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Roncesvalles ‘bump outs’ get mixed reviews

Unfortunately, the CBC is giving a negative slant to this article.  It sounds like some transit users and pedestrians don’t get that cyclists can use the bump out, and that some cyclists don’t understand they have to stop and wait while people are boarding the streetcar.

There are similar things on Sherbourne now, which I use twice a day… the separated lanes north of Gerrard “bump up” and become part of the waiting area for Sherbourne buses.  Most transit users have figured out that there are bikelanes, and most cyclists know to stop when a bus is loading or unloading.

When the city redesigned and rebuilt Roncesvalles Avenue in the city’s west end, it tried an experiment with new bike lanes. And while the city and the TTC say they’re happy with the design, cyclists, pedestrians and TTC users are not.

read full story: CBC News

  • Pete

    The issue on Roncesvalles is that the right lane, when occupied with parked cars, is far too narrow to safely bike in without fear of being doored or pedestrians darting across the street. Keeping 1m out from parked cars in many places puts you within 1 foot of the right-most streetcar rail.

    Despite signage, many cars park illegally, partially or completely blocking the sloped entrances to the bump-outs.

    In addition, quite a few of the streetcar stops + street furniture obscure the view of drivers on side streets attempting to turn onto Roncesvalles; a number of times I’ve nearly gone over a car hood while riding across a cut-out due to a car creeping out into the intersection so they can see traffic. Try riding south on Roncesvalles, approaching Grenadier, and you’ll see how dangerous these obstructed views are for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

  • McKingford

    The problem on Roncy is that far too many pedestrians and TTC users waiting for the streetcar don’t understand that unless a streetcar is there, the bumpout is not part of the sidewalk. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve either had people scowl at me because I rang my bell at them or even refused to move. I think there needs to be signage at each stop making this clear.

  • Jonathan

    Yea, some of my quotes were taken out of context a bit. There will always be a few people that take awhile to catch on but it is a new thing and new things take time to adapt to.

    And anything that separates us from vehicles is a win for cyclists.

  • Have to agree here as a long-time resident of Roncesvalles (over 10 years) the bump-outs weren’t installed with enough information for the users.

    Everyday I ride down Roncesvalles there is atleast one mouth-breather standing on the bump-out staring at me, oblivious to the fact I need to pass DIRECTLY over them.

    Basically it is a terrible system for cyclists as it forces us into confrontation with not just cars that have no view of the cyclists in these pockets but for the half-asleep pedestrians waiting to be driven around in their street-cars. I wan’t to shake these people and tell them bikes are faster but also cheaper.

  • Now, I’m not over there much, but don’t they have giant bikes painted ON the bump-outs? Isn’t that a sign that bikes use it?

  • Mike

    Patrick, I find the bump outs an innovative approach to ensuring cyclist safety at streetcar stops. Yes, people aren’t getting it yet. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sidewalks in some cities in Germany have different coloured but otherwise unmarked paths that are for bicycles. Guess what – after almost getting run over by said cyclists a couple of times, even tourists learn to stay clear. The same will happen on Roncy.

    As for Pete’s comments about the poor visibility and heavy traffic from pedestrians and cars, yes, it’s a busy street. I never feel unsafe, but it is busy. Bikes, like the cars, simply have to slow down to adjust to conditions.

  • well said!