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Counting Bikes on the Bloor Viaduct (with Photos and Video)

On Friday morning, I went over to the Bloor Viaduct to check out the new re-painted bikelanes, and while I was there fairly early decided to relax under some trees and count the people biking by on their way downtown to work.

viaduct_cyclists_per_min_westbound_june_18,_2010_7_15_-_9_15_am(2)

The Bloor Viaduct is one of the perfect places in Toronto to do this, as it is what I like to call a “funnel point” over the Don Valley… it’s one of very few places that someone biking to work can cross the valley… and it’s a 3 km ride north (Millwood) or almost 2 km south (Gerrard) to get to the next bridge.

As you can see by the graph above, the 2 hours between 7:15 – 9:15 am sees a lot of cyclists heading over the Viaduct westbound towards downtown Toronto.    A total of 582 cyclists passed me in those 120 minutes (an avg. of 4.85 per minute) with the highest number between approx. 8:20 to after 9:00 am.

Now some photos I took while I sat in my lovely tree-shaded spot, watching commuters go by:

I first sat on a round concrete bench close to the Bloor / Sherbourne intersection, but the trees and grass were calling me...

I first sat on a round concrete bench close to the Bloor / Castle Frank intersection, but the trees and grass were calling me...

ahh, trees and shade, and me with a notepad. :)

ahh, trees and shade, and me with a notepad. :)

Line-ups are common at the Bloor & Castle Frank intersection.

Line-ups are common at the Bloor & Castle Frank intersection.

Recumbent riders join the fun too.

Recumbent riders join the fun too.

Okay, okay… you talked me into it.  Here are a couple short videos of people biking through the intersection on their way to work.

What are other “funnel points” for bikers in Toronto? Popular ways under the 401? Over the Humber valley? Across railway crossings?

  • great vantage point Joe… shooting across the street from castlefrank station on the afternoon ride home is a cool location also, not quite copenhagen but thats a lot of cars off the street as well as 582 free seats on the ttc.

  • As best I can tell 582 passengers are:
    – about 3.5 fully-loaded subway cars
    – 6 full articulated streetcars
    – Ten full buses or less-full streetcars
    (all full load, standing/sitting)

    Or, more likely, 582 cars.

  • And if they’re 582 cars, at an average car length of 4.1 metres with 1 metre between each (let’s say 5 metres overall) that’s 2.9 km of traffic or (since most streets are two lanes), 1.5 km. In other words, enough cars to completely fill Bloor from your vantage point at Castle Frank to Yonge if stopped.

  • Isn’t it supposed to be i car length per 10km/h so at 30km/h = 3 car lengths + the car, so 4 x 4m = 16 meters/car = aprx. 9km of car traffic.

    Then add in road rage, accidents, and murder… and well, we’re all going to hell.

    Thank god for heaven sent bicycle technology.

  • Ah – good point! I had them all stopped but it’s true that if they’re moving there had better be more space between them. And don’t forget to add in the taxi double-parked to drop off a fare or the person wanting to make a u-turn from the left lane. Or the cyclist taking the lane at 20 km/hr (right, 582 cars and the cyclist is the problem)


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