News   Jun 12, 2024
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Cycling: Simcoe Street changes for bike lanes

As noted they have completed the paving and line painting is next. They will not have any temporary lines as the road will now be 2-way for cars to Wellington and bikes to at least Adelaide. I look forward to the first few face to face encounters as there will be a steep learning curve for this section of 2-way road (as was the case for the temporary section of 2-way road on Wellington btw York and University)

With the lines now on the ground it seems what was 3 lanes for autos has now been converted to 2 lanes for autos and 2 lanes for bikes.

If the stretch from Front to Wellington is going to also be converted from one way (southbound) to two way....does that mean that already busy stretch of southbound road in evening rush has now gone from 2 lanes to 1 lane? That will be a very interesting situation for sure.
 
The 'Bicycles Excepted' versions of the one-way signs are up, as are the ones that say This Lane with a bike symbol and arrow, but the northbound contraflow has not been painted properly and the signals are not in use yet (people are using it, though), so I guess with that and the lack of parking enforcement, the lanes aren't official yet.

I did see a sign about a pair of closures this Sunday - may involve bollards being installed.
 
With the lines now on the ground it seems what was 3 lanes for autos has now been converted to 2 lanes for autos and 2 lanes for bikes.

If the stretch from Front to Wellington is going to also be converted from one way (southbound) to two way....does that mean that already busy stretch of southbound road in evening rush has now gone from 2 lanes to 1 lane? That will be a very interesting situation for sure.

Just walked it today - and I can tell it is going to be a mess. Based on the lines which are now painted and the layout for the remaining lines (i.e. just spray painted dashes) the street will look like this:

South of Adelaide to King - SB Bike Lane - SB Lane - SB Lane - NB Bike Lane
King to Just north of Wellington - SB Bike Lane+SB Lane (may be just waiting for more paint to isolate the bike lane) -SB Lane - NB Bike Lane
Just before Wellington - it appears the left traffic lane ends just before Wellington - which is insane
Wellington to Front - SB Bike Lane - SB Lane - NB Lane - NB Bike Lane (this reduction to one lane will make Simcoe a total disaster - not sure where the thought went in this plan)
At Front - SB bike lane ends for a right turn lane - SB Lane - SB Left turn lane - NB Lane - NB Bike Lane

Signs being replaced today to eliminate the parking (i'm sure someone parked in a legal spot in the am and found their car in a no-stopping spot by the time they got back. Granted they did park in an area painted as a bike lane).

With this configuration, forget using Simcoe as an alternative to University - will see what rush hour looks like when the lines are completed.
 
With this configuration, forget using Simcoe as an alternative to University - will see what rush hour looks like when the lines are completed.

Tell that to the folks in the office buildings (200 King and 154 University as examples) who's parking empties to Pearl and can't get to University....already was a long wait to turn left onto Simcoe (or go straight through) during rush hour with 3 lanes that went straight through....this is going to be very intersting!
 
Just before Wellington - it appears the left traffic lane ends just before Wellington - which is insane

It certainly looks like there will be a huge traffic island there to narrow Simcoe and I would tentatively agree that it's a bad idea: southbound traffic on Simcoe at Wellington ALWAYS splits fairly evenly between vehicles heading straight and vehicles looking to turn right (west) onto Wellington. The right-turn tailback is why I as a cyclist basically never ride in the right-hand lane there.
 
It certainly looks like there will be a huge traffic island there to narrow Simcoe and I would tentatively agree that it's a bad idea: southbound traffic on Simcoe at Wellington ALWAYS splits fairly evenly between vehicles heading straight and vehicles looking to turn right (west) onto Wellington. The right-turn tailback is why I as a cyclist basically never ride in the right-hand lane there.

I doubt there will be a physical island there - either only painted or removable bollards - as they have already paved the area. Probably want to keep the road clear of permanent obstacles like that in case fire trucks or other events need the roadway.

Also, looks like only one SB thru lane at Front.
 
