See More Blogs | Login or Register to Start Your Own Blog
Main BikingToronto Page

“Graph Paper” vs the “Squiggly Grid” – A popular post here, worth revisiting…

Back on December 12, 2010 I published, City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout vs “Squiggly Grid”. I’m seeing in the WordPress Site Stats widget that the article has been getting a lot of views – and on an ongoing basis.

People in Toronto are talking about transportation issues. This article generated a great discussion when I first published it, perhaps we can talk some more about the way the 905 and the 416 are completely different cities – from a transportation infrastructure point of view at any rate.

Enjoy…  (A link to the original is at the bottom)


City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout vs “Squiggly Grid”

City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout is roughly the area inside the black border.


Over at Cat B’s VeloT.O. Blog, Cat put up an interesting article, “Nice jacket Mr. Cherry“, about the ranting Mayor and a hockey coach.

‘Nodders’ posted on this idea just after the October 25th 2010 election, “3,000 kms and Positioning the Toronto Cycling Community in a Non-Bike Friendly Environment“.

The cycle community needs to project a united and coherent message out to the voters of the city – to get what we all need; a city that moves, and moves safely.

It is important that we cyclists have the ears of the thoughtful voters of the city right now; a united, effective message.

Towards a better understanding here’s something I’ve been thinking about recently:

Unfortunately for cycling infrastructure planning there is not just one Toronto, there are two – the old and the new: The “Graph Paper” grid – the black box on the map – and the “Squiggly Grid”, which is everywhere else.

Planning Cycling Transportation Infrastructure: The Great Divide: The Graph Paper meets the Squiggly GridThe Great Divide: The old Graph Paper Grid meets the new Squiggly Grid at Taylor Creek, East York near Dawes Road

As such, planning a cycling infrastructure that works needs to first understand what we’re dealing with so cyclists aren’t talking at cross purposes. The conversation needs to be based on the infrastructure as it is; and going forward how to make changes that are possible as per how cyclists and cars use these two very different kinds of traffic grids – differently.

In the core of the city the road grid is like a page of graph paper; it’s easy to find off-arterial streets that work as direct, convenient, safe Bikeways.

In my opinion, these side streets that can be chosen to be Bikeways need to be “Enabled” to attract cyclists off the main streets, which are extremely dangerous, and to make driving a car on them a pain in the ass (sort of exactly opposite to the way things are now). These Bikeways on the old grid need lights where they cross main streets (and timed for bikes where possible) bike centric governance like Yield signs instead of 4-Way stops, no speed bumps in the shoulders, and painted solid bikeway lanes – to name a few ideas.

Then there’s the newer transportation infrastructure that is characterized by a grid of wide, highway type roads, about 2 kilometres apart, lined with boxes of separated neighbourhoods with roads that are full of curly-cues, circles and culdesacs – and that exit onto the arterial roads only at a few places. Here in my opinion and off the top of my head, Bikeways need to be two-way separated bike only roads *beside* the sidewalk and separated from arterial traffic by a physical barrier. People who actually live in these areas may have different and better ideas on this.

What do you think?


Read the original post, with a great discussion underneath – 16 comments:
City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout vs “Squiggly Grid”




Posted: February 27th, 2012
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tags: | No Comments »

Leave a Reply