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General cycling issues (Is Toronto bike friendly?)

TossYourJacket

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Here's my problem, why is street parking on Church a requirement? Especially in the area occupied by Ryerson? It's not a major retail district like Queen West, plus there's parking on side streets and in parking lots in the area. Yonge to me makes sense for pedestrians, because that's the majority of the people who use it (at least between College and Queen, which is the area we should pedestrianise). I can see the argument for Yonge having bike lanes, but at the same time, running a bike path down the centre of Yonge, where cyclists are not going to want to stop to let pedestrians cross is counterproductive to a successful pedestrian street. Just look at Spadina and Queens Quay, I was there every weekend this summer, and cyclists basically never stop to let pedestrians cross the cycle path between the street and the sidewalk, because unlike cars at that intersection, there is no stop light for bikes. You just have to run across when theres a gap, not ideal for what would be a busy pedestrian boulevard full of tourists.
 

Admiral Beez

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Here's my problem, why is street parking on Church a requirement?
As a downtown-residing motorist, cyclist, transit user and pedestrian I'd like to change the priority for our street planning to the below, and on-street parking should be the absolute lowest.

1) Pedestrian safety
2) Transit efficiency and reliability
3) Separated bike lanes
4) Private automobile efficiency
5) Residential (no TTC or bike lane) on-street permit parking
6) On-street parking in commercial or TTC utilized streets (and only when the top five above are not impacted)

I park my car in my driveway at home and in the parking lot at work. I never use my car to park on-street. If I need to go to street-level retail I take my bicycle, TTC or walk.

Last week I rode from my place at Parliament and Gerrard to https://fsmotorcycle.com/ on Carlaw. Best motorcycle supply shop in the city, IMO. Riding Gerrard all the way was insane, pot holes everywhere, doors opening, no cycle path except for a brief spot over the DVP. I feel much safer on my motorcycle.
 
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SFO-YYZ

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On a side note, the Montreal borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie announced a revamp of its existing cycling network, building separated bike lanes on most major North-South and East-West street. The plan was announced in June and by August, the first separated bike lanes are already up and running. https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/grand-montreal/201906/06/01-5229112-rosemont-revoit-entierement-son-reseau-cyclable.php

The borough aims to add 65 km of separated bike lanes as well as revamping its existing 95 km cycling network, as well as connecting them with the city's wider "Reseau Express Velo" (express bike network/highway). Since the announcement in June, implementation has been fairly swift - which typically involves realigning existing traffic-heavy streets and turning them to one-way or single-lane traffic. You don't tend to hear the typical auto-centric outrage or that we are so often used to in TO. One interesting benefit, outside of providing a safe network for cyclists, is the reduction of traffic lanes, which leads to an immediate reduction in auto traffic speed and noise level.


210070
 

Northern Light

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Cycle Toronto just sent out its newsletter, and there are a few tidbits of interest.

1) The cycling and pedestrian unit has a new boss, an American woman recruited out of Atlanta. Becky Katz is an avid cyclist, bikes to work every day, and has already done a few cycling trips outside the downtown, including to Bluffer's Park and around the York U campus.

2)A list of some projects in the process of going in this fall;

Within the next few months, we will be finishing up some awesome projects including the pavement markings on Scarlett Road, Conlins Road and Blue Jays Way cycle tracks (with barriers to come early next year), Sumach contra-flow lanes and some smaller improvements like the Poplar Plains and St. Clair intersection.

3) Projects heading into consultation this fall/winter for 2020 implementation, all going well:

Bloor West Extension Project, Douro/Wellington Bike Lane Project, Shaw Street Upgrades, and St. Lawrence Cycling Connections Project.

Full interview here: https://www.cycleto.ca/news/meet-torontos-new-cycling-pedestrian-manager


***

Separately the newsletter makes note that the decision to go west to High Park is done and happening next year, but the City is currently contemplating going further west to Runnymede.

***

Also, for those looking to support bike lanes on Danforth, there is a meeting Nov 7th, at Monarch Park Collegiate from 6:30pm-8:30pm
 

ADRM

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Separately the newsletter makes note that the decision to go west to High Park is done and happening next year, but the City is currently contemplating going further west to Runnymede.
City Staff indeed have the authority to take the Bloor bike lane extension to High Park to a complete 100% design, but they'll still have to bring it back to Council for approval for installation, at which point of course anything could happen (approve, approve in part, approve a pilot, reject, some crazy shit that DMW or Holyday propose).
 

ADRM

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Any idea what these entail? Is it connectivity (eg Argyle, which is already in the pipeline), or actual bike lane upgrades? I counter commute north on Shaw daily, and am sick of southbound vehicles coming into my lane to pass cyclists in theirs. Too many close calls.
There are different plans contemplated for different parts of Shaw. The Bloor to Dupont stretch is being assessed primarily under the lens of reducing traffic infiltration, as it has become a major thoroughfare for people looking to avoid Ossington or Christie, partly as a result of Waze and Google Maps driving more traffic down it. They're also planning to switch the contra-flow from the east side to the west side of Shaw to match the rest of the route, and to bring Shaw up to the City's contra-flow design guidelines. It should mitigate the (obvious and troublesome) problem you're describing.

The Harbord to Bloor stretch is getting a simpler resurface, which is also badly needed.

An interesting data tidbit from the stretch of Shaw: it is now used in peak time by more cyclists than drivers, and more than 75% of all users on Shaw (pedestrians and cyclists combined) are not in a car.
 

