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INFRASTRUCTURE: Toronto does protected bikelanes correctly (for one block)

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If there’s one thing that bothers me about the slow installation of “physically separate” protected bikelanes on Sherbourne, Bloor East and Wellesley (soon to come to Richmond and Adelaide and Harbord/Hoskin) is just how half-assed it seems to be being done.

The key to “physically separate” is something physical between where cars drive and where bikes travel.  Aside from the north end of Sherbourne, which has some raised curbs (that cars still drive over), the city seems to be using flex-bollards… but installation is VERY inconsistent.

The photo above is of the ONLY place I’ve seen it done correctly in Toronto.  It’s on Sherbourne south of Shuter.  For one block.  The rest of Sherbourne has a few bollards sprinkled here and there, but one or a few bollards don’t do anything… you need a bunch of them like in the photo above for them to be effective.

They need to be close enough together too.  The ones in the above photo are about 10 feet apart.  On Wellesley, they’ve installed bollards between Sherbourne and Jarvis, but only every 20 feet (or more – photo below) – which means cars can still pull in to park.  NO bollards have been installed on Wellesley between Jarvis and Yonge.

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What about Bloor East between Sherbourne and the Viaduct (below)?  NOTHING.  It’s the worst separated bikelane EVER.

 

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All this is to say “What. The. HELL?”  You can NOT call these things “Protected Bikelanes” if they don’t actually PROTECT cyclists by keeping cars out of them.

You want more people biking in Toronto?  Make them feel safe.  You are NOT making them feel safe at all yet.

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Bloor bike lane debate hits the street

Why is this even a “debate”? If some politicians don’t grow some backbone and do things that will make this city more livable, traffic will grind to a halt and we’ll be the next Detroit. Too many cars = a city that doesn’t move.

Bikelanes give people a SAFE option that isn’t a car. The short-sightedness of politicians and Torontonians in general is astonishing.

Watching Annex resident Bertha Luk lock her bike to a post on Bloor St. W. at Bay, you’d expect her to favour a new bike lane on Bloor St.

You’d be wrong.

Luk is a driver as well as a cyclist, and she’s not sure that carving out a bike route is the best thing for traffic on that stretch of Bloor — a section of roadway she avoids “at all costs” when driving.

Toronto’s works committee has asked for a study of a dedicated bike route from the Bloor Viaduct to Keele St.

Full Story: Bloor bike lane debate hits the street | Toronto Star.

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Bloor Street bike lane study clears Public Works Committee

The city of Toronto’s public works committee has approved an environmental assessment to study the feasibility of installing a bike lane along Bloor Street.

The study — which if approved would take about a year to complete — will investigate the possibility of putting a bike lane along Bloor from west of Keele Street in the city’s west end to east of Sherbourne Street. The study will also examine installing a bike lane on Dupont Street.

Full Story: Bloor Street bike lane study clears committee – Toronto – CBC News.

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Bloor and Dupont Bikelanes on City Council Agenda

Council voted in July 2011 to halt an environmental assessment that was studying the possible impact of creating lanes on one of the city’s major streets. But city officials have now brought the issue back to the table, recommending that council allow a smaller Bloor assessment to be done at the same time as an assessment of proposed lanes on parallel Dupont St.

The recommendation comes four months after six Bloor-area councillors — Ana Bailao, Gord Perks, Adam Vaughan, Pam McConnell, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Mike Layton — formally requested the resumption of the Bloor assessment.

Full Story: Bloor bike lanes back on council agenda | Metro.

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Bloor Street bikelane being talked about (again)

Encouraging, but why not the Danforth too? The Danforth is wider than Bloor in most places and easily has room for bike infrastructure, plus bike-friendly councillors in Fletcher, McMahon, Davis and Fragedakis.

Despite annual rides in support of more cycling infrastructure on the street, there has been no official movement on Bloor since the incomplete environmental assessment was binned in July 2011 with the Jarvis Street lanes.

Now, more than two years later, Jared Kolb from Cycle Toronto is “cautiously optimistic” council will vote to resume the EA, even if the cycling advocacy group would prefer an investigation that covers the Danforth as well.

“What we’re saying is ‘that’s not quite enough,’” he says. “We would much rather see the original terms of the EA brought back, which was for the entire corridor of Bloor-Danforth, and we are also pushing for a pilot project … we don’t need to wait around for a multi-year EA.”

Full story: Bloor Street bike lanes might get another chance.

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