I was up early this morning, so went out for a ride to the new re-painted Bloor-Danforth bikelanes to see what they were like (and take photos for you). They are, on the whole, great! I say this from someone who crosses the Viaduct twice a day to and from work.
Looking east past the westbound entrance to the DVP/Bayview on-ramp. You can see the old bikelane line on the left side, mid-range… they widened the bikelane significantly and “doubled” for more visual presence (it’ll help drivers see it easier)… and added sharrows at the part where cars cross the bikelane.
The lane approaching Bloor and Castle Frank. Nice and wide, and easy to see. :)
I was disappointed to see, though, that it is *only* the Viaduct portion of the Bloor bikelanes that have been upgraded. From Sherbourne to just west of the bridge the bikelanes are still in pretty bad shape, line-wise. You can hardly see them in spots. This photo is from just east of Sherbourne.
More un-updated bikelane… this is just getting very close to the Viaduct… you can see the western end of it in the distance.
Here’s where the “new and improved” bikelane starts, on the east side of the Bloor and Castle Frank intersection.
Look at these! Beautiful! Not only are they wider and have a larger visual presence, but cars seem to brake more approaching the curve to the right as the Viaduct starts…
Look at the extra width on the corner! Great.. and the car lanes are narrowed a little bit, so cars seemed to be going slower. I knew the old bikelane was too narrow to feel completely safe, but it looks like it was especially narrow compared to the new lines.
On the Viaduct itself, there isn’t a whole lot of extra room, but it feels safer due to the extra line. All superficial of course, but if cars go a bit slower, and cyclists feel a bit safer, then the end result is more people on bikes!
Approaching the eastbound on-ramp to the Don Valley Parkway…
There are some chevrons painted on the road showing where cyclists cross, and sharrows over where the bikelane continues…. but I was cycling and missed the chevrons completely (I had to walk back on the sidewalk and take this photo and the next one)…
There are 3 sets of chevrons going diagonally across the on-ramp entrance… and they are not very visible at all. I actually did not see them and crossed over to the other side before I got to the chevrons. Perhaps there are bike-stencils planned to go along with the chevrons (making them sharrows), or some kind of signage… but as it stands now, it needs work.
Once you cross over though… it’s *very* evident where bikes should be. :)
What do YOU think? Have you ridden the new improved Viaduct bikelanes? If you have or haven’t, what are your impressions?Wed, Feb 24: Come to the Toronto Bike Awards!