Bloor bike lane installation: Day 2

The installation is moving really fast. Here are a couple of pictures taken late Tuesday (Day 1) and both early and late today. The afternoon after the picture from the previous post, you can see that they have already started putting down paint. This is a view looking west.

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and a little further west, we see the machine that is being used to scrub out the existing lane markings. Ironically, the last time cyclists cared about such a machine, it was being used to remove the Jarvis bike lanes.

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This morning, I took this picture looking west by Honest Ed’s. Firstly, you can see that the lane markings are basically done in the westbound direction, and the traffic is now using the northern half of the roadway (the westbound cars are driving over the new markings).

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What is even more exciting is that it is clear that the city has decided to go with continuous curbside bike lanes, and that any car parking is being used to buffer the bike lane. Here is a closeup of the parking spaces that you can see in the picture above.

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and this is the corresponding portion of the roadway map that the city showed at its last public consultation.

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Later Wednesday afternoon (only Day 2) I rode the bike lane westbound from Huron St. to Shaw to verify that it was in fact continuously along the curb. Here is the view from Huron looking east, showing the eastbound bike lane markings sketched out.

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and now riding west from that point, here are some more of those parking spaces

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which you can see on the plan here:

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There is one more subtle point about the plan that I noticed. The original plans had parking buffered bike lanes only east of Spadina, since it was stated that you couldn’t have them on the western part because of limited roadway width. When they altered the plan, they had to find a few inches somewhere. You can see the result here looking west: on this section of bike lane that is across the street from parking, there is just a simple line with no buffer as you would see on Harbord. According to the plan, the bike lane is 1.5 m in width here.

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This picture was taken just shy of the Bloor Theatre, and I’ve marked the spot where my bike was by a red arrow on this map. Note that there is no buffer here on the plan.

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There’s that lane erasing machine again, this time headed east.

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Now look at this bike lane, headed west just shy of Shaw. You can see the double line that leaves a small buffer between the bike lane and traffic. There must be slightly more road width here.

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and again a map with a red arrow showing the approximate position of my bike.

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Sure enough, comparing the two maps, there is 0.6 m more road width here. This is about the width of that buffer. Interestingly, the plan shows flexi posts on these narrow buffers, but there are none protecting the bike lane sections that are marked by a single line.

One more thing: if you insist on biking down Bloor during the construction, it is an uneasy mix of cars, bikes taking the lane (like me), and the usual number of bikes squeezing by on the right, which is a pretty tight squeeze under these conditions. The traffic moves slowly enough in the construction zones that I’d advise you to take the lane.

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The other thing would be to avoid riding in the coned off areas, however tempting that might be. I saw places where inconsiderate cyclists had ridden over fresh lane markings and making a mess. Things will be even worse if people ride on the green paint that is still to come.

At the current rate of progress, I’d say that the basic lane marking will be done by sometime tomorrow. The green paint and other markings and the flexipost installation will probably take the remainder of the two weeks, but things seem to be moving along very nicely. Kudos to the work crews. Thanks also to the city staff that worked so hard on this design.

BTW if you want to see the pdf of the plans in more detail they are available from the City of Toronto website here:

West of Spadina

East of Spadina

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