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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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Are the Sherbourne separated bike lanes working?

Great piece in the Grid about the Sherbourne separated bikelanes.  I’ve heard that there will soon be more bollards separating car traffic.

Eric Krumins, a technical writer for an east-end software company, is in a somewhat unique position to comment on the issue. A vehicle owner, he has experienced Sherbourne over the dashboard of his car, but also over a pair of handlebars during his daily commute as a 10 km-per-day cyclist.

“The benefits of the separated lanes [for cyclists] are that you are generally buffered from high-speed traffic,” he says. But there’s a caveat. “This only applies on straight sections and not near intersections.” To Krumins, there are more drawbacks than benefits to the infrastructure of separated bike lanes—specifically referred to as “cycle tracks,” as per their design. “To pedestrians,” he says, “it feels like the sidewalk has been extended. The bike lane also passes through bus stops where people stand to wait for a bus. Whenever I’m biking on Sherbourne, I have to be more alert to the threat of pedestrians walking into the bike lane.”

Full Article: Are the Sherbourne bike lanes working? | The Grid TO.

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