Bike lanes on Richmond-Adelaide: a win for Cycle Toronto. Now improve plan for Simcoe and Peter

The preferred configuration for Richmond and Adelaide looks like it will be one-way protected bike lanes on both streets. The Wellington option was dropped as inferior. This is a great win for Cycle Toronto which has been campaigning for this exact configuration. And it's in no small part due to public works chair Minnan-Wong championing it for the last few years. It's ironic that it took a (former) ally of Mayor Ford to get this essential project completed.

While the east-west route is shaping up well - really, it will be awesome - Cycle Toronto has some issues with the north-south connections that the City staff are recommending. The staff seem to have left out any specific recommendations of how to fix the Peter/Queen intersection so that cyclists can safely connect to the Beverley bike lanes. And the Simcoe contraflow lane stops a bit short at Richmond instead of connecting to Queen.

There will be an open house next week Monday, November 18, and
Tuesday, November 19, 2013. There will be a presentation Monday at 6pm and from 9am to 9pm both days the materials will be on display at the Metro Hall Rotunda, 55 John Street. If you can't attend then you can email your comments to CyclingRichmondAdelaide@toronto.ca and copy info@cycleto.ca.

You can read the booklet handed out at the last stakeholders workshop to get an idea of the current recommendations.

So please attend the public consultation; please, please thank the staff for all their hard work and give them some feedback on how they can provide better protection for Simcoe and Peter. Thank you.

North/south connections

As for further details on the north-south connections, Cycle Toronto is asking people to make these requests to improve the plan:

  • Fully protected lanes on Peter St & Simcoe St (staff are currently proposing painted lanes on the southbound lane on Simcoe St between King St and Front St).
  • Realignment of the Soho St / Peter St intersection to promote a smooth north / south transition between Beverley St, Phoebe St, Soho St and Peter St.
  • Additional traffic signals on Simcoe St from Queen St south to Front St to increase safety for cyclists.
  • Contraflow lanes on Phoebe St and fully protected lanes on Simcoe St from Front St to the lake!

The City and Councillor Vaughan have been aware of the problem at Peter and Queen for a few years now. A creative solution was even offered a couple years ago by Dave Meslin on how to cross Queen:

Councillor Vaughan told me that his office was looking at solutions for the intersection when I spoke with him at the last stakeholders meeting. I'm a bit surprised that nothing concrete has come out yet. Not even a possible solution of moving the lights.

It's a pretty good plan with some key places where improvements can be made if staff are serious about improving the protection for cyclists. It has yet to be built but I'm getting more optimistic that we will see some big improvements downtown because of this plan.

Comments

I have posted some pictures of some of the materials here:

http://jnyyz.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/richmond-and-adelaid...

That's awsome jnyyz! Thanks for the detailed look. I too am concerned about the connection of Peter to Beverley.

So now they've tweaked the process: they're extending the EA to include a pilot project. This is maybe so that something gets installed before the next election and to time it better with the condo construction. Pilots have worked well in New York and in Ottawa, so they'll hopefully do well here. The danger of calling it a pilot is that they can be removed. In New York they didn't call them pilots but they did emphasize that they were using easy to install/remove materials in case tweaking is needed or even removal.

The pilot evaluation seems to be a bit early. I hope that after the evaluation they will leave it in.

I think what we should be doing now is pushing them to have the pilot encompass the entire study area instead of just the western half.

I was told that the pilot project will be used to gather data to fine tune the rest of the project, and that at the moment, they anticipate too much condo and road construction east of Peter on both Adelaide and Richmond for a pilot in that region to make much sense (at least for a year or so).

Pilot means the city is not committed. This is a retreat from the specific direction from Council. Council initially approved a pilot project. Then Council decided to dispense with the pilot project to install the lanes permanently. Staff is changing direction yet again.

This is consistent with the Transportation Departments lack of commitment to cycling and cycling infrastructure.

This video shows how Potterstraat, Utrecht (Netherlands) went from accommodating the automobile to the reverse, even banning them.

http://youtu.be/aK-ESyajHLY