Lots of interesting details in the renderings that were just posted. 24/7 car parking on both sides, and it looks like parking buffered bike lanes for the most part. It will be particularly interesting to see if the “artistic curb extensions” have any effect on driver behaviour.
It would have been preferable to see intersection treatments like those installed in San Jose. Something to considered for the future, when these bike lanes are evaluated in late 2021.
In the meantime, we await installation with baited breath. Once these are in, as well as the bike lanes between Avenue and Sherbourne, then we will finally have a continuous stretch from Runnymede to Dawes.
As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto has started to implement a plan called ActiveTO “ActiveTO is about making sure people have space to get around while respecting physical distancing.”
Today, City Council took a huge step forward by approving a plan to add 40 km of new bike lanes. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is that the plan includes the westward expansion of the Bloor bike lanes from Shaw to Runnymede, as well as a large part of the Danforth from Broadview to Dawes Rd (between Main and Victoria Park), and the missing section between Avenue and Sherbourne. This provides a continuous 15 km path for cyclists along this important transport corridor.
The other bike infrastructure enhancements planned are:
Dundas Street East, from Sackville Street to Broadview Avenue, Cycle Track
University Avenue / Queens Park, from Adelaide Street to Bloor Street, Cycle Track
Huntingwood Drive, from Victoria Park Ave to Brimley Road, Bicycle Lane
Brimley Road, from Kingston Road to Lawrence Avenue, Cycle Track
Bayview Avenue, from River Street to Rosedale Valley Road, Multi-Use Trail
River Street, from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue, Multi-Use Trail
Wilmington Avenue, from Finch Avenue to Sheppard Avenue, Bicycle Lane
Faywood Boulevard, from Sheppard Avenue to Wilson Avenue, Bicycle Lane
The westward extension of the Bloor bike lane to Runnymede is still considered a pilot project that will have some degree of protection added (mainly bollards on curbs). It remains to be seen how all the other bike lanes are installed, but they are a temporary measure for as long as strict social distancing is required in Toronto. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this will all turn out, but since this a pandemic response, the intention is to have all routes installed this summer.
Other routes are still under consideration to be added to the ActiveTO plan. In particular it was disappointing to see that none of Yonge St was included, particularly since it is vitally important to provide an alternative mode of transportation for those who want to avoid taking the TTC downtown during the pandemic.
Nevertheless, a historic day, with the vote in favour being 23-2.
At the same time, the city has been making incremental improvements to existing bike lanes, such as these bollards on curbs that appeared on Bloor between Palmerston and Euclid. These are similar to the protection that is planned for most of the westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes.
Afterwards, we set to work distributing the City of Toronto brochures about the impact of bike lanes to local businesses on Bloor between Jane and Dundas West. Here are Albert and Rob heading east.
I headed west towards Jane. Most of the businesses that I talked to were supportive. One of the stories that I heard was from someone who was hit from behind while biking along Shaw St. Her daughter was also hit at Queen and River, and in that case it was a hit and run. The one exception was a businessman who talked to the BIA and was told that it was a done deal. I tried to emphasize that cyclists are the ones that are the most likely to shop locally. I’m not sure that I convinced him.