News   Feb 23, 2024
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Cycling infrastructure (Separated bike lanes)

AmnesiaJune, you really need to walk around your area....

SunnyRay, you really need to stop being rude and dismissive to anyone that you don't see eye-to-eye with.

I'll be more than happy to prove cycling infrastructure along Doris & Beecroft are 60 to 100 times safer using basic traffic engineering principles

Please go ahead and explain how there's at least six thousand percent more protection there. If they're "basic traffic engineering principles", surely it'll be very easy to list them and quantify how much of that 6,000% to 10,000% increase in safety is attributed to each one.

This is just another example where I out-design City's traffic engineers and their consultants!

I'd love to see those detailed designs too.
 
Reactionary -- easy to blame the new thing that is happening
If something is to blame for declining retail/restaurant sales in the Annex/Bloor/Bathurst/Koreatown area then look no further than the closing of Mirvish Village and Honest Eds. Despite the tawdriness of some of those old stores and restaurants they were a draw for foot traffic in the area. I challenge any retailer in the area to quantify where their losses are coming from - the loss of parking to bike lanes or the closing of Honest Eds.
My SO is a retailer in the area and is experiencing a significant uptick in sales. My guess is its due to an improving economy.
 
Honest Eds not so much, but Mirvish Village was a big driver for sure. I was a regular to the area until it closed up shop.

It'll be back up and running in a few years following redevelopment, but yes, until then, it's a bit of an empty hole in the area.

I simply cannot imagine the small loss of on street parking is having that large of an impact. There is a large auto based customer base in the area, but they almost entirely use Green P lots and side streets, not just on street parking. Its ridiculous to say that 40% of business has been lost because 3 of the 6 closest parking spots are gone. It's 3 freaking spots.
 
There is a large auto based customer base in the area, but they almost entirely use Green P lots and side streets, not just on street parking. Its ridiculous to say that 40% of business has been lost because 3 of the 6 closest parking spots are gone. It's 3 freaking spots.

It's not just "3 freaking spots" though. Another problem could be that it takes longer to drive, or people just think that it takes longer to drive, so the people who would be using Bloor to drive into the area and park on side streets and in the lots have decided to shop somewhere else instead.

I really like the Bloor bike lanes (please don't give me a reply telling me why I shouldn't), but I don't understand the need to grant them infallibility. Like any change to infrastructure, there will be some winners and some losers with these bike lanes. Not everything that people buy can be taken home on the front of a bike or the floor of a subway train like it can in the back of a car. It's going to become harder to sell those things on Bloor, and the people who do sell them are going to have serious losses, and that's okay. It's also okay for a raw-numbers, "evidence-based" analysis to suggest that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, because there are a lot of benefits and drawbacks that are subjective or can't easily be measured.

On the aggregate I think the typical person is better off with the bike lanes, but I understand why a lot of people -- especially people whose livelihood depends on area businesses -- are going to complain that the bike lanes have been detrimental to them.
 
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Maybe business owners are idiots about their own affairs and the bike lanes are having no impact on their businesses or maybe they know more than us about this. At any rate the only reason I can see the attacks and strong sentiment being voiced here is because the idea that business is suffering strikes to the core of the message that bike lanes are somehow a win-win progressive utopian idea.

My posts in this thread have generally been critical or contrarian for the reason that I find strengths and weaknesses in these changes. I understand that other posters are strongly for the lanes because cycling advocacy is important to them. All transportation infrastructure and changes in transportation modes create trade-offs between long-distance and short-distance trips, they have impact on business and demographic patterns. Bike lanes on Bloor are not neutral for business. Some businesses, for instance bars and restaurants catering to young people, may benefit. Some businesses such as those who require inventory and have delivery logistics or deal in the creation and distribution of physical goods may suffer (think hardware stores, furniture stores, grocers etc., service trades businesses)

The enhanced congestion and logistic challenges created will in my opinion be generally inflationary, meaning they will actually increase the costs to business, as well as the prices of goods, rental accommodation, and property values. As a property owner in the area I benefit from the inflationary pressure; however, I suffer from the logistic disruptions that complicate servicing of properties, as well as temporary re-aligning of business to serve the changing needs of the neighbourhood. The retail make-up of a neighbourhood is always the slowest to react to change because of long leases, the reluctance of legacy business owners to "give up", legacy building owners etc. (could lag changes by 5-10 years). Of course the lanes are not the only challenges impacting the street retail, the largest by far being increasing property tax burdens on commercial property assessments.
 
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It's not just "3 freaking spots" though. Another problem could be that it takes longer to drive, or people just think that it takes longer to drive, so the people who would be using Bloor to drive into the area and park on side streets and in the lots have decided to shop somewhere else instead.

