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Cycling infrastructure (Separated bike lanes)

According to this article in the Toronto Metro, see link,

Toronto falls behind other cities on bike lanes
New York cycling advocates say their city has made great strides over the past decade and is worth emulating.

Toronto is being left in the dust as North American cities expand their bike-lane networks.

"We've failed to deliver as a city," said Jared Kolb, the executive director of advocacy group Cycle Toronto. Council passed a 10-year bikeway plan last year, but progress is slow. "We consult things to death. We just need to build it."

The city has invested in its system of trails, but cyclists are frustrated by the sluggish growth of on-street bike lanes. Kolb was disappointed to see city council vote in 2016 to defer a number of bike lanes on major corridors until after the 2018 election.

While the city plans to install 31 kilometres of bike lanes in 2017, that's half of what was originally planned. Most of that infrastructure is in the form of trails or sharrows; only 8.7 km are on-street bike lanes. That includes the 3.6-km Woodbine Avenue bike lanes, now scheduled to be installed in late August. Those lanes are a month late, due to delays in the city tendering process, and will be installed almost a year after council approved the project.

Other cities are moving much faster. Including trails, Austin, Texas — which has about a third of Toronto's population — installed 46 km of bike lanes in 2016.

San Francisco, Calif. — which is around the same size as Austin — will install 22.5 km of bike lanes in 2017.

New York City — about three times the size of Toronto — installed 120 km of on-street bike lanes in 2016, including 29 km of protected lanes. Toronto only has a total of 20 km of protected lanes and around 250 km of overall on-street bike lanes.

New York cycling advocates say their city has made great strides over the past decade and is worth emulating.

"The city has made a tremendous investment in the bikeway network," says Caroline Samponaro, deputy director of New York-based Transportation Alternatives.

Samponaro explains that the data-driven former mayor Michael Bloomberg saw the value of bikes as an affordable and effective way for cities to improve transportation and meet environmental goals.

Former N.Y.C. transportation guru Janette Sadik-Khan was empowered to make quick changes to the city's cycling network. Through grassroots activism and political leadership, it got done.

From 2006 to 2016, New York City built 615 km of bike lanes. Over the same time period, ridership increased by 150 per cent while total cyclist fatalities per year decreased, according to a report released last week.

Samponaro said one of the most basic arguments was one of the most effective.

"It's not an amenity. This is a matter of basic safety," she said, adding that current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's commitment to achieving zero pedestrian or cyclist fatalities has seen the city renew its efforts.

Still, Shawn Dillon, Toronto's acting manager for cycling infrastructure programs, says local cyclists should be optimistic.

"We're thrilled with the unprecedented levels of support," he said, referring to funding from all three orders of government.

As for the on-street bike lanes, he said: "They're coming."

It doesn't help having anti-bicycling Councillors on the Toronto City Council. With the likes of John Campbell (Ward 4 Etobicoke Centre), Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Stephen Holyday (Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre), Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7 York West), Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt), and others, who keep reversing or halting bicycle lane and trails expansions. See this article from NOW, back in 2016, at this link.

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All must genuflect before the automobile gods. (Photo from link.)
 
Somewhat related - where do we store all of the bikes? Perhaps this is the answer.


I used these in Tokyo recently. Pretty interesting; a neat-ish solution where sidewalks are at pedestrian capacity, but the wait time is a little annoying.
 
We speak a lot about the built form of downtown bike lanes. In the past few months, there has been a big change in the way bike lanes is changing too.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-bike-lane-safety-1.4235489

3 Toronto police officers unite to safeguard city's bike lanes

I've seen these officers ticketing much more often on Adelaide and Richmond. Anecdotally, there seems to be fewer cars parking in the lanes downtown. has anyone else noticed an improvement?

As well, in spite of the rainy summer there seem to be a lot more cyclists downtown commuting in the bike lanes.


 
Anecdotally, there seems to be fewer cars parking in the lanes downtown. has anyone else noticed an improvement?

