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NEWS: Bay Street gets a bikelane! (for one miserable block)

Hey there!  Need to go north or south in the downtown core?  Wanna do it safely?  Want to do it in a bikelane, even a painted one, which atleast carves out some space for you?  Wanna do it somewhere in the 2 km stretch between St. George/Beverly and Sherbourne?

Yeah, well, keep dreaming.

Transportation services recently installed a painted bikelane (actual photo above) on Bay… but just between College and Gerrard.  That’s a full 270 metres of bikelane that cars can now park in.   Why aren’t all bikelanes automatically getting flex-bollards now?  If we have bikelanes to provide safe, car-free spaces for cyclists in Toronto, let’s put at least something in to keep cars out of them.

Now, you may ask yourself… what about north of College?  Well, the City painted some sharrows there (I happened to take some photos of them this morning, below).  Sharrows are great for using up paint, and showing cyclists where drivers *should* be letting them ride, but in actual practice they do almost nothing in terms of making a street safer for cyclists.

BayMorning BayMorning2

South of Gerrard?  I have no idea… but here’s a thought:  Maybe it would be nice to have an ACTUAL bikelane that goes down Bay to City Hall, where the new $1.2 million BikeStation will be?  There’s no bikelane on Queen (although there should be), so why not Bay?

Oh, auto-centric Toronto planners and transportation services people will tell you that bikelanes will affect car traffic “flow”… and aren’t possible… because we base all of our street planning on the maximum number of cars that use a road during rush hour.

The photos above? Taken at 9:05 am on a Monday morning.  The photo below? Taken at 6:00 pm on a Monday (also today).

BayEvening1

Look at all that space!  This is rush hour!  And all that space in the middle… where there’s just paint and some rarely used left turn lanes?  Just enough space to re-configure the road lines to make a bikelane along each curb.

Bay has SO much potential.  Not using it is wasting it.

 

via: Twitter / TO_Cycling: Bay street bikes – @TO_Transport ….

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Video: 10 Minutes at Bay & College

I had such a good time filming everyone on the “Ride for Jarvis, Ride for Toronto” ride on Wednesday (and then speeding it up and putting it to music), I thought it would be interesting to do something similar to watch traffic patterns at an intersection.

I found a place I could see most of the Bay & College intersection on Friday morning and filmed it for 10 minutes (8:50 – 9:00 am) … I’ve since speeded it up 4x so the below video is only about 2.5 minutes long… then I watched it numerous times and counted the number of bikes and cars using the intersection. (These numbers follow the video below). The music in the video is “Rest” by Parts and Labor.

 

Vehicles using Bay & College intersection

Date & Time: Fri, July 22, 2011 from 8:50 – 9:00 am

College & Bay during the G20 in 2010

Bicycles:

Eastbound:    46
Westbound:    29
Northbound:    10
Southbound:    20

Total Bikes: 105

Cars:

Eastbound:    51
Westbound:    46
Northbound:    68
Southbound:    72

Total Cars: 237

Percentage of Vehicle Users on Bikes:

Eastbound:    47%    (46/97)
Westbound:    39%   (29/75)
Northbound:    13%    (10/78)
Southbound:    22%    (20/92)

Overall:  31%  (105/342)

Notes:

1) I have made a distinction between “regular cars” (ie. people driving to work, etc) and taxis, TTC vehicles, and business vehicles (ie. vans or pick-up trucks that are filled with goods, or have a logo or something on the side).  The purpose here is to see how many “regular people” (on bikes or in cars) are using the intersection.

2) It should be noted that this intersection is the eastern start of the westbound College St. bikelanes.  The Eastbound College St. bikelane actually ends one street east (at Elizabeth St.).  Bay St. does not have bikelanes, but the curblanes are supposed to be used by only bikes, taxis and buses.  It doesn’t work that way in practice…. and Bay is still pretty bike unfriendly.

2a) A delivery truck is parked in the College bikelane for a good portion of this video.

3) I have not endeavoured to count pedestrians in this video yet… but you can tell that they FAR outnumber every other mode of transport.

 

[College and Bay photo by ajcgn on Flickr]

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