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Making the Bloor Viaduct Safer for Cyclists

Are you a cyclist who goes across the Bloor Viaduct (aka Prince Edward Viaduct) to get home from work?

If so, you may have noticed the “Bike Friendly Sign Campaign” (facebook event link) going on the bridge yesterday from 3-5 pm.

A bunch of cyclists got together with some signs to bring attention to the fact that although the Viaduct is one of the busiest stretches of bikelaned road in Toronto (as one of the few bridges over the Don Valley – the only way across via bridge from Millwood Road to Gerrard Street) there are no signs alerting drivers to be careful.

There’s a “Right Lane Exits” sign for drivers, as the right lane becomes an entrance ramp for the Don Valley Parkway, and a “Yeild to Pedestrians” sign where the sidewalk crosses, but cyclists are left to fend for themselves.

The bikelane hugs the right side of that exiting right lane all the way to almost Broadview, when a lane change is needed to get over that highway ramp.

As an east-ender, I am well acquainted with this – sometimes you get lucky and traffic is light and you can make the lane change easily. Other times, there will be a nice driver who will let you do the change, slowing down for you. Most nerve-wracking is when drivers don’t seem to notice you and you just have to signal and ease your way across – somehow simultaneously looking forwards and backwards to make sure you don’t hit any road hazards or get hit by a car.

For me, once I could start to do this without freaking out too much was when I started feeling like I could deal with all manners of traffic on my bike. It’s a trail by fire sort of thing.

I can only hope more of these demonstrations are planned.

[top image courtesy of topleftpixel, others from David Curtis]

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