I'd bet that 90% of that is just confirmation bias. I'm sure some people took it as a PSA, but most people who park there are either well-aware that they're not supposed to, or still not aware.
 
Once you start getting ticketed, you're likely to stop. There is a spot near us that has a designated 15 minute parking zone (it's near a Tim Horton's). People park for hours, even overnight, all around there regardless of the signage. Every so often tickets are handed out, and then you see the rules being followed for a couple of weeks, and then it's back to ignoring the signs. When people know there's no consequence, they break the rules. When they know it will cost them, behaviour changes. The problem is that the enforcement has to be regular and ongoing.
 
Unfortunately, we have a bicycle lane desert in the suburbs (excluding parkland). See link.

One in four Toronto wards are bike lane dead zones
Wards in North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough have huge gaps without any bike lanes.

One quarter of Toronto's wards – all in the suburbs – don't have any on-street bike lanes, prompting criticism from cycling advocates that council is failing to build its cycling network across the city.

"The original 2001 plan envisioned that every Torontonian would live within one kilometre of bike lanes," said Jared Kolb, executive director of advocacy group Cycle Toronto.

"That vision has not been realized," he added. "We haven't seen the leadership from local councillors."...
 
Once you start getting ticketed, you're likely to stop. There is a spot near us that has a designated 15 minute parking zone (it's near a Tim Horton's). People park for hours, even overnight, all around there regardless of the signage. Every so often tickets are handed out, and then you see the rules being followed for a couple of weeks, and then it's back to ignoring the signs. When people know there's no consequence, they break the rules. When they know it will cost them, behaviour changes. The problem is that the enforcement has to be regular and ongoing.
This isn't just a problem for bike lanes, it's going to be the illegally parked camel that breaks the King Street Project's back. I do wish the press would stop referring to Parking Control as "police officers" though. They're not, the disservice being that it is far less costly to hire more parking control officers. I agree, without *constant and sustained* enforcement, drivers will and do ignore the bylaws.

On an unrelated note, I got caught in one of the frequent downpours a week back, and almost wiped out on the green paint being used to mark cycle lanes in critical spots. (This was on Adelaide) Marking is an excellent idea, using *non-grit paint* isn't!

National Association of City Transportation Officials


Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Guide Navigation
Purchase Guide
ColoredMaterialThumb.jpg

Colored Pavement Material Guidance
[...]
Overlay:

Paint, sometimes with additives such as reflective glass beads for retro reflectivity and sand for skid resistance, is the most widely used method to mark road surfaces.
[...]
Durable Liquid Pavement Markings (DLPM) include epoxy and Methyl Methacrylate (MMA). Epoxies are adhesive, waterborne acrylics that are typically applied as a paint or spray. MMA are 2-part liquids comprised of a resin and activator. While both coatings can be skid resistant
[...]
Thermoplastic tends to last longer than epoxy and is easier to apply then MMA. Retro reflective and anti-skid materials can be applied or mixed throughout the plastic.
[...]
Composition Pigment and binder, glass beads and/or a fine aggregate can be added for retroreflectivity and skid resistance.
[...]
Skid Resistance and Retroreflectivity Glass beads may be added to paint for retroreflectivity and sand added for skid resistance.
[...]
The European Experience
Many European countries commonly use color in bikeways, but the color chosen and the material used varies widely. European countries with the most extensive bikeway color tradition are the Netherlands and Denmark. In the Netherlands, colored asphalt or colored concrete pavers are used for most applications. Colored asphalt is an economical treatment that provides permanent color, durability, skid resistance and is well-suited to the Dutch practice of coloring bikeways along their entire length.
[...]
https://nacto.org/publication/urban...g-marking/colored-pavement-material-guidance/

You know, it might help if Toronto actually had some cyclists involved in these decisions...but maybe not, it is Toronto.
 