I really like the Bloor bike lanes (please don't give me a reply telling me why I shouldn't), but I don't understand the need to grant them infallibility. Like any change to infrastructure, there will be some winners and some losers with these bike lanes. Not everything that people buy can be taken home on the front of a bike or the floor of a subway train like it can in the back of a car. It's going to become harder to sell those things on Bloor, and the people who do sell them are going to have serious losses, and that's okay. It's also okay for a raw-numbers, "evidence-based" analysis to suggest that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, because there are a lot of benefits and drawbacks that are subjective or can't easily be measured.

On the aggregate I think the typical person is better off with the bike lanes, but I understand why a lot of people -- especially people whose livelihood depends on area businesses -- are going to complain that the bike lanes have been detrimental to them.

I could quibble with a few of the points made here, but I won't because I think this is a very well written and balanced post. If only some Toronto councillors were as reasonable and measured.
 
SunnyRay, you really need to stop being rude and dismissive to anyone that you don't see eye-to-eye with.



Please go ahead and explain how there's at least six thousand percent more protection there. If they're "basic traffic engineering principles", surely it'll be very easy to list them and quantify how much of that 6,000% to 10,000% increase in safety is attributed to each one.



I'd love to see those detailed designs too.

It's probably (insert figure) safer because of volume and lane width and speed. As soon as a roadway has less volume that automatically translates into less potential conflicts between cyclists and motorists. Mind, you, safety isn't the only reason that determines where bike lanes should be placed. You want the bike lane to be used hence why many city's opt to put them on major corridors so that there is easy access to shops and stores (spur foot traffic/bike traffic to these locations). Having a bike lane on an alternate street that requires cyclists to still end up on the major corridor to access shops and services negates safety advantages (for instance).

It depends on the corridor and what type of usage it is likely to see. If most trips are expected to be pass-through trips then shifting the route to a lower volume corridor would likely yield better results, but if the route is expected to operate to serve local destinations/trips then having it closer to the action and trip generators would likely yield a better result, despite a potentially more dangerous alignment on Yonge St.

Keep in mind I'm literally just talking out loud and have no data to back-up any of these hypothetical scenarios.
 
It's probably (insert figure) safer because of volume and lane width and speed. As soon as a roadway has less volume that automatically translates into less potential conflicts between cyclists and motorists.

Beecroft and Doris have similar speeds to Yonge Street though, and they're not Yonge Street but they're still busy four-lane roads.

I used to have the same belief as SunnyRay, that it would be better to put the bike lanes on those two streets, but now that I'm actually living in the area I've changed my view for two reasons:

1. Yonge Street isn't particularly great for through traffic. People who want to get by quickly are usually taking Doris and Beecroft (those streets have fewer traffic lights and obstructions), so it won't hurt to direct more through traffic onto those two

2. Yonge Street is already effectively a four-lane road. During rush hour the curb lane is useless because of bus traffic, and outside of rush hour it's full of parked cars. Replacing the curb lane with a bike lane isn't going to make traffic any worse than it currently is.
 
I used to have the same belief as SunnyRay, that it would be better to put the bike lanes on those two streets, but now that I'm actually living in the area I've changed my view for two reasons:

1. Yonge Street isn't particularly great for through traffic. People who want to get by quickly are usually taking Doris and Beecroft (those streets have fewer traffic lights and obstructions), so it won't hurt to direct more through traffic onto those two

2. Yonge Street is already effectively a four-lane road. During rush hour the curb lane is useless because of bus traffic, and outside of rush hour it's full of parked cars. Replacing the curb lane with a bike lane isn't going to make traffic any worse than it currently is.

First of all,... my "belief" that Beecroft & Doris would be safer for cyclist is based on traffic engineering principles,.... which yours are definitely not based on.

For your first point,... think in term of a cyclist,..... Where do most cyclist currently cycle,.... on Yonge, Doris or Beecroft? Why???

For your second point,..... Say they put in Yonge Street cycle track at cost of parking lane which also act as that rush hour traffic lane (that you said is useless since it's jammed with bus anyways),..... where are the rush hour bus traffic supposed to go? Are those rush hour buses supposed to become bikes???? Or are they just going to remain buses and jam up one of the two remaining lane in each direction,....
 
They are installing poles to physically separate the bike lane from regular traffic on the Hwy 7 bike lanes in Markham. It is only on the WB side, between Town Centre and Rodick.

Long awaited.

Not sure if this is the right place to post.
 
First of all,... my "belief" that Beecroft & Doris would be safer for cyclist is based on traffic engineering principles

Those principles (and a breakdown of the 10,000 percent safety improvement for each of them) are...

For your first point,... think in term of a cyclist,..... Where do most cyclist currently cycle,.... on Yonge, Doris or Beecroft? Why???

Hardly anyone bikes on either of those, and the few people who do are pretty evenly split on all three streets.

Say they put in Yonge Street cycle track at cost of parking lane which also act as that rush hour traffic lane (that you said is useless since it's jammed with bus anyways),..... where are the rush hour bus traffic supposed to go?

Into bus bays, which should be added to the city's plan.
 

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