Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter

Are the Sherbourne separated bike lanes working?

Great piece in the Grid about the Sherbourne separated bikelanes.  I’ve heard that there will soon be more bollards separating car traffic.

Eric Krumins, a technical writer for an east-end software company, is in a somewhat unique position to comment on the issue. A vehicle owner, he has experienced Sherbourne over the dashboard of his car, but also over a pair of handlebars during his daily commute as a 10 km-per-day cyclist.

“The benefits of the separated lanes [for cyclists] are that you are generally buffered from high-speed traffic,” he says. But there’s a caveat. “This only applies on straight sections and not near intersections.” To Krumins, there are more drawbacks than benefits to the infrastructure of separated bike lanes—specifically referred to as “cycle tracks,” as per their design. “To pedestrians,” he says, “it feels like the sidewalk has been extended. The bike lane also passes through bus stops where people stand to wait for a bus. Whenever I’m biking on Sherbourne, I have to be more alert to the threat of pedestrians walking into the bike lane.”

Full Article: Are the Sherbourne bike lanes working? | The Grid TO.

  • E. Grant

    Not a huge fan of the curb-like separation from the rest of traffic. I drive a vehicle that transports people with disabilities. The curb prevents me from stopping at an appropriate place to lower a ramp for folks using wheelchairs – I have to stop at a driveway and block the whole street. Imagine how popular I am. As well. I noticed last year that those curbs also prevent snow removal from the bike lane. A bad bargain in a city that is supposed to be encouraging year round cycling as transportation. One of the treat things about bikes is that they are nimble. We need more nimble ways if creating bike lanes, too…perhaps bollards are worth trying more? Maybe they can be seasonal?

  • Good points E. Grant.

    I personally don’t mind the Wheel Trans type vehicles blocking bikelanes, as long as there isn’t another better place to park (I have had words with a driver of one who parks forever in the College bikelane right beside a sidestreet with a perfect and convenient stopping place for him.

    Toronto has smaller snow removal machines / plows, just not very many.

  • hamish

    There are smaller snow removal machines eg. sidewalk plows, a full 200 of them apparently, but they seem mostly used in the more suburban regions. In fact at times we’re told in the old city that they can’t be used here because sidewalks are too narrow. It seems truly inequitable, and we should insist that at least 4 get used for bike lanes, including tidyings up after big snows. That presumes that the bike lanes haven’t been used totally for snow deposits – a big presumption really, though it seems the Sherbourne lanes were nicely done last year.


I Bike T.O. Shirts
available in 12 colours
$19.99

I Bike T.O. Shirts
available in 12 colours
$19.99

I Bike T.O. Shirts
available in 12 colours
$19.99

Left Wing Pinko Shirts
available in 12 colours
$22.99