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Cycling infrastructure (Separated bike lanes headed downtown)

W. K. Lis

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75% agreement. Missing raised crosswalk intersections to better protect cyclists and pedestrians. The auto-addicted did get their hands into it to sabotage it.
 

W. K. Lis

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^It's a start. I would also like to see the right turn lanes removed and some of the curbs to be bumped out further to slow turning drivers. There's also more than enough room on the shoulders for wider sidewalks and trees. Pedestrian refugee islands in the middle of the crossings would be nice as well.
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See link.
 

W. K. Lis

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How We’ve Subsidized Driving (and What To Do About It)

From link.

So this is a fertile area of research for anybody who’s interested in sustainable transportation because for the last hundred years our transportation planning has really been oriented toward accommodating automobile travel. One of my research studies titled “Not So Fast,” looks at the way planning is biased in favor of faster modes, faster and more expensive and resource intensive modes, like automobile travel and air travel, to the detriment of slower, but more affordable and resource efficient, modes — like walking and bicycling and public transit. As a result we’re favoring sprawl development over compact infill.
You could frame it in terms of “our planning is automobile dependent or automobile-oriented leads to automobile dependent transportation system.” You can frame it in terms of social equity. So, somebody who for any reason cannot or should not or prefers not to drive for a particular trip is not getting their fair share. Or you can frame it in terms of return on investment. It turns out that in most communities, a typical community is spending somewhere around $20-$25 annual per capita on sidewalks.
If it’s a city that’s making major investments in bicycle facilities, that’s typically $20 to $40 a year per capita on bicycle facilities. A typical community is spending somewhere between hundred and $200 a year in total to subsidize public transit. People in that community are spending, as you’ve mentioned, well, the households are spending somewhere around $5,000 a year per car to own and operate a car. They’re spending about a thousand dollars, somewhere between $800 and a thousand dollars a year in total on roadway facilities. Probably, although it’s highly variable and a little difficult to calculate, but somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 on subsidized off-street parking, government mandated off-street parking.

So you sum that together and you’re talking many thousands of dollars per year, per capita, to lead an automobile-dependent lifestyle. We know that there’s latent demand that many people would prefer to drive less and rely more on walking and bicycling and public transit if we’d made more investments. So, some of my current research is exploring, and my conclusion suggests, that there’s a very good positive return on investment. If we were to take a small portion of the money that communities are investing in roads and parking facilities, and that consumers are spending on their cars, and reinvest it to improve non-automotive modes, that virtually everybody is better off overall.

So the analysis that I’m doing, and some of which is discussed in my book, “New Mobilities,” the analysis that I’m doing, does build a pretty strong case that most North American communities have far more automobile ownership and far more automobile travel than what people would choose if we were willing to respond to that latent demand.
The big challenge is that the spending on roads and parking facilities is pre-programmed. From your perspective as a consumer, you feel like you’re being tapped. You’re being required to spend money on roads and parking, regardless of whether you drive. From that perspective, if those are fixed, sunk costs, you feel like, “Hey, I might as well get a car so I can get my money’s worth from that expensive garage or parking space at my house.”

Some of the interesting experiments are when, in a particular location, say a job site or an apartment building or something like that, they go from parking being free to parking being either cashed out or unbundled. So cashed out means that people who don’t drive. So, if you get to work by walking or bicycling or car sharing or public transit, that you get the cash equivalent of the parking subsidies that go to your workmates who drive. Parking unbundling means that if you rent an apartment, you’re no longer required to pay for a parking space, that the parking is rented separately.

Instead of paying $2,000 a month for an apartment that comes with a parking space, you would pay $1,800 a month for the apartment, but $200 a month for each parking space you want. So if you’re a car-free household, you’re no longer forced to pay for that parking space that would sit empty. The experience indicates that when a business, when a employer cashes out the free parking or a apartment building unbundles the parking, that you get somewhere between a 10 and 30 percent reduction in car travel or car or automobile ownership — that typically 20% percent of car traffic is the result of this current practice of providing free parking to employees.

So we’re increasing our traffic congestion and our traffic accidents and our air pollution and consumer costs overall, because we say, yeah, we’ll give you this very valuable subsidies, worth between $100 and $200 a month, to drive. But if you use the other modes, we give you nothing. So those are the kind of experiments where case studies that we have now that demonstrate that you could call it latent demand for not driving. Some people will give up driving or drive less. If they’re given more incentives, more better walking, bicycling, public transit that are financial incentives.

This guides us to identify the transportation demand-management strategies: the smart, effective ways to reduce traffic problems simply by correcting some of the existing market distortions that result in economically excessive automobile travel and sprawl.
 

Northern Light

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Seems bike lanes were added on Spadina between Bloor and Dupont during the recent road work.

In the usual cheap, half-assed fashion however, they're just painted lines on asphault rather than something that actually protects cyclists.

I don't think any bike lanes were approved there. I suspect they may just be 'edge lines'.

The City is systematically narrowing excessively wide car lanes when road projects are done. But they aren't calling these bike lanes, because they are sub-standard in width in most cases,
and because they tend to go away at intersections where that space is occupied by left-turn lanes.

That said, my memory could be faulty!
 

