Nice heels on the woman riding the white bike with the front rack! Certainly would be approved by my girlfriend.
Daniel Egan, Manager Cycling Infrastructure and Programs Transportation Services shares information on what sharrows are and how they can be used by cyclists in Toronto.
What exactly is going on with the blacked out “bike lane” on Spadina Avenue?
Well, what may or may not actually have been intended to be a bike lane is now gone, sanded away leaving a thick black stripe in its place. According to the Toronto Cyclists Union the stripe is to soon be replaced by sharrows:
What’s Up with Spadina – where’d that lane go?
Many of you will have noticed that the ‘gutter lane’, the white stripe that ran along the edge of the curb lane all the way along Spadina Ave., was scrubbed off the roadway about two weeks ago. Please note that this was done in order to prepare the roadway for the application of Sharrows on most of Spadina, and full bike lanes where the road widens enough to fit them in at Spadina circle.
The City has not been able to provide us with a specific application date, but we have been assured that they will be implemented before the end of the season.
What are sharrows you ask? Here’s what the City of Toronto has to say:
1. What is a shared lane pavement marking, or “sharrow”?
Sharrow is short-form for “shared lane pavement marking”. This pavement marking includes a bicycle symbol and two white chevrons.
- For safety reasons, cyclists should ride one metre from the curb to avoid debris and sewer grates.
- In lanes that are too narrow for cyclists and motorists to travel side-by-side, cyclists should ride in the centre of the lane to discourage motorists from passing too closely.
- Where there is on-street parking, cyclists should ride one metre from parked cars to avoid the “door zone”.
Although it is the motorist’s and/or passenger’s responsibility to look first before opening their door, riding too close to parked cars can lead to serious injuries that can be avoided.
Sharrows are also used through intersections and some merge zones to support straight-line cycling and to increase the visibility of cyclists.
- only pass a cyclist where there is enough room to to do safely (at least one metre between motorist and cyclist),
- reduce your speed when passing a cyclist, and
- watch for cyclists when making lane changes and turns.
Be aware that cyclists are vulnerable to different hazards than drivers (e.g. minor pot holes and debris), so give them space to manouvre. Even where there are no sharrows or bike lanes, motorists should always share the road.
4. Where can I expect to see these sharrow markings?
Sharrows are used in curb lanes, either adjacent to the curb or parked cars. You will also see sharrows painted in the middle of narrow lanes where there is not enough room for a cyclist and motorist to travel side-by-side. Sharrow markings are also used through intersections and areas where traffic merges, such as at highway on-ramps or intersections with multiple turning lanes. Sharrows are mostly found downtown where there are the greatest number of cyclists.
View the list of sharrow projects.
More answers to your sharrow questions can be found here: Sharrow Frequently Asked Questions
Construction on Bloor between Avenue Road in the west and Yonge Street in the east is starting to be cleared. Revealed beneath the trucks and equipment are bicycle stencils on the fresh asphalt.
Now, these aren’t sharrows as they are missing directional chevrons.
And these aren’t bike lanes as they are missing painted lines and the diamond.
Best guess is that these are sharrows simply missing their hats as there are sharrows on Bloor east of Yonge. After studies and continuous calls from the public for better bicycle infrastructure on Bloor, it looks like all we’re getting for now is a little paint that cars can soon park on.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Considering how many cars I see stopped in the middle of crosswalks, there’s obviously going to be a few growing pains with these new bike boxes in Toronto.
What are bike boxes and what do they do? Bike Boxes allow cyclists to move to the front of the line at red lights and position themselves for faster/safer left turns. In addition to dedicated space for turning cyclists, bike boxes are paired with no right turn on red light restrictions, reducing the chances of right hooks at busy intersections.
More photos of the new bike boxes by Martinho below:
Updated October 12, 2010: Here’s the info card distributed by the City of Toronto explaining the use of Toronto bike boxes:
The 2010 Toronto Cycling Map includes a brief description of bike boxes, a piece of infrastructure soon to be seen on Toronto streets.
Bike boxes will soon be installed at several intersections on Harbord and College. They allow cyclists to move to the head of waiting traffic, giving them priority for making left turns. Intersections with bike boxes will also restrict right turns on red lights (a safety feature I feel ALL Toronto/Ontario intersections should have) for both drivers and cyclists.
In anticipation of the soon to be installed bike boxes, the City of Toronto recently updated their cycling web site with a short postcard explaining bike boxes. I’ve include the postcard content below and you can also download the info here (PDF): Introducing Bike Boxes
Images via City of Toronto
Evergreen Brick Works recently held their grand opening, and while events and a market have been held at the site all summer, access by bicycle has been somewhat limited.
Bayview, a street where the speed limit increases to 70 km/h (meaning 90 km/h to far too many drivers) in front of the Brick Works also has crumbling shoulders. Certainly an uninviting situation for anyone on two wheels.
However, the revitalization of the once abandoned site is bringing in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. In an e-mail from Dave Dunn of Cycling Infrastructure and Programs for the City of Toronto he explained that a new bi-directional and physically separated multi-use path will now connect the Rosedale Valley Drive multi-use trail to the Brick Works site. As well, a connection to Pottery Road will allow cyclists and pedestrians to access the site from the Lower Don Trail.
For added safety, Jersey barriers will be installed along Bayview separating cycling and pedestrian traffic, and the wooden bridge that runs under the Bayview access to the Don Valley Parkway is being repaired.
Here’s a Google Map created by Christina Bouchard detailing the changes currently being installed along Bayview (click for more details):
Photo via Flickr