Cycling: Is Toronto bike friendly?

Discussion in 'Transportation & Infrastructure' started by rp07, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. rp07

    rp07 Active Member

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    I was watching CBC news last night and there was a segment about how city of Vancouver is becoming more bike freindly and less auto freindly. Why isn't it happening here? I would love to see more people take their bikes to work, but it seems our roads are not built for such change. It would be nice to see more bike lanes in Toronto's downtown core.
     
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  2. artgeek

    artgeek Guest

    Interesting approach (amongst others mentioned in the same article), any reason why it wouldn't work here?

    And please don't let this thread degenerate into the usual "cyclists suck/motorists suck" debacle.
     
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  3. GregWTravels

    GregWTravels Active Member

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    It seems to me that a lot of side streets don't cross any obsticles like ravines, train tracks and highways. Plus, a lot of side streets seem to just end after a few blocks. Cyclists would be zigging and zagging a lot, and would still need to use major streets for crossing big obsticles. I'm not a cyclist, but I am a pedestrian, and I know that I usually prefer to just walk the straight line along the major street, even if it is busier.
     
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  4. Admiral Beez

    Admiral Beez Senior Member

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    As as motorcyclist, IMO if cyclists conducted themselves more like those on motorcycles, i.e. did not run stop signs, did not weave in and out of traffic, did not ride on sidewalks, did not pretend to be pedestrians and ride across crosswalks, used their hand signals and bell/horn, then perhaps they'd get a little more respect.
     
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  5. screenplaying

    screenplaying Banned

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    Stumbled upon this thread after reading about the bike lanes they want to add to Sentinel Rd, just north of Sheppard up to Finch Ave...

    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2007/ny/bgrd/backgroundfile-6041.pdf

    Relevant quote: City Council, at its meeting on July 24, 25 and 26, 2001, adopted the Toronto Bike Plan (Clause No. 3 of Report No. 8 of the Planning and Transportation Committee). One of the key recommendations of the Toronto Bike Plan is to implement a 1,000 kilometre Bikeway Network.

    I haven't looked up the report, but I guess some upcoming bike-related stuff is on the books somewhere.

    And a thumbs up from me on Toronto's trails. The whole humber route is beautiful except for that stupid detour when you hit Weston rd. Fix that.
     
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  6. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    The Martin Goodman Trail is well conceived being waterfront and right beside the Lakeshore/Gardiner. Yes, it eventually disappears eventually, but Queens Quay has a high volume of cyclists that drivers are accommodating. But when you encounter a bad cabby, you can get hit very easily. The new Eglinton West line is very nice, and there is investment. Being a resident of the Junction, I was excited about the West Toronto Railpath as great way to get to Queen West via a single path. Unfortunately, the crucial southern lands are very valuable to CN for commuter trains, and the project has stalled.

    There are a lot of stub trails in the city that were built for recreation purposes, not motorless commuting/travel. Existing bike lanes are often hastily patched by utilities, which doesn't make the situation easier. In short term, we need drivers to be more aware and patient, and cyclists to follow the rules of the road. The more of this, the bike friendlier the city gets.
     
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  7. dt_toronto_geek

    dt_toronto_geek Superstar

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    Thousands of people move around by bike every day. More bike lanes would be great but it's frustrating (as a cyclist) to have to maneuver around taxis, courier trucks and other vehicles that stop and park in the bike lanes. I've read here that Montreal has some kind of barrier between the car lane & bike lanes which prevent that. Another cycling barrier is our winter. I'm pretty dedicated but once the first snow fall begins that's when I clean and wrap my bike up for the season. It's seriously unsafe when roads get icy.
     
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  8. Admiral Beez

    Admiral Beez Senior Member

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    The best of the useless bits of bike trail that I've encountered is the bit that crosses Bayview near the Brickworks travels under a grafitti-strewn bridge and then crosses back again to the west side Bayview only about 200 yards down the path. Why they ever expected people to risk crossing Bayview to get to that little stretch is beyond me.
     
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  9. TrickyRicky

    TrickyRicky Senior Member

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    I don't know if Toronto is all that bike friendly with regards to infrastructure but the number of cyclists in the city suggests it is a popular form of transportation. Also, setting aside all pedestrian vs. car. vs. biker arguments the fact is that drivers and cyclists and pedestrians in the city are in generally accustomed to each other's presence. This alone probably indicates that Toronto is one of the most bike friendly cities in North America.
     
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  10. casaguy

    casaguy Senior Member

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    As an avid city cyclist, I have a courtesy question.

    There is a stretch of Wellesley Street between Bay St. and Queen's Park that is not particularily bike friendly. (There are cars always parked on the side and the traffic lane is not wide enough for a car to drive past a cyclist.)

    So, it is either or.

    A few days ago I biked this stretch and decided (for my own safety) to dominate the lane. That is, I took up the centre of the lane so that no one would try to pass me.

    A driver (I assume a U of T prof, late for work) leaned on his horn as if I was stopping the world from spinning.

    I moved as far over as I could so that he could SPEED past me, only to encounter a red light just up ahead.

    Of course I decided to cycle up to his window and ask him why he was in such a hurry to get to the red light.

    His reply was "Why don't you show more courtesy on the road?"

    What is the right thing to do in this situation?

    We all have to get along and share the existing road. But if I KNOW that the driver will encounter a red light ahead, what difference does it make if I prevent him from passing me (for my safety)?
     
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  11. AndreaPalladio

    AndreaPalladio Senior Member

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    Probably the right thing to do, for your own safety, would be to ignore the asshole. You did nothing wrong.

    Personally, I'd have sworn at him.
     
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  12. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Isn't it dangerous to bike with one hand raised and the other placed upon a bible?
     
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  13. TKTKTK

    TKTKTK Senior Member

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    A couple things:

    You had the right of way - as a cyclist if you don't feel there's room for a driver to safely pass you, you can occupy the whole lane until there's a safe opportunity to resume riding along the curb (say, a tight two-lane street with parked cars on both sides).

    But, is Wellesley along that stretch REALLY your best choice? This is obviously an on-going problem, so why as a cyclist do you put yourself through it? Why not choose routes through the city that minimize encounters like that?

    Also, You should never have spoken to the driver, or asked such a snarky, self-righteous question. What did you hope to accomplish? That he'd lean out his window, admit that you're right and then shake your hand for helping him become a better person? That's about as likely as not running into traffic and parked cars on Wellesley.
     
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  14. casaguy

    casaguy Senior Member

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    Actually yes. It is the ONLY choice to get to Harbord which has (mostly) a dedicated bike lane.

    Why not?

    Here he is stopped at a red light. Here I am stopped at a red light. His impatience got him no further. My insistence got me there safely.

    Why shouldn't we open a dialogue (self-righteous or not) with everyone we need to establish an understanding with?
     
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  15. TKTKTK

    TKTKTK Senior Member

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    Fair enough



    You asked what the right thing to do in the situation was and I still maintain that it was to do nothing. At most just smile and wave. People in their cars can be complete assholes...do you really need to deal with that just to prove a point that'll be lost on them anyway?
     
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