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Cycling infrastructure (Separated bike lanes)

All I'm gonna say is look at this city's history. City council has only voted to remove bike infrastructure once in recent memory, and that removal was tied to a massive upgrade of bike lanes on a parallel street 300 meters away. I know the Toronto biking community loves to be pessimistic, but there's no reason to believe that the Bloor bike lanes are going to be removed. They might not be expanded beyond this 2.5 km segment but that's not the same thing.

People who care about creating safe bike infrastructure (which, it should be noted, is a wider group than just "the biking community") are pessimistic because a sizable number of the councillors with the most direct control over these things are overtly hostile towards it. The fear isn't magically derived out of nowhere; it's based on the most simple form of observation (DMW taking to Twitter recently to celebrate the "anniversary of the removal of the Jarvis bike lanes" was my recent personal favourite).

Even setting aside commentary about individual councillors (which, at the end of the day, is the most important determinant), one can be reasonably depressed about the state of bike safety infrastructure -- alongside the simple notion that there are no plans to make things demonstrably better -- simply by looking at what piddly infrastructure we do have, and how seriously it pales in comparison to what *real* 21st-century cities have built, are building, and are planning to build.

These are all observable facts, not fictitious musings.
 
I'm not being pessimistic, I'm being realistic; I'm relaying information I've gathered directly from multiple supportive councillors. One put the prospects of them being made permanent at 40% at best.

Speaking to the people who actually do know best, we're not talking about "a few stray councillors"; we're talking about a strong majority.

What?! I can't imagine life without the Richmond-Adelaide lanes!
 
People who care about creating safe bike infrastructure (which, it should be noted, is a wider group than just "the biking community") are pessimistic because a sizable number of the councillors with the most direct control over these things are overtly hostile towards it. The fear isn't magically derived out of nowhere; it's based on the most simple form of observation (DMW taking to Twitter recently to celebrate the "anniversary of the removal of the Jarvis bike lanes" was my recent personal favourite).

Criticizing the guy who pushed for the replacement of the Jarvis bike lanes with the Sherbourne cycle track is exactly the kind of pessimism I'm talking about. And if they weren't removed I'm sure that the biking community would be complaining that they're too narrow (admittedly they were - another great reason to use Sherbourne as a bike corridor instead) and pushing for two more lanes to be taken out of Jarvis
 
As per removed bike-lanes already, add Spadina too. (I was doored on the one northbound at Queen about ten years ago). Lane now long-gone, albeit for much of Spadina, it was an impossible joke.

To buttress ADRM's belief on Bloor Lanes getting chopped:
[...]
But even without Ford, who famously removed bike lanes on Jarvis, we are still debating the merits of bike lanes, including the most studied bike lane in the city’s history: the current pilot project on Bloor.

The one-year experiment is up for review this fall. And unlike Mississauga, it seems Toronto politicians just aren’t into putting bike lanes on major arterials judging by some of the recent rumblings from City Hall.

The Bloor bike lane may actually be removed because it might slow down motor vehicles a little bit and, gasp, possibly remove a few on-street parking spots, too.

I attended the June 5 open house (one of four meetings proposed for the Bloor pilot) to ask city officials why we’re talking about removing bike lanes on Bloor instead of how to improve safety.

Shawn Dillon, the City’s acting manager of Cycling Infrastructure and Programs says, “We are looking to find the right balance. [We’re] trying to minimize impact on motorists, trying to create a safe and efficient network of facilities for cyclists and ensure our neighbourhoods stay healthy and vibrant.

“It is really going to be up to council to decide what is the right balance. If the final recommendation is that [the bike lane] has not been successful then yes, it will be removed.

“It’s all temporary. It’s primarily just paint and bollards so it’s not too expensive to remove,” Dillon says, adding that there is no magic number of cyclists using the lane that it would take to call the lane a success.