Napalm Frog

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There are different plans contemplated for different parts of Shaw. The Bloor to Dupont stretch is being assessed primarily under the lens of reducing traffic infiltration, as it has become a major thoroughfare for people looking to avoid Ossington or Christie, partly as a result of Waze and Google Maps driving more traffic down it. They're also planning to switch the contra-flow from the east side to the west side of Shaw to match the rest of the route, and to bring Shaw up to the City's contra-flow design guidelines. It should mitigate the (obvious and troublesome) problem you're describing.

The Harbord to Bloor stretch is getting a simpler resurface, which is also badly needed.

An interesting data tidbit from the stretch of Shaw: it is now used in peak time by more cyclists than drivers, and more than 75% of all users on Shaw (pedestrians and cyclists combined) are not in a car.
Thanks! I'm aware CycleTO had been lobbying quite a few of those, nice to hear they may be coming to fruition.
 

Johnny Au

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Cycle Toronto just sent out its newsletter, and there are a few tidbits of interest.

1) The cycling and pedestrian unit has a new boss, an American woman recruited out of Atlanta. Becky Katz is an avid cyclist, bikes to work every day, and has already done a few cycling trips outside the downtown, including to Bluffer's Park and around the York U campus.
Atlanta is far from the best city for biking, but that is improving.

It has freeways, suburbia, and malls galore; "no water in sight" according to Katz herself (the Chattahoochee River (the nearest major river) isn't within comfortable walking distance from the nearest MARTA station and the creeks in Atlanta are very small), and such. However, MARTA (the buses, the Atlanta Streetcar, and the subway) is bike-friendly (probably thanks to Katz): https://www.itsmarta.com/bring-your-bike.aspx

The banks of the Chattahoochee River to the west and parts of DeKalb County to the east (especially Stone Mountain, Lithonia, and Stonecrest) are excellent places for recreational biking.

Toronto is indeed much better for cycling. The Humber, Don, and the Rouge may not be as wide as the Chattahoochee River, but the three are much better for cycling. Toronto may not have a carved relief on the side of a mountain like Stone Mountain, but the Scarborough Bluffs probably remind Katz of Lithonia and Stonecrest.
 

ADRM

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I've seen hints that they'll be proposing unidirectional lanes on each side of the street, which (if true) seems like a missed opportunity for future railpath connections. This should, IMO, be a multi-use path on the south side, abutting the rail corridor.
The City is, unfortunately, considering two options, neither of which entail protected bike lanes, and one of which plops them right in the dooring zone, because they are really very horribly bad at this.
 

smably

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Info panels have been posted: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/97ba-Douro-Wellington-Panels1.pdf

I attended the session this evening and chatted with staff a bit about the plans. It sounds like the budget for this project is limited, so the best we're getting is paint, flexi-posts and, if we're lucky, some concrete bumpers next to the parking spots. There is technically enough space to put a multi-use path or bi-directional bike lane on the south side of Douro since the city owns a fairly substantial strip of land between the road and the rail corridor, but the budget for this project precludes any new paving or major construction. Staff claim that there is not enough room within the existing roadway to install a bi-directional cycle track and that it would complicate the intersection design at Strachan. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Green turn boxes are proposed at Strachan, but only for south-to-east and east-to-north turns. I asked about adding a box for north-to-west turns, but apparently there is not enough space in the intersection and shifting the crosswalk would require moving the pedestrian push buttons = $$.

There is nothing proposed to fix the connection northbound between Douro and Sudbury at King. This intersection needs to be signalized to allow for safe left turns but once again, not in budget and not in scope. Better connections to Garrison Crossing from Wellington, also not in budget and not in scope.

In general, this project feels like a missed opportunity. With the exception of a potential parking-protected section on Douro between Shaw and Strachan, there's no physical protection proposed. The connectivity to existing infrastructure and the future railpath extension is not good and the changes to the Douro/Wellington/Strachan intersection don't have any improvements for northbound left turns from Strachan. That said, I'm glad they're proposing to ban right turns on red from Douro onto Strachan.
 

Northern Light

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Info panels have been posted: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/97ba-Douro-Wellington-Panels1.pdf

I attended the session this evening and chatted with staff a bit about the plans. It sounds like the budget for this project is limited, so the best we're getting is paint, flexi-posts and, if we're lucky, some concrete bumpers next to the parking spots. There is technically enough space to put a multi-use path or bi-directional bike lane on the south side of Douro since the city owns a fairly substantial strip of land between the road and the rail corridor, but the budget for this project precludes any new paving or major construction. Staff claim that there is not enough room within the existing roadway to install a bi-directional cycle track and that it would complicate the intersection design at Strachan. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Green turn boxes are proposed at Strachan, but only for south-to-east and east-to-north turns. I asked about adding a box for north-to-west turns, but apparently there is not enough space in the intersection and shifting the crosswalk would require moving the pedestrian push buttons = $$.

There is nothing proposed to fix the connection northbound between Douro and Sudbury at King. This intersection needs to be signalized to allow for safe left turns but once again, not in budget and not in scope. Better connections to Garrison Crossing from Wellington, also not in budget and not in scope.

In general, this project feels like a missed opportunity. With the exception of a potential parking-protected section on Douro between Shaw and Strachan, there's no physical protection proposed. The connectivity to existing infrastructure and the future railpath extension is not good and the changes to the Douro/Wellington/Strachan intersection don't have any improvements for northbound left turns from Strachan. That said, I'm glad they're proposing to ban right turns on red from Douro onto Strachan.
Perfect!

A thorough post, because you showed up and participated and asked questions; and you bring back useful observations and insight! 👍

If you didn't already, be sure and copy/paste this post to your the City Councillor. There may be some unallocated section 37 or 42 funds available to augment this project and do it properly.

Section 42 is parks, but if the City owns the space adjacent the rail corridor, whose to say that a new cycle trail doesn't make it a park????
 
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