Progress on Yonge St

There have been some positive things happening on Yonge St. In December 2020, city council voted in favour of REimaging Yonge which will reduce the number of car traffic lanes between Finch and Sheppard in favour of bike lanes and wide sidewalks. (It should be noted that there is no funding for the project at the moment).

There was also a vote to install temporary bike lanes between Lawrence and Bloor as part of the ActiveTO initiative.

The next Yonge related vote at City Council will be a reconstruction of Yonge between College and Queen.

Bells on Bloor advocates Albert and Michael have written a piece in the Toronto Star called “Don’t fear a car free Yonge St“.

As part of the campaign to get bike lanes along Yonge, the Community Bikeways Coalition also staged a ride with Santa down the length of Yonge St. that was very well received.

Albert also has these ten tips for the cycling advocate.

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Bells on Bloor asks for enforcement of bike lane rules

From the Gleaner:

Over a six week period, the Gleaner photographed active daytime deliveries along Bloor St. West in order to give a snapshot of which companies respect the bike lanes and which don’t. Most do. Some Sysco truck drivers obey bike lane rules, while others do not. Brinks trucks must deliver via the front door of their customers, and seem to actively ignore the rules while doing so.

Full article is here

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Taking the Tooker

Today was Tooker Gomberg’s birthday, and so it was more than appropriate that we celebrate the extensions of the Bloor/Danforth bike lanes. Angela put out the call last week for a ride from Christie Pits to East Lynn Park.

Richard and I rode over from High Park. BIke lane markings have been painted down from High Park almost all the way to Dundas W. Here you can see the intersection with Parkside, where the bike lane hugs the curb, and the right turn lane for cars remains to the left of the bike lane. In the original design, the bike lane crossed over the right turn lane.

Curb with bollard protection is slowly working its way west from Shaw St. Word is that all of the protective elements won’t be in place until the end of September, which is a bit of a slip from the original plan. Probably the delay is at least partially associated with some road work that is being done just west of the underpass for the railpath.

Lots of cyclists gathered at Christie Pits.

Angela greets us and offers us bike shaped cookies in ginger, and more ginger.

Casey is one cool pup.

The banner is here.

Angela tells us a little about Tooker Gomberg’s vision for a bike lane spanning the city from east to west. After his passing, a group of friends got together and decided that pressing for bike lanes along Bloor/Danforth would be an appropriate way to memorialize Tooker. After several years, this also lead to the formation of Bells on Bloor, a group that organized an annual ride down Bloor St, which was also eventually joined by Bells on Danforth. Finally, in recent years, these groups worked in parallel with Cycle Toronto. The Bloor bike lanes were approved as permanent infrastructure several years ago, and the westward extension to Shaw was approved earlier this summer. In the interim, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the deployment of temporary bike lanes, including bike lanes on Danforth, and the filling of the gap between Avenue and Sherbourne. So here we are, just on the edge of having 15 km of continuous bike lanes along Bloor/Danforth.

Hamish Wilson spoke next, and asked why it has taken 15 years to do the obvious. He pointed out that there is still a need to have bike lanes along all of the subway routes, especially Yonge St.

Now we get ready to depart.

Gerry corking
across the viaduct
at Broadview

Once on the Danforth, it was decided to turn the banner around so that it read “Take the Tooker” from the front.

Here is an example of the integrated of CafeTO curb space with the bike lanes.

Exiting Greektown.

Martin Reis
Janet Joy and John from Ward 4

Arriving at East Lynn Park.

Thanks to Angela for organizing the ride, to all those who helped cork intersections, and all those who rode with us. We’ll have to do this again in the fall once everything is done along the entire stretch.

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Throwback Thursday: back to 2012

Back in 2012, Bells on Bloor and Bells on Danforth participated in the Cycle and Sole Rally at Queen’s Park, calling for better infrastructure and safety for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Here is a video of Avigail and Adelaide Humphreys calling for bike lanes on Bloor/Danforth. (click on image to launch)

and here is a photo of the girls today

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Signs of the coming extension to the Bloor bike lanes

Albert posted this on Twitter this morning:

Looks like the new bike lane markings are being outlined, even in advance of the official August 4 start date for construction. I had to go check this out this evening.

The new markings start just west of Dufferin.

Here you can get a sense of the width of the bike lane and the adjacent buffer.

The protection along most of the westward extension will be curbs topped with bollards like in this artist’s sketch.

The buffer gets considerably wider as the bike lane goes under the bridge. Hoping for more robust protection in this section.

The buffer gets really narrow as you go up the hill towards Symington.

As of early Tuesday night, the markings only went as far as Symington. There is nothing marked under the second bridge at this point.

Very exciting to see even these small signs of what is to come.

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Bloor bike lane westward extension coming in August

There has been a lot of activity along Bloor/Danforth this summer. There are new bike lanes between Avenue and Sherbourne, and construction has started on the bike lanes on Danforth.

With all the activity around the new bike installations as part of #ActiveTO, there was some concern that installation of the westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes would be pushed back.

However, fear not: the construction notice has been posted, and these lanes will be installed in August, just as planned in the original timeline.

Construction will start at the Shaw end of the extension. Phase 1 is from Shaw to Dundas St W.

This means that at the end of August, at long last we will have continuous bike lanes along Bloor/Danforth for 15 km.

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Bike Lanes on Danforth

Councillor Brad Bradford has posted some information about the bike lanes slated to be installed on the Danforth this summer.

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.

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Let’s keep the momentum going

Even though 40 km of bike lanes were approved by City Council last month, the new bike lanes fall well short of a real network of continuous cycling routes across the city.

This has been pointed out by us in the past, and Albert has written another letter to the office of recovery and rebuild. Read it here.

Rob Zaichkowski also provides some more details on what is really needed in the latest post on his excellent blog.

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I’ll hold off thanking the city for its bike lane expansion

article by Albert Koehl in NOW Toronto.

“The 40-kilometre plan announced last week offers residents what the mayor and council deem acceptable, instead of what they need”

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Toronto City Council approves 40 km of new bike lanes.

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.

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