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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Star article by Albert Koehl

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extra space for both the line up and pedestrians in front of the No Frills in Bloor West Village

With the new ActiveTO initiative to open up road space for cyclists and pedestrians, it is time to continue to press for a real network of bike routes across the city. Here is an article in the Star by Albert, posted May 11, 2020.

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.

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Also this:

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Here is Rob writing a comment to that effect.

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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.

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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.

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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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