Studies and surveys, including the more than 12,000 responses to the City’s own online census, show that both cyclists and motorists feel Bloor is safer with bike lanes. Local residents and businesses also agree that the trade-offs, namely, a few minutes longer travel times during evening rush hour for vehicular traffic, are “acceptable.” [...]
https://nowtoronto.com/news/watch-out-toronto-mississauga-is-passing-you-in-the-bike-lan/

I find a lot of things terribly wrong with the design of the Bloor Bike Lanes, they're a joke by best-practice standards, but that belies the point. That isn't why they're being cancelled. They're being cancelled by people who hate bikes, buses, and streetcars. And they love cars.

And it's not just cyclists who are the brunt of this hate fest. It's the forces at work against making the King pilot a success. Starve it before it even starts, and then when it misses arbitrarily imposed "benchmarks" due to being stifled, it's a case of: "See, told you it wouldn't work".
 
Spadina never had official bike lanes - they were too narrow, and they were never signed as such anyway.

Unfortunately, the City still accounts for the presence of sharrows along Spadina as contributing to the total km of bike infrastructure in its tally. Sort of Exhibit A of why that whole tally is a terrible, dangerous, misleading farce.
 
Spadina never had official bike lanes - they were too narrow, and they were never signed as such anyway.
They sure were. I call age and living right next to them on you, let alone taking a case to City Hall in which I interjected on the Crown's case for the passenger opening the door and being found guilty instead of the driver. Crown wasn't too happy on that, but the cabbie truly pizzed me off. The girl was only in her teens, and burst out crying at the sight of my blood, evidently I threatened the cabbie after, grabbed him, as he was about to do a runner. Whatever, I was pumped.

The lanes also went south from Harbord or Bloor and were suicide going around the UofT circle north north of College. I suggest you check again...In some if not most spots, the lane was barely 18" wide. It was a sad joke...but real, none-the-less.

October 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

news
Ask Torontoist: What Happened to the Spadina Avenue “Bike Lanes”?


By Steve Kupferman

Ask Torontoist features questions posed by you, and answered by our elite team of specially trained investigative experts (also known as our staff). Send your questions to ask@torontoist.com.
20100708asktorontoist.JPG


Reader Fabio asks:
I biked to work on October 8 (High Park to King Street West) and noticed that the bike lanes (or, better saying, the curb lanes) on Spadina are gone. Do you guys know what’s going on? Rob Ford isn’t the mayor yet…


20101010spadinabikelane-3.jpg

Black erasure marks are all that remain of Spadina Avenue’s shoulder lanes. Photo by Harry Choi/Torontoist.


Torontoist answers:
No, Rob Ford―whose stance on bike lanes is confusing at best―is not mayor yet. And yes, those curb lanes (they weren’t actual bike lanes) are gone. All that remain of them now are black lines, where the white ones were presumably pressure-washed away.
But word from the City is that the missing shoulder lanes will soon be replaced by another type of bike-friendly road marking: as some have already surmised, sharrows are on the way.
Sharrows are those white arrows with bike symbols beneath them. One recent rogue installation put a different spin on the design.
Sharrows already exist on sections of the shoulders of several of downtown Toronto’s big traffic corridors, including part of Bloor Street, and College Street west of Manning. They aren’t the same thing as bike lanes; they don’t mark out exclusive space on the road for cyclists. They’re intended only to indicate to drivers that the right-of-way is to be shared with bikes, and also to provide a visual cue to help cyclists mind their positions on the road, so they don’t get whacked by the opening doors of cars parked on the street.
Daniel Egan, Manager of Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure at the City’s Transportation Services division, told us in an email that sharrows will be coming to Spadina Avenue in late October, “weather permitting.”
The Spadina Avenue sharrows are only one of several road-marking projects planned this fall as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to expand Toronto’s bikeway network. A list of the rest is available on the City’s website.
Ask Torontoist illustration by Sasha Plotnikova/Torontoist.
http://torontoist.com/2010/10/ask_torontoist_what_happened_to_the_spadina_avenue_bike_lanes/

