads toward McCowan. The new playground and walking paths and fields are to the left.
As I was riding through the path I thought this will actually increase the safety in this neighborhood. The new path will actually attract the neighbours. Once completed it will be an excellent place for people in the neighbourhood to walk, take their kids to the new play ground, run, rollerblade and bike. It is this kind of traffic that will keep this area safe. It follows with the ‘more eyes on the street’ philosophy where neighbours look out for each other and can see if something illegal is going on.
I was sooo happy to see this on BikeToronto – if any place needs more bike infrastructure (especially some seperated from car traffic) it’s an old borough like Scarborough. Even better, when completed, this corridor will provide a good by-pass to the scary prospect of biking on Kingston Road in Scarborough, currently the only way to get from Pickering to the old city of Toronto close (or, relatively close) to the waterfront, as the waterfront trails don’t really connect up.
I’ll finish this post with another quote from Martin, the BikeToronto guy. It’s really important that this trail is constructed properly and in it’s entirety:
If you want to ensure that this trail is constructed and maintains the proper width you can contact Councillor Brian Ashton firstname.lastname@example.org and the Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee Paula Fletcher email@example.com. It also would be good to copy your message to Councillor Adrian Heaps firstname.lastname@example.org the newly appointed member of Council to the Toronto Cycling Committee. (All images courtesy of BikeToronto.ca)