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“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”

 

 

mh



Posted: February 27th, 2012
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Video: Across The Great Wall (of freeways) on Bicycle

Happy 2011 everyone.

The Great Wall of Freeways: the 401.

I was looking through Joe T’s, “BikingToronto in 2010: The Stats“, the year in review at BikingToronto – and, a long series of links got me to riconroy’s Youtube Channel where I found “Crossing the 401“.

Under the video is this description:

“Highway 401 cuts Toronto in two; crossing it on foot or bike is very difficult. Those who cannot, or decide not to drive, are forced to negotiate the dangerous roads and sidewalks.”

So, that links to recent posts here (article) about the “Squiggly Grid (label)” road lay out that make it so tough to find safe, efficient routes for cyclists in Toronto’s 519. But the real reason I’m posting the video is the song! This years favourite! : ]

“It’s not Safe” by “Gentleman Reg” is the perfect sound track for this vid.

References

A Toronto Cyclist’s Top 10 Complaints – in “Duncan’s City Ride“.

A Toronto Cyclist’s Top 10 Complaints – BikingToronto Forum.

mh



Posted: January 3rd, 2011
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Rob Ford has a point in “CYCLISTS ARE A PAIN IN THE ASS…” speech – Let’s break it down

On May 25 2009 Rob Ford made a speech about Bike Lanes. The spectacle media and knee jerk liberals reacted to the use of the word “ass” and laughed at the idea of widening sidewalks and separating Bikes from the highway like arterial roads in the “519″, wards in the City of Toronto – the regions of the city that have what I’m calling, a “Squiggly Grid” – which are all the suburban planning built after the second world war as part of the Interstate Highway System in America, which was mirrored here in Canada.

Youtube user HOOFandCYCLE posted a video on September 25, 2010 called “ROB FORD – ‘CYCLISTS ARE A PAIN IN THE ASS…’“, which I have edited and uploaded portions of for this article.
.
Here’s the part of the speech where he lays out his vision – which I think is a good one…

“… We have boulevards in Etobicoke, green, that are 4 or 5 yards wide” he says, “if we have to take some of the green space, widen the sidewalk and have a bike only lane, it will work…”

I’ve been out there in suburbia a couple of times. Once over in Scarborough, I biked up this huge wide three-lane-each-way road (McCowan Road?) with a centre turning lane. The houses backed onto the road in those curly cue culdesacs on each side of the road. I didn’t feel safe out there.

I think, like on the 400 series of highways, bikes should not be allowed on these roads – they are not built for us, they are highways with stoplights on them – damn straight. The traffic laws concerning bikes on these neighbourhood freeways enable a collective denial that allow us to bury our heads in the sand to the fact that these are dangerous killer roads running through neighbourhoods full of children and people who would chose cycling if it were any kind of option at all. The non-exclusion of cyclists perpetrates a myth that this transportation framework is not at fault for dividing communities and the individuals with-in communities, one from another.

McCowan Road south of Ellsmere Road at Brimorton Drive - looking South --- Can we agree that City of Toronto needs to appropriate a metre or so of yard space along arterial roads for Bikeways?

This stretch of McCowan is a good example of what Mayor Ford is thinking. I imagine a wider boulevard and a two way Bikeway on the side closest to the street in this case, and the sidewalk over by the fences (a Bikeway should be wide enough in one direction to pass another cyclist, about 3 metres wide, so X2, 6 metres wide for a two way Bikeway). The city would have to appropriate about 2 metres for yard from every rate payer along here and could offer planting hedges in place of fences which are great sound barriers, help reduce green house gases and trees process the highly toxic heavy elements in car exhaust really effectively. Of coarse safety is probably a factor in the fencing as well as noise pollution – but the Bikeway also addresses boththose issues – more bikes equals less automobile traffic volume – and non-vehicular traffic is a neighbourhood watch program with out any meetings.

That done people would begin opening up their back yards to access the infrastructure, and it would look a whole lot nicer pretty quickly.

..to be continued…

***

Addendum

Looking at maps of suburbia in the writing of this article I discovered another new way to get commuting cyclists through the Squiggly Grid (see comments at City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout vs “Squiggly Grid”), Hydro Corridors! – like this one in Scarborough – that runs from the Don Valley at Eglinton Avenue to Pickering’s Brock Road.

I also made a map of my Bicycle-Freeway Vision called “Pickering to Don Valley Bikeway“.
(http://goo.gl/maps/KSVb)

Here’s an Image (links to Google Map for a closer look).

mh



Posted: December 16th, 2010
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Filed under: Uncategorized
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City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout vs “Squiggly Grid”

City of Toronto Transportation Grid: "Graph Paper" layout is the

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 Grid

The 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?



Posted: December 12th, 2010
Author:
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tags: | 16 Comments »