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The Bloor East Bikelane: Getting better, but separation needed!

IMG_7423The Bloor East bikelane has recently been re-painted between Sherbourne and  Parliament with new, slightly wider lanes with a double line and a small “buffer” between the bikelane and the car lanes, as well as some sharrows across the Bloor and Castle Frank intersection.

All of this is GREAT, of course.  As a cyclist who used this stretch twice a day coming to and from the Viaduct, both wider lane and visual cues (for drivers) are wonderful.

Having said that, Bloor East was supposed to be the FIRST stretch of road in Toronto with proper separated bikelanes.  This plan was proposed over TWO years ago, and Bloor East was supposed to happen FIRST because it wouldn’t require as much Community Consultation as there weren’t a lot of driveways and businesses along this stretch.  Sherbourne has already been done (I love it!) and Wellesley and Harbord are coming soon.

Do we have separated bikelanes on Bloor East now, over two years later? No.

The reason I’ve heard that there are separated bikelanes is that the road decking of the Viaduct can not take the alterations necessary… and that’s fine.

BUT, I would submit that there is a FANTASTIC opportunity here for the City to still make things WAY safer for people biking along this stretch.

There’s a simple way, a cheap way, and an effective WAY to make this stretch so much safer (and believe me, it needs it… drivers race FAST along this stretch)

Bollards.  Simple and cheap flexible bollards, plunked down every metre or so between those two bikelane lines.  From Sherbourne all the way to Broadview.  Won’t hurt the Viaduct road deck at all.

What do you say Toronto?

IMG_7323 IMG_7422  IMG_7424

 

  • hamish

    Thanks Joe; yes, it’s an important area, and it’s nice to see some upgrading, which includes fresh pavement on the Danforth.

    But there’s a few issues, including the fact that yes, drilling through the bridge deck will foul things up, though they could also seal the gutter seam some decade for integrity (theirs and bridges’).

    There are also inconsistent widths still in play along here though; and how do cyclists pass each other? And what will winter maintenance be?

    Perhaps more needed is getting a consistent level of safety further eastwards especially, where Bloor between Sherbourne and Church was in the tepid Bike Plan for bike lanes, and only $20,000 would repaint this bit of Bloor. Why spend millions on rebuilds and separations when a missing important part of the network lags?

  • Hamish – did you even read what I wrote? I’ve heard there are concerns with the road deck, so I’m saying DON’T drill through it… just put bollards on top.

  • hamish

    Some confusion is with me, yes, as I was focussing again on the lack of basic maintenance including drains and lights, but the seam is needing work so “..Yes, drilling through the bridge deck will foul things up.” Yes, use paint and ensure connections and consistency first, though having bollards on the gradual curve entry to the eastbound bike lane would be good all the time as rightwards curves are invariably cut into.

    There’s really overdue maintenance on the seams – how to rot out a bridge folks, whilst millions spent elsewhere. Duh!
    There’s also a winter maintenance aspect that given how rough it can be on the bike lane network, let’s ensure that we can crawl before running in a tiny segment of top-grade bike lanes that yes, would be nice everywhere, but

  • Good points, Hamish. Thanks! :)