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Announcing Toronto’s Best Bike Lane as Voted By You!

The people have spoken!

We at BikingToronto.com asked you to nominate the best bike lanes in Toronto. Your responses were fantastic and we really learned what makes a bike lane the best according to you.

The best bike lanes go all the way to (and even sometimes right through) intersections. The best lanes are on roads easily integrated into your commute. The best bike lanes take you where you want to go. In the end, we’ve learned that the best bike lanes are moving Toronto!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a bike lane, share this poll with friends and ultimately vote for Toronto’s Best Bike Lane. And now, without further ado, announcing Toronto’s Best Bike Lane:

The Winner Is Route 35: St. George and Beverly Streets

With an outstanding 47% of total votes there is plenty of support for the bike lane that starts in the north at Dupont Street and runs continuously south, through the University of Toronto, past the AGO and terminates at Queen Street West.

It’s no surprise why you voted for the St. George/Beverly Street bike lane. Take a look at these streets during rush hour and you’ll see one of Toronto’s greatest mixes of people who rides bikes. From business men and women to students and local residents, this bike lane provides the only bike route in and out of the downtown for countless thousands of people.

Once again, Toronto, thank you for nominating and voting for Toronto’s Best Bike Lane.

  • math

    As always these ‘best XXX in the city’ turns out to be ‘the most well known/heaviest used’.

    And did they repave St George north of bloor yet? Cuz the pavement is horrid. And there are alot of cars on it and alot of stop signs. This makes for some really annoying, bumpy, start/stop riding, alot of noise and pollution direct into your lungs. Not a fun ride.

    Take a street a whole 1/2 block west – Huron. It’s recently repaved, much wider, has way fewer cars the whole way down and leads you all the way down to queen + Peter street/bluejays way to the dome and the lake.

    The most imporant routes is where it’s the dangerous to cyclist, but well paved and possibly even scenic. The most danger is when a cyclist is going uphill at 10km/h and cars are blowing by at 70km/h. That difference in speed makes them easy targets for any mistakes, with the cyclist having little power/momentum to get out of the way (and being out of breath at the same time so less attentive and with less extra energy to spend in an emegency).

    Therefore I’d say Poplar Plains/Russel Hill bike lanes are ‘the best’, as they’re the ONLY safe route up and down the Davenport escarpment – there are NO alternates in central Toronto til 2km west.

    Alternate routes up/down the escarpment (all have no bike lanes, unless Bathurst recently got them):

    Mt pleasant is a highway dip by the Rosedale reservation lands (70km/h and unnecessary extra climbing, no bike lane).

    Yonge is a narrow bobsled run where I’ve wrecked pedals on the curb trying to get far enough over from cars (and scraped elbows on the lammposts that are mounted on the curb
    so there’s zero clearance for handlebars if your tires are within 9 inches of the curb).

    Avenue (no bike lane, 70km/h or a 6 lane car fumed traffic jam).

    Spadina is a big run around east and then back west with 3 confusing intersections and 4 lanes of traffic. Might be bike lanes.

    Bathurst is also a cement canyon that’s far too narrow (and very steep) (lanes?)

    The next nearest route west up the escarpment is Wychwood park, but it’s semi private and by that time you’ve already climbed to Dupont amongst nasty traffic. Keep going west and there’s another canyon for Christie, so you’re at Shaw before you get the first sidestreet going up the brutal hill. That’s way west for people finding a route up/down around yonge or avenue. And east you end at Mt Pleasant due to the Don Valley.

    Additionally, Poplar plains/russel hill are quiet, low traffic, scenic (full of trees! beautiful on a summer evening), and pretty safe to ride down at full speed without your brakes on. They’re the only
    good, safe link between Northern Toronto (St Clair and north) and southern.

  • Bah! 5 cars parked in that bike lane between College and Bloor today! Not an anomaly.

  • duncan

    math: Thanks for commenting. You’re certainly right about Poplar Plains. Alternative routes up this gradient are essentially non-existent and it connects “Midtown” to Downtown quite nicely. You’ve also alluded to a post I’m working on for suggested Bikeways with mention of Huron.

    Lizz: Agreed, while the winning bike lane has many beneficial features, it is also plagued by the same problem as almost all of the other bike lanes in Toronto: Disrespect.

  • Dawn

    I take Beverly on one section of my route across town. It is the widest and I feel safer on it. The cars seem to give a wide berth, but, as one poster pointed out, cars tend to park in it because of that same reason. I take sides streets to get to it and the bumps and cracks sometimes give me a scare. I’m learning to slow down, relax, and not be in such a hurry. I want to enjoy the ride!

  • Reply to:
    math
    August 17, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Right ON!

    You are me. These things are what I would say – exactly. Well put. Thank you.

    I take The Wychwood route up The Davenport Escarpment – with a slight variation:

    http://bikingtoronto.com/michaelhollowayblog/files/2010/08/Up-the-Davenport-escarpment.png

    Steep as it gets, but your up in 2 minutes.

  • I just find St George a more annoying street. Because it’s throught he university, pedestrians run into the street without looking, it’s incredibly busy, and people move slowly.

    Though College has the problem of stopping at Bay and is ALWAYS plagued with delivery trucks, I have fewer experiences with people opening doors into me and cutting cyclists off to park (which happens on St. George all the time). On college cars just want to drive. It’s hectic, but I feel safer there.

  • duncan

    Lizz: I personally don’t use St. George that often, but I’ve certainly experienced pedestrians and flinging doors on my few rides along there. There’s also inconsistent intersection signing. Why have crosswalks but no stop signs at Russell St.? Why is there a signaled pedestrian crossing just north of College but no signals for the other pedestrian crossing? Perhaps the designers did this to keep everyone “aware” but in action it seems to keep everyone confused and feeling rushed.


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