2nd Danforth Study Public Consultation

The second public consultation of the Danforth study was held on January 27, the same evening as one of the Bloor bike lane consultations. Rob Zaichkowski went to both meetings, and he just posted a report on the Danforth study.

DSC06653It looks like 2021 would be the earliest possible date for a pilot bike lane east of the Don River, but Cycle Toronto is pushing to see if this timeline can be accelerated.


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Canvassing in Bloor West Village

Bells on Bloor volunteers gathered today in Bloor West Village to get an update on the status of the Bloor bike lane westward extension. The mood was optimistic.


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.

At any rate, both during and after the canvassing, I did some shopping. Thanks to the Wine Shop, Cecil Ward & Sons, and Noodle Me.


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January 27 public consultation on the westward expansion of the Bloor Bike Lanes


Today was the first of two public consultations on the westward expansion of the Bloor bike lane where a proposed design of the lanes was revealed to the public. Definitely a lack of adequate bike parking at the entrance.

A pretty good turnout. I took this picture before 5 pm!


Around the perimeter of the room were many information panels showing some of the justification for the westward extension, as well as some of the metrics that were used to come up with the design. All of these panels are available at this link.

Here are some of the usual suspects gathered around one of the maps showing a section of the bike lane design.


Kevin, Councillor Layton, and Albert. Also photobomb by Becky Katz, Manager of the Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit


Here is the proposed design just west of Shaw. The good news is that the road width for the entire extension is larger than the narrowest sections between Spadina and Bathurst. As a result, there will not be any sections that are just painted lines, like the north side of Bloor near Brunswick. In the figure below, you will see a bike lane that is buffered by parking (light blue area) on the north side. The area that is cross hatched (indicated by the blue arrow) is intended as a loading zone. It is still separated from the bike lane by the dashed line that indicates bollards that are mounted on concrete curbs.



Here is a picture showing the bollards on curbs that have been chosen as the most common type of protection to be used.

Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 7.46.07 PM

The sections of Bloor west of Lansdowne that go under the railway bridges will have a typical cross section like this.

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Also along this section are a few parking spots (where previously there was no parking) in order to calm traffic.


Here is the intersection with Dundas St W. The present configuration is more or less preserved, with a right turn lane for cars that will cross a marked bike lane. The bike lane at the corner will have green paint as it is marked as a bus stop.


A different approach is used in the eastbound direction at Keele. Here, the present configuration is also preserved, with a right turn lane at the curb, requiring bikes to cross over with car traffic. This design could be problematic.


Here is Rob writing a comment to that effect.


There was also a rendering of the eastbound downhill section near the Runnymede Library. I don’t know about you, but one of the cyclists looks rather scared.


The section of Bloor between Clendenan and Glendonwynne currently has indents in the curb for car parking. The new design has cyclists swerving into the area that is currently parking, and the cars will be buffering the bike lane. Here is a map of the area shown in that rendering.


The city is accepting public input with an online survey form until Feburary 14.  Also, if you want another chance to see all of the presentation material, and to talk to city staff, there will be another public consultation on Thursday, January 30 from 4-8 pm at Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor Street West.

City staff have stated that this is the signature project for 2020 in terms of bike infrastructure, and they are pulling out all the stops to make it happen. Many groups including Bells on Bloor and Cycle Toronto have been working on mustering public support as well. The project will be voted on in May for planned installation in August.

A few more notes specific to the section between Runnymede and Keele have been posted here.

Figures crossed.

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Bloor westward extension public consultations coming up

The public consultations for the westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes will be at:

  • Monday, Jan 27, 4-8 pm at St Wenceslaus Church, 496 Gladstone Ave Toronto ON M6H 3H9, Canada
  • Thursday Jan 30, 4-8 pm at Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor St W

These consultations will be the first time that detailed designs of what is being proposed will be shown to the public. After this consultation, city staff will take into account public comment, and modify the design before it gets presented to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on May 5. From that point, it will get voted on by City Council for potential installation in August 2020. This westward expansion to Runnymede Ave would add 4.5 km to the current 2.4 km section between Avenue Rd and Shaw St.

