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General cycling issues (Is Toronto bike friendly?)

taal

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I just checked out the Sherbourne bike lanes ... for all the complaints I was expecting well .. crap ... but was very pleasantly surprised, I thought it was quite decent !

Sherbourne is a nice street around Bloor and south of Richmond ... its too bad there is a dense concentration of homeless shelters in-between though.
 

Fred.S

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Some problem I have with the new Sherbourne design are:

1. They're not really separated - The north part has small bumps that vehicles can easily roll over (and many times do, to park). the south part has just a foot-wide buffer instead of a single line, but no actual physical separation. Separation should be a curb at the minimum, like at the bus stops.

2. Intersections - The lanes sort of just fade away at the intersections, which are the most dangerous parts, and should have the most attention. There's still the potential of being cut-off by a vehicle. The Dutch actually make great intersections which reduce car/cyclist collisions by having each meet at a greater angle when crossing. Even Montreal has bollards at some intersections to create a protected pocket for cyclists.

3. Lane Width - The lanes are generally pretty narrow, and make it difficult for bikes to pass each other.
 

RC8

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I like the degree of separation in the Sherbourne lanes. I'm a big fan of their design for the most part. I feel that it's important that bikes be allowed to just go on the street if they so wish (if they need to pass other bicycles, or if someone just wants to ride with traffic, etc).

Ideally they would be a bit larger, but it's not like they had tons of space to work with.
 

RC8

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http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2...wants_probe_into_teachers_death_reopened.html

So turns out there is no evidence whatsoever that the cyclist that got killed last year ran a red light - and everything suggests that he was in a stationary position.

Victim-blaming pedestrians and cyclists when people drive dangerously needs to stop. It's disgusting what you can get away with if you are behind the wheel of a car or a truck.
 

Fred.S

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I like the degree of separation in the Sherbourne lanes. I'm a big fan of their design for the most part. I feel that it's important that bikes be allowed to just go on the street if they so wish (if they need to pass other bicycles, or if someone just wants to ride with traffic, etc).

Being able to go on the street is an advantage since the lanes are narrow, but it means they are really just bike lanes, and not seperated. They really don't have much of an advatage over normal bike lanes, except for a bit of a wider buffer. It's true they didn't have much space to work with. Jarvis would've been a much better place for large, truly separated bike lanes...

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2...wants_probe_into_teachers_death_reopened.html

So turns out there is no evidence whatsoever that the cyclist that got killed last year ran a red light - and everything suggests that he was in a stationary position.

Victim-blaming pedestrians and cyclists when people drive dangerously needs to stop. It's disgusting what you can get away with if you are behind the wheel of a car or a truck.

I agree, but understand there are issues over evidence, especially, when the victim is dead. I really wish we had cameras at all signalized intersections. It might be pricey, but would go a long way in providing hard evidence.
 

RC8

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You can deduce how the crash took place by looking at the scene. The fact that the driver who murdered this man just took off should guarantee severe charges.

The problem is that police do not prioritise this type of investigations at all, they don't care if no one goes to jail or pays a penalty for killing someone.

Regarding Sherbourne: the lanes are vastly safer than if there wasn't a height separation, and it feels much more protected than any painted bike lane I've ever been on. While cars can still block them, the possibility of an overtaking accident is reduced substantially. I bet if there was a curb trucks would still violate them - except it would be much harder for cyclists to get around such trucks.
 

ShonTron

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Being able to go on the street is an advantage since the lanes are narrow, but it means they are really just bike lanes, and not seperated. They really don't have much of an advatage over normal bike lanes, except for a bit of a wider buffer. It's true they didn't have much space to work with. Jarvis would've been a much better place for large, truly separated bike lanes...

The next route to get separated bike lanes is the Wellesley-Harbord corridor. On Harbord, it's going to be a bi-directional separated path on the north side of the street. I cycle Harbord almost daily, and it's a really popular cycling commuter route, where the number of bikes stopped at a red such as at Bathurst can outnumber motorists 3 to 1 easy. Harbord feels quite safe, mostly because it's a wide two-lane street, and there's lots of room. I don't even have a problem with the section without bike lanes in Harbord Village BIA.

