I have been using the Martin Goodman trail daily for commuting from South Etobicoke for more than 5 years, about 11 months a year. I find that the new stretch through Ontario Place is now the most dangerous part of my commute. The new design means that MG Trail users now have to cross path with all the traffic going to Ontario Place, rather than a small subset. While the old official trail was bad, the more often used path through the parking roadways worked quite well.
Safety deficiencies include:
1. The path intersect the entrances to Ontario Place (including a brand new 4 lanes divided entrance) too close to Lakeshore. The trail users are busy trying to avoid the multitude of obstacles like barriers and lamposts that forces them to zig zag sharply, leaving little attention to look for vehicles turning from both Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West through the path. Going home yesterday, I had to avoid two vehicles doing such turns with disregard for trail users. At the same time, vehicle drivers do not realize that they have to cross both a pedestrian crosswalk and a multi-use path. The intersections between the trail and the entrance should be about 10 meters after the turn, like on many city parking lots near Humber.
2. Vehicles waiting to turn on red from Ontario Place to Lakeshore often block the path. Trail users have to weave through these stopped vehicles.
3. Drivers going to Ontario Place are generally tourists and visitors unfamiliar with the area, they do not realize that they are crossing a multiuse path, and unlike at the Boulevard Club intersection where regular members do get used to the trail, drivers at Ontario Place will not.
4. The barriers have been left grey so they are harder to see. They should be painted high visibility yellow.
5. The path narrows to about half its width through the intersections, making it even harder for trail users to navigate with users going both ways.
6. There is a small berm at some intersections making it even harder for motorists to see what is happening on the trail.
All in all, I find that little more could have been done to make it more unsafe and more difficult for trail users to go through Ontario Place. At a time where all levels of governments are speaking for the use of alternate methods for getting around, such as bicycles, it is puzzling to see that an Ontario Government agency and the City of Toronto have invested large amounts of tax dollars to make it easier for private vehicles to access Ontario Place at the expense of the time and safety of the users of healthier and cleaner modes on transportation. It is obvious that no one involved in this project is a trail user, and it seems that no effort was made to have more imaginative ideas. Go Transit and the TTC come to Exhibition Place, a shuttle train would have been both cool and entertaining for the visitors.
I have had to take collision avoidance measures three times in three days through that stretch of my commute. It is just a matter of time before someone gets badly injured or killed. The root cause is an extremely poor design that puts our city and our province to shame.