If you want a preview of the information panels, they have just been posted.

Here is the slide summarizing where we are in the process.

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 8.58.04 AM

Regardless of whether or not you can make it to one of the consultations, you also have the opportunity to provide feedback on this form until Feb 14.

Late breaking news: there will also be a public consultation for the Danforth neighbourhood study.

  • The City is hosting a public Open House on Monday, January 27th, 2020 at Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, 1 Hanson Street. Drop-in any time between 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This consultation is not strictly focused on bike lanes, but it opens the possibility to push for pilot bike lanes on the Danforth, perhaps as soon as this summer.


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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.


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.


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.


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



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.


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)


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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Bloor West Bikeway Extension

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 10.17.35 AM

The City of Toronto has posted their official page outlining the project involving the westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes.

“In July 2019, the City of Toronto began planning, design and consultation on the Bloor West Bikeway Extension. The project will study and develop a design to add a bikeway on Bloor Street West from Shaw Street to Runnymede Road.

This project is currently in the planning and design phases with public engagement scheduled for January 2020. Installation is planned for August 2020, pending approval by the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) and City Council in spring 2020.”

Watch for the public consultations, and opportunities for comments in early 2020.

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Danforth Avenue Complete Street and Planning Study

Tonight was the first of six public meetings on a major study of the Danforth launched by the city. It was also promoted by Cycle Toronto as an opportunity to get cyclists’ voices heard to push for bike lanes on Danforth. Attendees were greeted at the door by a face familiar to the cycling advocacy community.


There was a considerable line getting into the venue.


We were invited to place push pins to mark where we came from. It was obvious that the majority of attendees were from the vicinity of the study area, which was the Danforth from Broadview to Victoria Park.


I was somewhat amused to see that I was the west most pin for the wider area map.


People were greeted by signs and posters outlining the nature of the study.


There were also three activities to do before and after the formal presentation. The first was to solicit comments on the scope of the study to ensure that the city was not missing an important issue.


The second was an invitation to comment on specific points on the study area, using post it notes on a map.




The third was an exercise in priorities. Different issues were on a poster, and participants were asked to vote by placing two marbles into the relevant jars.




The two most relevant to cycling were “safety and complete streets” and “getting around”.

Once we go settled down, there was a formal presentation. There were over 300 people present, showing the intense level of interest.  From a show of hands, the majority of people in the area were from the study area, and almost everyone in the room shopped on the Danforth.


The presentation was kicked off by a facilitator from a consulting company, and she introduced the two local councillors.

Brad Bradford.


Paula Fletcher.


Next Jacquelyn Hayward was introduced as the overall project manager.


She said that this was just the first of six public meetings, and that the objective of this meeting was to get public input, particularly on scoping the entire project. She said that this project involved a collaboration between three city departments: transportation, planning, and economic development. She said that in the past it was unusual for different departments to be working together in parallel, but that that the King Street Pilot was a recent example of a successful collaboration between the same three departments.

Stated goals (not in any particular priority)

  • Enhance mobility and safety
  • Shape future growth
  • Strengthen business community
  • A Community based vision for change

She mentioned several other studies that were ongoing or recently completed in the relevant area. One was a citywide study of Main Street retail that would be complete and provided to council in 2020. The concern was the continued success of local, small retailers on main shopping streets, versus the significant shifts in the overall retail landscape.

There were three brief presentations on the three main areas of study.

Transportation and safety: a few slides on safety and the theme of complete streets.



Economic Development: who shops on the Danforth, and how to they get there. What makes the Danforth an attractive destination?

Avenue study component: zoning, land use, managing growth, the public realm, affordable housing, community services, heritage considerations, sustainability.

In terms of timeline, the next meeting would be early in 2020, and at that meeting, a summary of public input would be presented, along with some results of traffic and economic studies.  A preliminary complete streets design would be presented in summer 2020 for further public input. An outline framework would be presented to council in the fall, and then an implementation plan would be presented in 2021.