The one thing I would change is the Bathurst/Harbord intersection by putting in bike boxes and just having a left turn lane in each direction plus bike lanes rather than the general four lane cross-section.

Some will argue that Harbord needs separated bike lanes, to encourage more people to cycle, but I have serious concerns and rather maintain the status quo with some improvements (such as the intersection at Bathurst, mentioned above). I don't particularly like the plan to have a bike-only signal phase at Bathust and at Spadina (necessary with the set up) and the complications of making a simple turn to or from a side street on the opposite side of the cycletrack. I also fear it would be too narrow, as you get slow cyclists (kids, Bixi-riders, seniors), people like me (relatively fast, but respectful), spandex-clad hardcores and rules-be-dammed morons using it, leading to more conflict than there already is.

Richmond/Adelaide is where I think separated bi-directional bike lanes belong, not so much Harbord. Though I have to admit my bias - I'm a relatively fast, experienced urban cyclist.
 

ShonTron

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Speed bumps in Tommy Thompson? There are already some. I wonder where they are going to add more. I hate the ones that are there now. They slow me down. Oh, wait ....

I hate the new speed bumps in Tommy Thompson Park. That said, the long straightaway towards Vicki Keith Point was a tempting place for serious speed and incompatable with the park's purposes as a public park and a nature preserve. So something had to be done, but they went about it the wrong way - extremely sharp bumps where someone on a bike pretty much has to come to a near stop. They should have been shallower to permit going over at a leisurely 10-15 km/h or so. The older bumps towards the park's entrance are fine.

I thought the bumps were going to be rethought. Any news on that?
 

PinkLucy

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Agreed -- the shallower, more rounded speed bumps (like going out to the yacht clubs at Humber and at the Tommy Thompson entrance) are much better. Or even the ones going to the parking lots up behind the Humber butterfly habitat -- you can ride through the middle if there are no vehicles but even if you have to take the speed bump, they are rounded and not those nasty little pointy ones.
 

k10ery

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The next route to get separated bike lanes is the Wellesley-Harbord corridor. On Harbord, it's going to be a bi-directional separated path on the north side of the street. I cycle Harbord almost daily, and it's a really popular cycling commuter route, where the number of bikes stopped at a red such as at Bathurst can outnumber motorists 3 to 1 easy. Harbord feels quite safe, mostly because it's a wide two-lane street, and there's lots of room. I don't even have a problem with the section without bike lanes in Harbord Village BIA.

The one thing I would change is the Bathurst/Harbord intersection by putting in bike boxes and just having a left turn lane in each direction plus bike lanes rather than the general four lane cross-section.

Some will argue that Harbord needs separated bike lanes, to encourage more people to cycle, but I have serious concerns and rather maintain the status quo with some improvements (such as the intersection at Bathurst, mentioned above). I don't particularly like the plan to have a bike-only signal phase at Bathust and at Spadina (necessary with the set up) and the complications of making a simple turn to or from a side street on the opposite side of the cycletrack. I also fear it would be too narrow, as you get slow cyclists (kids, Bixi-riders, seniors), people like me (relatively fast, but respectful), spandex-clad hardcores and rules-be-dammed morons using it, leading to more conflict than there already is.

Richmond/Adelaide is where I think separated bi-directional bike lanes belong, not so much Harbord. Though I have to admit my bias - I'm a relatively fast, experienced urban cyclist.

I totally agree with this. If a cycle track goes in on Harbord, ironically a lot of us are going to have to find somewhere else to ride.

It seems so weird that cycling advocates have signed on to the idea that cycling routes should be "separate but equal". I thought that approach went out with Brown v. Board of Education!

ShonTron, if you find some venue where cyclists can usefully speak out against this, please let us know in this forum.
 

M.R.Victor

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I cycle on Harbord daily, and I too fail to see the need for a bi-directional cycle track on the north side. If segregated bike lanes are to be put in, I'd much rather have a raised curb protecting the bike lanes currently in existence, with the lane widened to allow for faster cyclists to pass slower ones.
 