Noticed a sign last night on Simcoe across from the entrance to the Shangri La Hotel....it is a modified One Way arrow with the words "Cyclists Excepted" underneath it.

Not sure this is the right street for this but cycling advocates must get some pleasure out of seeing small signs of progress like this.
 
I doubt there will be a physical island there - either only painted or removable bollards - as they have already paved the area. Probably want to keep the road clear of permanent obstacles like that in case fire trucks or other events need the roadway.

Also, looks like only one SB thru lane at Front.

Yeah, I was just reading that it would be bollards for separation rather than curbs or planters, since it's a pilot project at this stage.

The one SB lane at Front might not be a huge problem, depending on the lights. Most SB traffic there in the PM rush is heading straight to the Gardiner, very little onto Front itself.
 
Noticed a sign last night on Simcoe across from the entrance to the Shangri La Hotel....it is a modified One Way arrow with the words "Cyclists Excepted" underneath it.

Not sure this is the right street for this but cycling advocates must get some pleasure out of seeing small signs of progress like this.

I rode it northbound around 5:30-6 yesterday and there were modified One Way and No Entry signs all along it, but northbound signals were not working so I relied on the ped signals. Not entirely ready for prime time.

Simcoe is a pretty convenient street for biking but the problems until now have been the surface and the fact that it's southbound only. Now it'll be a decent 2-way route comparable to John or Duncan, I hope.
 
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I rode it northbound around 5:30-6 yesterday and there were modified One Way and No Entry signs all along it, but northbound signals were not working so I relied on the ped signals. Not entirely ready for prime time.

Simcoe is a pretty convenient street for biking but the problems until now have been the surface and the fact that it's southbound only. Now it'll be a decent 2-way route comparable to John or Duncan, I hope.

I just hope they put some feet on the streets in the early days of launch........this is a pretty dramatic change for a busy (vehicular street) and there is gonna be confusion....confusion can lead to bad decisions and bad decisions (especially with the introduction of more cyclists) can lead to injuries.....put some cops or "information officers" out there to help with the transition.
 
I just hope they put some feet on the streets in the early days of launch........this is a pretty dramatic change for a busy (vehicular street) and there is gonna be confusion....confusion can lead to bad decisions and bad decisions (especially with the introduction of more cyclists) can lead to injuries.....put some cops or "information officers" out there to help with the transition.

It seems like there were cops there this morning, probably to advise drivers to stay out of the bike lanes, although they themselves were parked in them, along with Toronto Hydro (signal work?).
 
New lights are in place.

simcoelights.jpg
 

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Seems like the southbound lane is operational this morning - no one parked in it! The motorbikes and scooters normally in front of the Elephant & Castle seemed to have moved around the corner to Pearl last night.
 
I rode it northbound around 5:30-6 yesterday and there were modified One Way and No Entry signs all along it, but northbound signals were not working so I relied on the ped signals. Not entirely ready for prime time.

Simcoe is a pretty convenient street for biking but the problems until now have been the surface and the fact that it's southbound only. Now it'll be a decent 2-way route comparable to John or Duncan, I hope.

How far are they extending the bike lanes North? Would be an ideal N-S route on the West side of downtown (like Sherbourne on the east) if they were able to continue it from Queens Quay all the way to Bloor (and eventually the Dupont bike lanes). Would make drivers happy (less bikes on University/Bay/Yonge) and would really make it an easy commute to downtown.


I'm thinking (from South to North):

Simcoe north to Queen
Bike lights at Simcoe on Queen (no pedestrian lights which reduces the cycle time for the lights)
Throught the Simcoe pedestrian zone in the Canada Life complex
Back onto Simcoe Street to Elm (need to have counterflow on this street...one way going North)
Bike lights needed at Dundas for this stretch
Elm does not need significant changes...just ban parking for this small section
Murray to College (or whatever that laneway is that extends north from Murray)...ban parking at least on one side of the street to create a bike lane
somehow wind up through UofT to Bloor
 

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