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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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OH YEAH: The Case For Protected Bike Lanes

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I love that there is SO MUCH about the safety, economic and community benefits of protected bikelanes now. Even Fast Company is in on the party.  Now.. let’s get EVERY bikelane in Toronto protected!  Flexible bollards are cheap.  Let’s DO this!

Giving cyclists their own space results in some pretty big benefits beyond just a lack of dead cyclists.

Visit cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen and you soon notice something different about the facilities for cyclists. Not only are there are plenty of bike lanes, but the lanes are fully separated from the rest of the road–usually with plant pots or plastic bollards. Far from being an afterthought, cyclists get their own road infrastructure.

Read More: The Case For Protected Bike Lanes | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.

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$600 Pop-Up Protected Bike Lane gets Minneapolis Excited

 

Minneapolis is testing out a protected bike lane system using popup protected bike lanes.   It’s cheap, it’s easy… and it should be ALL OVER Toronto.

Read more: TreeHugger

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Toronto Take Note: 10 best protected bikelanes of 2013

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If you’re already excited about the Sherbourne bikelanes, and are looking forward to Harbord and Richmond and Adelaide and possibly Eglinton getting some separated bikelanes and you wish they’d install some already up on Bloor East, you’ll want to check out this Best Of list from Peopleforbikes.  They list their favourite American protected bikelanes of 2013.  Yes, America may have the Tea Party, but some cities are decades ahead of Toronto in providing safe infrastructure for cyclists.

As the thermoplastic dries on this year’s round of terrific protected bike lane projects, we decided to scour the country for a comprehensive (and subjective) ranking of the best of the best. We talked to experts and advocates around the country, looked at technical photos and schemes and read the news reports to understand not just how these bike lanes were designed, but why. Though the word “complete” can be hard to define for something as malleable as a city street, every project on this page has been in some clear sense finished during this year.

Full list: America’s 10 best protected bike lanes of 2013 | PeopleForBikes.

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Re-capping the Richmond-Adelaide bikelane public meetings

Great write-up on Dandyhorse about the public meetings that took place on Monday and Tuesday night regarding plans for separated bikelanes on Richmond and Adelaide.

Last night, November 18, 2013, approximately 40 people gathered in the Metro Hall rotunda to browse plans and review images for the proposed cycle tracks for Richmond qnd Adelaide streets, and hear a short presentation on recent developments by City staff.

The Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Track Study is looking at the area between Bathurst and Sherbourne from Wellington north to Queen for the installation of networked east and west cycling infrastructure.

Full Story: Local parents support Richmond-Adelaide cycle track: City asks for input on bike lane proposal | dandyhorse magazine.

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