Bloor western extension stakeholders meeting

Tonight there was a stakeholders meeting for the western extension of the Bloor bike lanes. I was pleased to see that one of the handouts was a brochure outlining the primary conclusions of a study of the impact of the Bloor bike lanes.

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There was a presentation of the background for the project, outlining the extensive process of consultation that is ongoing in advance of the first broad public consultation scheduled for late January.

The city presented a preliminary design for the western extension. The bottom line is that there will be continous bike lanes on both sides of the street from Shaw to Runnymede, with some level of protection along the whole route. Unlike the Bloor bike lanes on the north side in the Annex which have only a painted line in the narrowest section, there will be a minimum of a painted buffer with bollards, with more protection in other sections. One of the proposals for better protection is precast concrete curbs topped by bollards. The details of the street configuration varies along the length of the project. Where parking is maintained, the parked cars will be used as a buffer, and the bike lane will be curbside. There will have to be a limited number of gaps to allow for things like stops for the night bus, and accessibility at certain points such as beside retirement homes.

Here is the proposed cross section for both Bloordale and Bloorcourt. This will entail removing parking from one side of the street.

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The section between Lansdowne and Dundas West calls for special treatment since there are two underpasses. The treatment for the underpasses is a little different because of the width required by the pillars supporting the railway bridges.

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West of Dundas, there is sufficient road width to maintain parking on both sides.

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Many details of the design remain to be worked out. After the presentation, we were broken up into table groups in order to discuss two issues in particular: intersection designs, and considerations for loading, pickup and drop off, and accessibility.

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The atmosphere in the room was very positive.

Two of the usual suspects were all smiles afterwards (Kevin from Cycle Toronto, and Albert from Bells on Bloor)

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Next, city staff will flesh out a preliminary design based on the feedback collected at events such as the one tonight, and these will be presented at public consultations that will be during the last week in January. There will be two dates at two locations near the west and eastern ends of the project.

The intention is to have this project go to city council, and if approved, then installation is scheduled for August 2020. I was told that everything should be installed within a two week window.

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