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Blue Bike Lanes for Toronto

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The Spacing website has started off their “Ideas for Toronto” series of posts with a doozy (of a great idea) – coloured bikelanes!

Coloured bikelanes range from The colours range from red in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Belgium, to blue in Denmark, yellow in Switzerland, and green in France. (blue ones seem to be the most popular in North America, although NYC has green ones) exist mainly to let drivers know where there are cyclists crossing a lane of traffic.

Below is an excerpt from the Spacing article, as well as graphics… and if you want to know of a great place in Toronto where a coloured bikelane would work well, look no further than the Bloor Viaduct.

Many other cities use coloured bike lane markings to reduce conflicts between cyclists and motorists. The colours range from red in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Belgium, to blue in Denmark, yellow in Switzerland, and green in France. Portland chose to use blue, so as not to conflict with yellow (the colour of the road lines) and red and green (the colour of the traffic lights and stop signs). Blue also shows up relatively well for people with colour blindness.

The City of Toronto seems intent on using paint markings to define the city’s bike lanes as opposed to phsyically separated lanes, and Portland shares the same attitude. Prior to the blue colouring, bike lanes in Portland were marked with white dashes, similar to Toronto’s. Thermoplastics were used to colour the bike lanes, as they hold up much better to wear and tear than traditional paints. Accompanying road signs were installed to depict when motorists should yield to cyclists.

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  • I am sure the colouring will help – Austrians have the whole lanes colored in maroon (red) if those are adjacent to the road, not only on crossings. I agree that solid paint is a better solution than physically separating the lanes, because it allows for greater flexibility in changing the organization of traffic (just repaint) and also the maintenance and cleaning costs are blending with those of the roads.
    Whether these lanes catch up or not, it is really unfortunate that more countries don’t have such an amazing biking infrastructure as we do here in Canada already.


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