H4F33Z

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I don't think any bike lanes were approved there. I suspect they may just be 'edge lines'.

The City is systematically narrowing excessively wide car lanes when road projects are done. But they aren't calling these bike lanes, because they are sub-standard in width in most cases,
and because they tend to go away at intersections where that space is occupied by left-turn lanes.

That said, my memory could be faulty!
Yes, they're just edge lines. They are ~1.5m but obviously end at intersections, and parking is allowed curbside. So no difference.
 

ADRM

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I don't think any bike lanes were approved there. I suspect they may just be 'edge lines'.

The City is systematically narrowing excessively wide car lanes when road projects are done. But they aren't calling these bike lanes, because they are sub-standard in width in most cases,
and because they tend to go away at intersections where that space is occupied by left-turn lanes.

That said, my memory could be faulty!

In this case, you’re absolutely right, though the details of this particular instance produce even more frustration with this stupid GD transportation department. Joe Cressy motioned *years* ago to have Transportation marrow the insanely wide road here, a stretch on which you get tailgated and honked at if you’re doing less than 15kph over the speed limit.

Transportation punted it for years, despite plenty of imploring from both the councillor and local residents. What’s worse than the delay, though, is the crap they have left us with after the redo. Instead of actually, you know, doing their f**king job and making the road safer, they just painted a couple white lines that now roughly demarcate street parking and called it a day.

When I’m mayor, I’m going to mandate that the engineers who pull this shit attend public visitation hours and/or hospital and rehab bedsides of every victim of road violence in whose collision they were partly complicit.
 

MisterF

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I don't think any bike lanes were approved there. I suspect they may just be 'edge lines'.

The City is systematically narrowing excessively wide car lanes when road projects are done. But they aren't calling these bike lanes, because they are sub-standard in width in most cases,
and because they tend to go away at intersections where that space is occupied by left-turn lanes.

That said, my memory could be faulty!
I've seen this a lot in the suburbs in recent years. They try to tame a ludicriously wide residential street by painting white lines that look like bike lanes, complete with dashed lines approaching intersections. These streets are often signed bike routes but don't have actual cycling infrastructure. Because the lines look like bike lanes but aren't, parking is permitted. They often get mistaken for bike lanes, which leads to the perception that you can park in bike lanes. It creates confusion and doesn't seem to be all that effective. It's just bad design. They should find some other way of marking the leftover space when they reduce the width of lanes.
 

Northern Light

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I've seen this a lot in the suburbs in recent years. They try to tame a ludicriously wide residential street by painting white lines that look like bike lanes, complete with dashed lines approaching intersections. These streets are often signed bike routes but don't have actual cycling infrastructure. Because the lines look like bike lanes but aren't, parking is permitted. They often get mistaken for bike lanes, which leads to the perception that you can park in bike lanes. It creates confusion and doesn't seem to be all that effective. It's just bad design. They should find some other way of marking the leftover space when they reduce the width of lanes.

I've seen this too, I noted it on Birchmount north of Eglinton, and on Danforth Road from Danforth Ave. to St. Clair.
In both cases the lines appear and disappear seemingly at random, though generally for turn lanes for cars.

The choice was made to keep 2 travel lanes in each direction and to simply change how they were painted, while not spending the requisite money to move curbs and gutters.
The result, you neither have a functional bike lane, nor an enhanced boulevard to improve aesthetics/pedestrian realm.

If the evaluation is that bike lanes are impossible, practically or politically, so be it, but the space shouldn't be wasted as black-top.
Otherwise, what changes are required to create functional bike lanes should be made.
 

DirectionNorth

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I've seen this a lot in the suburbs in recent years. They try to tame a ludicriously wide residential street by painting white lines that look like bike lanes, complete with dashed lines approaching intersections. These streets are often signed bike routes but don't have actual cycling infrastructure. Because the lines look like bike lanes but aren't, parking is permitted. They often get mistaken for bike lanes, which leads to the perception that you can park in bike lanes. It creates confusion and doesn't seem to be all that effective. It's just bad design. They should find some other way of marking the leftover space when they reduce the width of lanes.
If you have extra space on roads that you don't know what to do with, use planter boxes with native plants. Or have separated bike lanes!

I agree with your points.
 

W. K. Lis

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Most suburban roads have grass boulevards or verges.
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From link.

They however are used for the benefit of the almighty automobile as space for the storage of snow windrows. To save on money, they generally let mother nature dispose of the snow windrows by rain and the heat of spring to remove them. Most of the time, the snow windrows in front of driveways are not removed, unless they have blades on snowplows to keep them clear.
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Most of the time, with some reconfiguration, they could convert some part of the verge, and narrow the traffic lanes, to accommodate segarated bicycle lanes. Most suburban traffic lanes are too wide anyways, painted to allow the speeders doing 100+ km/h to drive on them instead of narrowing them for the safety of the pedestrian and cyclists.
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From link.
 

DSC

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Another example is Adelaide St E where the City and BIA have painted a white line to show where the curb SHOULD be when there is money (from a development, for example) to move it. (There's an example east of Sherbourne where this has actually happened.) The line on the curb side of the bike track is really silly, why not just make the bike track wider?

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