I love looking at ideas from other cities but sometimes we need to step back and recognize that the execution on the ground isn't necessarily as good as the raw numbers or pictures can provide. Go cycle in New York yourself. In my experience cycling in Toronto is a dream by comparison both in terms of the physical space and cultural acceptance at least in the boroughs I cycled in (Manhattan, Brooklyn). That's not a knock on New York itself which is an amazing city that has so much to teach us about all aspects of urban issues.

Keep in mind that cycling infrastructure networks in my experience are one of the most goosed-up BS attempts at Cities trying to look progressive and competitive. On the ground I've seen countless routes to nowhere, painted lines on sidewalks (like it's a good idea for pedestrians and cyclists to share 5 feet of sidewalk if there is a painted line or inlayed paving stone), empty bike lanes in countries where it is so damn hot no one would ever use them, lanes so poorly maintained you can't sit down on your seat etc. In other words be careful about counting lane kilometers and thinking that somehow means something. If you want to see how good cycling really is, just look at the number of or prevalence of bikes on the streets.
 
Keep in mind that cycling infrastructure networks in my experience are one of the most goosed-up BS attempts at Cities trying to look progressive and competitive. On the ground I've seen countless routes to nowhere, painted lines on sidewalks (like it's a good idea for pedestrians and cyclists to share 5 feet of sidewalk if there is a painted line or inlayed paving stone), empty bike lanes in countries where it is so damn hot no one would ever use them, lanes so poorly maintained you can't sit down on your seat etc. In other words be careful about counting lane kilometers and thinking that somehow means something.
Well, as someone who's lived in London, UK and SoCal, and cycled in NYC countless times, and spent time in southern France (Dordogne)(and cycled in Paris, but that was a disaster not to count), Toronto meets every criterion of negativity you describe.

Toronto could do a hell of a lot better...
 
I love looking at ideas from other cities but sometimes we need to step back and recognize that the execution on the ground isn't necessarily as good as the raw numbers or pictures can provide. Go cycle in New York yourself. In my experience cycling in Toronto is a dream by comparison both in terms of the physical space and cultural acceptance at least in the boroughs I cycled in (Manhattan, Brooklyn). That's not a knock on New York itself which is an amazing city that has so much to teach us about all aspects of urban issues.

Keep in mind that cycling infrastructure networks in my experience are one of the most goosed-up BS attempts at Cities trying to look progressive and competitive. On the ground I've seen countless routes to nowhere, painted lines on sidewalks (like it's a good idea for pedestrians and cyclists to share 5 feet of sidewalk if there is a painted line or inlayed paving stone), empty bike lanes in countries where it is so damn hot no one would ever use them, lanes so poorly maintained you can't sit down on your seat etc. In other words be careful about counting lane kilometers and thinking that somehow means something. If you want to see how good cycling really is, just look at the number of or prevalence of bikes on the streets.

Please enlighten us on how Toronto is a dream to cycle in?
 
Please enlighten us on how Toronto is a dream to cycle in?

I'll pitch in - I've cycle commuted every day, year round, for the past 8 years. 4 in London UK, 4 in Toronto.

In Toronto, my route into work now uses 3 connected cycle tracks (green paint, bollards) all of which were installed in the past 5 years or so. They are now plowed quite well in the wintertime. Numbers of people cycle commuting seem way up in the Financial District and more of my co workers cycle. My workplace now has dedicated secure bike parking, and showers for bike commuters. It's easier to buy a utility/commuter bike in the city now (fenders, rack) and there are more choices (Simcoe, Linus, various dutchies). There has been a ticketing blitz that has proven much more effective at removing cars from the bike lanes.

It isn't perfect, but it's getting better every day.
 
In Toronto (and Ontario and Canada), we widen the roads to add more traffic lanes. In Europe, they keep the streets narrow and widen the sidewalks and add bicycle lanes and green grass.

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In Europe, even the country side has bicycle paths or bicycle autobahns. They appear next the motor vehicle autobahns. See link.
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