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INFRASTRUCTURE: Bloor East – Worst Separated Bike Lane Ever.

Generally, I keep Biking Toronto very positive and upbeat, but sometimes, some shaming needs to be done.

 

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Worst. Separated. Bikelane. Ever.

If you are not sure what the above is, it’s the eastbound Bloor East Separated Bikelane.  This photo was taken this morning. Monday, June 2nd, 2014.

Does it look separated to you? Does it look like a safe bikelane to you?

The answer is no on both counts.

This stretch of Bloor East has parking, but that parking is mostly empty most of the time EXCEPT when a film crew wants to use it to film at St. Simon the Apostle Anglican Church… when giant film trucks and trailers (some with expandable sides that open up OVER the bit of bikelane not filled with trailer) park there… which is often.

WHY hasn’t the city made this bikelane physically separate, as promised?  Wider paint lines/buffers don’t cut it.  Separate means separate… bikelanes that can’t be filled with cars and trucks.  Small, cheap concrete curbs?  Flexi-bollards (currently on part of Wellesley) even.  We need MORE than paint.

WHY weren’t the parking spots made wider?  The city KNOWS that these spots are mostly used by film crews and their giant vehicles… but the spots are narrow tiny things… barely big enough for small cars.  How about widening these spots so that they can be used?

WHY didn’t the city design these lanes better?  If they wanted to keep the parking along here, put the bikelane right beside the sidewalk, create a buffer zone with paint and/or flexi-bollards and/or curbs, and THEN have parking.  It would keep parking AND maintain a safe area for cyclists.

 

This is one of the busiest routes to the east end of Toronto.  If the city isn’t going to give a crap about cyclist safety along here, then people who use it have to start giving a crap.

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INFRASTRUCTURE: Steer clear of the bike lane, it’s an endless cycle of frustration

The first tip off is the name: “bike lane.” It’s not a “car lane” or a “truck lane” or a “stroller lane” or a “jogging lane.” It’s not a “Purolator lane” or a “trucker-needs a-coffee-lane.” It’s not a “waiting-for-your-spouse-lane” or a “small-right-hand-passing-lane.” It’s a bike lane.

It’s a lane that cyclists use to move about. It separates automobile and bicycle traffic, so that each can flow. The theory is that if we have all these lovely inviting bike lanes then more people will cycle and this will alleviate congestion. It’s all about the flow. It’s all about the commuter feng shui.

More: Steer clear of the bike lane, it’s an endless cycle of frustration – The Globe and Mail.

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NEWS: City of Toronto releases Cycling App to track cyclists trips and plan bike infrastructure

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New app to track bike trips from the City of Toronto.  I hold out hope that they’ll release the data via the OpenData initiative… but I fear that hope may be misplaced.

The Toronto Cycling App is a new, free smartphone application that will enable cyclists to contribute to the future of cycling infrastructure in Toronto.

Download the Toronto Cycling App for Android or iPhone

About the App

Developed by Brisk Synergies for the City of Toronto, the app will allow cyclists to record their cycling routes and provide this data to the City.  The data will be part of the toolkit used to help inform the City’s data collection and analysis when developing new cycling network plans. Toronto is beginning work on a new Cycling Plan that will expand on the City’s existing 570 kilometre cycling network.  This new Cycling Plan will be presented to Toronto City Council in 2015.

via Toronto Cycling App – Bike Counts – Reports & Studies | City of Toronto.

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10 fun things to do on a bike this summer in Toronto

Well, this list isn’t bad, but it’s very touring/racing oriented.  There’s a couple mountain biking things in there, and the closest thing to “normal” bike riding is the World Naked Bike Ride.

I may have to do my own list up… stay tuned.

Options to have fun on a bike in and around Toronto are limited only by one’s imagination. Whether you favour the knobby tires of a mountain bike or prefer your rubber inflated to 110psi (no inappropriate jokes, please), the GTA is rich with possibilities. Within the city, one has the Don Trails, the Waterfront bike path, and places like High Park to explore (to name only a few). Throw in the ample cycling clubs and weekly rides based out of Toronto and you have a city that’s primed to satisfy the whims of cyclists of all kinds.

via 10 fun things to do on a bike this summer in Toronto| BlogTO.

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INFRASTRUCTURE: How are the new Wellesley St. bike lanes working out?

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In a word, the new Wellesley “separated” bikelanes are “crappy”.   You can see the problem in the photo above… the bollards are too far apart.  They also weren’t installed on part of the curve on Wellesley between Jarvis and Sherbourne…. the absolute worst part of Wellesley for cars going into the bikelanes.

I thought this was because the bollards were incomplete, but statements by city staff make me think they think it’s done.  Bollards are also not installed near intersections, because I assume someone is worried about offending car drivers.   Drivers are also using the bikelanes for passing and right turns.  It’s infuriating.

Haven’t we paid enough time and energy and money catering to car drivers in this city?  Can’t we install a separated bikelane properly?   There are international bikelane standards out there.  Does Toronto use them?

There are two types of separated bike lane in Toronto: the ones on Sherbourne Street that discourage intrusion by drivers (but also allow access for emergency vehicles) with a gently raised curb and the newly upgraded lanes on Wellesley Street, which are marked by a strip of white collapsable bollards.

Read More: How are the new Wellesley St. bike lanes working out?

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