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New Photo of Roncesvalles’ Raised BikeLanes

A few weeks ago we shared a construction photo of the new streetcar/bikelane infrastructure on Roncesvalles Ave… essentially the road rises up to sidewalk level at some streetcar stops to not only allow easier streetcar boarding, but allow cyclists safe passage (ie. not having to ride on the streetcar tracks to pass the streetcar stop).

Now, shared on the City of Toronto’s Cycling Facebook group is a photo of the (almost) completed “bump-out”… all it needs now is signage and pavement markings (which are scheduled to be added in the spring).

I’m tempted to call these “bump-lanes” or “bike-bumps” or something.  Hmmm.

What do you think of this (almost finished) infrastructure?

  • I find that photo a little confusing. How will the road be where there are not bump-outs for bikes to ride on? Is that a dedicated lane (that already, in the photo, has a car parked in it) or will cars have to constantly merge in and out setting up a situation for frustrated people to try to make the right lane a quick passing lane (with potentially really bad consequences if someone’s in the lane)

    It definitely looks like a step in the right direction but how well it works, or whether it works or not will be in the details of how it is implemented.

  • Bradley Wentworth

    Curiosity drew me to ride down Roncesvalles the other day; in theory, a great idea, but in practice if there isn’t some mechanism to keep cars from parking right at the base of the bump-out then you are forced to ride in the streetcar lane. This is particularly unnerving if there is a streetcar behind you. Also, I wonder how pedestrians at the streetcar stop will behave towards passing bikes.

  • @Bradley: Good point about the parking. That’s exactly what I mean about the details being important to the success/failure of this.

    As for what the folks waiting for the streetcar will do, it’s still not clear what the plans are here. That said, there is some discussion in the previous article on the bump-outs (http://bikingtoronto.com/the-new-roncesvalles-ride-your-bike-up-onto-the-curb/) that says how it’s been successfully handled in the past. As long as people know it’s not a waiting area but is just like the road, it should be OK but I suspect there’ll be a bit of a learning curve and more than a few conflicts at first…

  • Roncy is a 4-lane road – but it’s almost always been 2-lanes (1 each direction) when there is parking.

    The BIA wanted to slow traffic down and make things more people-friendly – and I think they’ve done a great job (I have to get out and see it in person, too)… with the bump-outs – effectively saying… this street cares about pedestrians and transit and cyclists.

    Signage and pavement markings are due in the spring, but you are right, theoretically, there is nothing stopping a car from parking at one end of a bump-out… same as there’s nothing stopping them from parking in bikelanes currently.

  • Martin

    Currently the modifications are a total failure. To be fair I will have to wait until everything is finished to see how it will work out, but currently:

    At the High Park Blvd/Fermanagh Ave TTC stop on the east side going north:
    a)people standing on the bike/asphalt section staring at their smart phones not moving when I ride through.
    b)the produce store’s 6 (or 8?) garbage bins are neatly placed by the city on the bike/asphalt section every night after pick up, blocking the lane.
    c)a car parked at the entrance to the bike/asphalt section to go get food at the Friendly Thia, blocked cyclists but more importantly blocked a streetcar for 5 minutes, and when he came out to leave yelled expletives to everyone as opposed to remorse to holding up traffic.

    At other TTC stops cars parked at both entrances & exits to bike/asphalt lane, at various times.

    I can’t wait for real snow to fall and what happens when there is a huge pile of snow from snowplows at the entrance to the bike/asphalt sections, I have ridden in the winter and it’s fine most of the time except for huge dumps.

    Driving down the street is not as fluid either, there used to be many places to pass a streetcar, no so anymore. TTC stops after the intersection? Not sure about that except maybe it helps those turning right?

    Streetcars get blocked by fools parking illegally.

    I’m not confident that the general public will understand not to stand on the asphalt while waiting for streetcars, nor will people try to squeeze into places they shouldn’t park, forcing riders into the street.

    If everyone was aware and worked together the street would work, but I doubt it. I guess time will tell.

  • J.S.

    I guess a telephoto lens was used in this photo, because it makes it seem like you could park at each end of the bike ramp. I suppose it is POSSIBLE, but you would be parking in the middle of the road (as some idiots have already done, as Martin above says). There are several metres of space separating the legal parking areas and the ends of the bike ramps, and this space will be marked as a dedicated cycling zone. All the issues mentioned by Martin above sound like growing pains and confusion due to the fact that there are not yet any road markings or signs or anything to explain to people what the rules are.

    By the way, cars passing streetcars do not make traffic more fluid, but the exact opposite for everyone except the lucky few who can pass. Everyone else gets slowed down, as the streetcar waits for the selfish people to zip ahead. This issue will become moot anyway when the TTC rolls out its new 30 metre streetcars. Good luck passing those, no matter what street you are on.

  • Mike

    I was down that way a few days ago and saw what they’re doing. The first impression I got was it didn’t make any sense. To have a streetcar stop at a loading area where bikes can whiz through (?). The city has managed to endanger the well being of two types of commuters at the same time with this one. Nice job Toronto.

  • justin

    The goal seems to be to prevent cars from passing the open doors od street cars,
    The garbage can placer should get a fine
    Passengers, should stay on sidewalk, maybe painted lines to show, they are on a bikepath not a side walk
    Maybe painted lines to show that cyclists need o stop at the doors lines, until the TTC passengers are loaded/ off loaded