ShonTron

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I totally agree with this. If a cycle track goes in on Harbord, ironically a lot of us are going to have to find somewhere else to ride.

It seems so weird that cycling advocates have signed on to the idea that cycling routes should be "separate but equal". I thought that approach went out with Brown v. Board of Education!

ShonTron, if you find some venue where cyclists can usefully speak out against this, please let us know in this forum.

I've been to a meeting on this late last year in my ward. I've expressed my concerns, but most people there were in favour of the bi-directional plan, even the Cycle Toronto representatives. The biggest argument in favour is inclusiveness: to attract new cyclists that would supposedly be uncomfortable without the protection - seniors and children especially.

I'm much more interested in creating and expanding new bike routes (such as getting more contraflow lanes) rather than tinkering with the existing ones.

The project information is here:
http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/harbord_and_hoskin/
 
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RC8

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The BIA is refusing to give up on-street parking, so they are sort of settling with the city to give up half - hence the bike path.

It will likely do a good job so long as it's the size of the Martin Goodman Trail (people do well there even with the joggers interrupting the flow). I understand they will have space to make it that large, so here's hoping they do.
 

reaperexpress

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The next route to get separated bike lanes is the Wellesley-Harbord corridor. On Harbord, it's going to be a bi-directional separated path on the north side of the street. I cycle Harbord almost daily, and it's a really popular cycling commuter route, where the number of bikes stopped at a red such as at Bathurst can outnumber motorists 3 to 1 easy. Harbord feels quite safe, mostly because it's a wide two-lane street, and there's lots of room. I don't even have a problem with the section without bike lanes in Harbord Village BIA.

The one thing I would change is the Bathurst/Harbord intersection by putting in bike boxes and just having a left turn lane in each direction plus bike lanes rather than the general four lane cross-section.

Some will argue that Harbord needs separated bike lanes, to encourage more people to cycle, but I have serious concerns and rather maintain the status quo with some improvements (such as the intersection at Bathurst, mentioned above). I don't particularly like the plan to have a bike-only signal phase at Bathust and at Spadina (necessary with the set up) and the complications of making a simple turn to or from a side street on the opposite side of the cycletrack. I also fear it would be too narrow, as you get slow cyclists (kids, Bixi-riders, seniors), people like me (relatively fast, but respectful), spandex-clad hardcores and rules-be-dammed morons using it, leading to more conflict than there already is.

Richmond/Adelaide is where I think separated bi-directional bike lanes belong, not so much Harbord. Though I have to admit my bias - I'm a relatively fast, experienced urban cyclist.

I completely agree on pretty much all counts, except that the sharrow section is acceptable.

Implementing bi-directional paths with protected bicycle phases would increase delay for everyone, and implementing bi-directional paths without them would actually make cycling more dangerous.

Furthermore, their claim that Harbord isn't wide enough for high-quality uni-directional lanes is quite simply a lie, as simple arithmetic can demonstrate:

14m cross-section: (Bike lanes in red)

Currently: 2.0m Parking, 1.7m bike lane, two 3.3m car lanes, 1.7m bike lane, 2.0m parking
What is possible: 2m Bike lane, two 3.3m car lanes, 2.2m parking, 0.7m buffer, 2.5m cycle track

fn0y.jpg


Yes, the bike lane is "unprotected" in one direction, but what exactly does it need to be protected from? Harbord is a fairly low speed, low volume road, where cyclists can interact comfortably with vehicles. It's not like it's a suburban arterial. In the other direction it is protected because of the danger of parked cars (opening doors).

I also widened the parking lane because some vans, pickup trucks and SUVs are actually wider than 2.0m.

12.8m cross section (Currently Sharrows)

Currently: 2.0m Parking, two 4.4m car lanes, 2.0m parking
What is possible: 1.7m bike lane, two 3.3m car lanes, 1.8m bike lane, 0.5m buffer 2.2m parking

oe1a.jpg
 
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