Via Cycle Toronto:
Transportation Services willfully ignoring the direction of Council
In June 2014, Toronto City Council unanimously approved a pilot project for cycle tracks on Richmond St, Adelaide St and Simcoe St and painted bike lanes on Peter St by a vote of 39-0. Cycle tracks are “physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk.” The installation on Adelaide St however, is a painted lane, not a cycle track.
We’re pleased to see the progress on installation of the pilot project for cycle tracks on Richmond St & Adelaide St but are deeply concerned about the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division’s apparent lack of commitment to physical separation. The repeated quotes in the media from Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services, that separation isn’t necessary is surprising and shows an approach contrary to the direction Council gave which was to create a network of separated bicycle lanes in downtown Toronto. Rather than experimenting with paint, Transportation Services should be experimenting with different types of separated bike lanes (flexiposts, hard curbs, planter pots).
Transportation Services’ approach inconsistent with international standards and studies
Besides not following the will of Council, Buckley’s view of what constitutes safe cycling infrastructure is distressing. Study after study has demonstrated that cycle tracks (physically separated bike lanes) are the safest form of cycling infrastructure. Transportation Services’ approach is also contrary to the direction under National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) guidelines, to which the City of Toronto is a member.
Richmond St and Adelaide St are high volume, high speed streets. Without physical separation, the City is welcoming cyclists into dangerous conditions. Cabs, cars and delivery trucks are routinely parking in the lanes on Adelaide St which forces cyclists to swerve out into the roadway. Cars and trucks are also using the cycle tracks as passing lanes (WATCH). Cycle Toronto is deeply concerned about the conditions this configuration has created. We need Transportation Services to take this seriously.
Here’s what we need you to do:
1) Write your Councillor!
Council directed Transportation Services to undertake a pilot of separated lanes on Richmond & Adelaide. Not paint. Please take a moment to write your Councillor, describe the situation and ask that they direct Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services, to follow the will of Council and install separation on Richmond & Adelaide as soon as possible. CC John Livey, the Deputy City Manager, as well.
To: Your Councillor (look up your councillor on the Ward map)
Creativity matters. Include your personal story. And consider including your mailing address; it carries more weight.
2) Spread the word!
Thanks for your support and please make sure to write your Councillor as soon as possible!