In some stretches, it was a modern sized width, like when splitting off the right turn lane northbound on Spadina to Queen, the cycle lane continued north through the intersection.It was clearly marked as a bike lane, with solid white lines both sides two car lengths to the light. I took pics of it to court at City Hall, even though I was the aggrieved from getting doored. The court fully accepted the cab was illegally stopped in a bike lane, but then ruled legal onus was on the passenger who opened the door on me when I had to pass to the right in the turning lane. That ruling was incorrect, even though it is stated in the HTA, but she had no choice due to where the cabbie stopped. It is the responsibility of the cabbie to discharge passengers at the curb. I was a cabbie myself at the time, and Toronto Licensing agreed with me, wanted to charge the cabbie, but the cops wouldn't release their notes. (It was a division sergeant who laid the charge, btw, he should have known better, but I digress. The same applies for buses, they must discharge passengers at the curb, an island, but not mid-street. A TTC or GO bus driver can be let go for doing that, union grievance beside)

I used to live literally ten doors away above B2 shoes on Queen. Used the bike lanes south from Queen on Spadina all the time.

They’re intended only to indicate to drivers that the right-of-way is to be shared with bikes, and also to provide a visual cue to help cyclists mind their positions on the road, so they don’t get whacked by the opening doors of cars parked on the street.
And that is just total BS. I've seen parking allowed *on top of sharrows* in more than one location. It went on for a full block that I noticed the other day. The absurdity is so familiar.
No further comment needed on that one...

Edit to Add:
Just finding a moment to study all of Toronto's claimed cycle lanes, past and present, and note the width of the Jarvis lanes, the same width as the northern section Spadina ones:

images


So other than the markings on the road (and in fact Spadina did have markings, IIRC, still looking) what's the difference for all intents and purposes?
 
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Want People to Bike? Skip the Sweet Talk and Build

See link.

People don’t start biking because they like bicycles. They start to like bicycles because they bike.

That’s roughly the conclusion of a new paper by researchers in the Netherlands and California, published this month in Transportation Research. And it should be a lesson for anyone looking to improve cities by increasing bike use.

Don’t waste time trying to convince people to feel warmly about bicycling. If you make biking convenient and pleasant, the warmth will follow.

Of course, if you take away the ability to bike (like what the anti-bicyclists at city hall with Jarvis Street), they reduce the chances to bike.
 
YES!
[dissonant travelers are more inclined to adjust their attitudes to align those with their behavior than vice versa.]

I've been 'preaching the gospel' to quite a few people on this, and I've just got back from cycling Guelph to Hamilton, but take GO out and another GO route in, part of which was on the bus from Hamilton to Aldershot, and a number of passengers saw the colour (I almost got burned) and the glee on my face, it radiates, and all said "I wish I could do that"...to which I stated honestly and to others" "You can, it's pace more than effort, plus Endorphins are God's helper for going beyond the norm". You couldn't or wouldn't do it otherwise.

So this research ties right in with the 'Endorphin Factor', but might in fact supplant it in 'predisposing one' to 'taking the plunge'.

Incredible stuff Lis! I'll read that later when I'm more settled. I'm still pumped! The high usually lasts for three days, followed by a 'dip' unless the juices are kept flowing. It's an addiction, the best imaginable.

Btw: Toronto moves in odd directions:
[The minutes of an 1896
Toronto City Council meeting document the
approval for construction of three foot wide
bicycle lanes, constructed of cedar blocks and
cinder, on Spadina Avenue, Harbord Street and
Winchester Street.]
https://www1.toronto.ca/city_of_toronto/transportation_services/cycling/files/pdf/chapter02.pdf
 
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^they started construction this week it looks like. They have been doing utility relocations so far, so nothing too intensive, but it's coming along. I hope they finish quickly, it's going to be a pain to deal with while they build it.
 

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