At this point there was an opportunity for a few questions from the crowd:

  • Have you already decided to put in a bike lane? No, this is not decided yet. One of the outcomes of the study will be a complete streets design, but with appropriate analysis of things like potential economic impact, etc.
  • Why can’t we put in a bike lane pilot in 2020? The city wants to move this project forward with comprehensive community consultation, and the hope that there will be a consensus on any changes to be made. There will be a design brought forward in 2020.
  • There was some discussion of a stakeholders advisory committee. Who chooses who is going to be on the committee? This will be done in consultation with the councillors. As a follow up, how will this group fully represent the diversity of the community. It was pointed out that the people at the front of the room did not look very diverse.
  • In this time of climate crisis, and given the fact that the city has declared a climate emergency, can’t this process be expedited?  Once again, it is important to take into account community and stakeholder input, so we will stick to the stated timeline.


At the close of questioning there were some loud objections about the lack of concern for the prosperity of the neighbourhood, i.e. the success of local merchants. Eventually things were settled down to the point that the audience was invited to go through a visioning exercise while seated around tables.


After the meeting I rode back west, and I was struck by how much more road width there was available along the Danforth when compared to Bloor. I had the pleasure of cycling back with Hamish Wilson, and I thought that it would appropriate to bookend this post with another picture of him.


Update: all of the materials from the meeting have been posted:

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Bloor protected bike lane update

The section of the Bloor bike lane between Bathurst and Spadina has been closed for several months while sewer work was being done. At the same time, the city took the opportunity to upgrade the bike infrastructure along this stretch. This past weekend, the paving was completed, and road markings went down, and so it is easy to visualize what the finished product will look like.

Biking east, just past Bathurst, you can see the new pavement and road markings.


Here are two pictures by Lee’s Palace from Oct 30 (left) and today. You can see where the raised portion of the bike lane will be, to the right of the raised curb.

Here at Brunswick, the bike lane moves to the left past the allowed parking spaces. The concrete work still needs to be completed here, and then they can lay the gravel that will be under the raised bike lane, as seen in the previous photos.


A little further on, another section with car parking.  That’s long time bike advocate Rick who just passed me on his bakfiets.


Here is a picture of almost the same spot back in August 2016. One potential issue with the new design is that the buffer between parked cars and the bike lane is now just the width of the curb, which raises the issue of being doored from the left. It looks like the former width of the buffer was used to make room for the poured concrete transition between the sidewalk and the bike lane.


Here is a closer view of the transition between the sidewalk and the bike lane.


Now coming back west from Spadina, you can see that some things never change.


There is a raised island terminating the strip of allowed parking just in front of the Shopper’s Drug Mart.


Looking west from Roberts St, you can see that the bike lane on the north side is the same painted stripe as before. Lack of road width on this section precludes any better solution so long as some parking is preserved along this stretch.


At Bathurst, the intersection design is the same as before, with the addition of a person parked in the right turn lane.


Looking forward to the completion of the project. I’m sure that the merchants along this stretch are glad to see the fencing come down and the street reopened.

In the meantime, the full court press continues to have the bike lanes extended west to High Park, and perhaps even to Runnymede. Albert published recent coverage on Dandyhorse.

Here is a video of some supporters of this initiative, including many store owners along this stretch.

There will also be a public consultation about a bike lane pilot on the Danforth this week on Thursday Nov 7 at 6:30, Monarch Park CI. The city has also posted information here.



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Bloor west community will benefit from expanded bike lanes: advocates

photo: Justin Greaves/Torstar

There is an article on Toronto.com about local businesses and the potential impact of extending the Bloor bike lanes further west.

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Rob Z’s summary of the bike plan update

Robert Zaichkowski has posted an excellent summary of the revisions to the bike plan that will be considered this Thursday at the Intrastructure and Environment Committee.

To quote his action items at the end of his post:

The deadline to register to speak or provide comments to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (iec@toronto.ca) and your city councillor is 4:30 PM on Wednesday, June 26. Stay tuned for action alerts from Cycle Toronto, though those wishing to provide submissions should focus on the following key items:

  1. Extend the Bloor bike lanes west to High Park Avenue by 2020
  2. Implement a pilot bike lane on Danforth Avenue by 2020
  3. Accelerate bike lane installations across the City including protected intersections
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