You’ve just finished a tennis match/drum circle/swim/ball hockey game/Frisbee session/baseball practice at Trinity Bellwoods Park and now you want a continuous street to take you North beyond Bloor Street.
Well, you could try Bathurst with its awkward intersections, streetcar tracks and speedy drivers. You could head over to Ossington, a street with more potholes than parking spaces. Or, you could simply head North on Crawford, a one-way street with a gentle uphill grade and even a touch of cycling infrastructure.
Although there are blue bicycle signs along Crawford, you won’t find this residential street listed as part of Toronto’s Bikeway Network.
While not an official signed route, there is signage alerting drivers to the presence of cyclists.
Just north of Dundas, Crawford is spacious and their are speed bumps and stop signs to help slow motorists who are also supposed to keep their speed at or below 30 km/h.
Although the extra space on this street often encourages illegal parking:
A slight uphill and a few minutes later and you reach a controlled intersection at College Street:
If you’re turning left, stand on the dots:
There are no dots here, but if you’re going straight this may set the traffic signals in motion. I’ve never waited here more than a few seconds:
Just north of College, Crawford takes a twisty turn lined with street parking. The right curb side has uneven manhole coverings, so take the lane:
Here’s where it gets strange. Where do I go?
If you can spot the cyclist on the left of the above photo, that’s where Crawford continues. Head right, and you’ll end up on Montrose. There’s a blue circle bicycle sign hidden, too:
A few short minutes later and you’ll reach Harbord where you can connect to bicycle lanes. Should you want to go straight through this is where Montrose one street over to the East is a better option. At Harbord you have a stop sign, yet the east/west traffic does not. Depending on the time of day you may have to wait awhile to get across:
Watch out for right hooks while you wait:
And then carry on:
And once again, prepare to wait at the even busier Bloor Street:
As bike lanes continue to be a major issue in the upcoming Toronto mayoral elections, it is important to consider our entire network. Bike lanes are needed on major arterial roads and bicycle-friendly infrastructure is needed on our secondary street routes. That includes signaled crossings, something that would improve Crawford and earn it a permanent role in Toronto’s Bikeway Network.