City proposes complete Harbord/Wellesley cycle tracks all at once in 2014: tell them yes please

There is a Staff report before Public Works (PWIC) that is up for approval to build the Wellesley cycle track from Parliament to Queen's Park in 2014, to coincide with some resurfacing work on Wellesley. Then from Hoskin to Harbord they are proposing a bidirectional separated bike lane for the entire length. But safety and efficiency dictate that the entire length should be done in one go in 2014 as well:

Extending the cycle track on Hoskin Avenue to St. George Street is dependent on the reconstruction of the Queen’s Park Crescent West-Hoskin Avenue intersection. Accordingly, the Hoskin Avenue cycle track would also be delivered in 2014 to coincide with the intersection reconstruction. Consultation will get underway this Fall on the proposed Harbord Street cycle track, which would connect the Hoskin Avenue cycle track west to Ossington Avenue. The preliminary traffic investigation indicates that a bi-directional cycle track is feasible on Harbord Street and would enable parking to be maintained on one side of the street. From an operational perspective, the Hoskin and Harbord sections must be designed to integrate seamlessly, and therefore the entire section from Queen’s Park Crescent West to Ossington will be designed as one project rather than two separate projects, for 2014 construction.

You can send an email to Public Works and let the councillors know that you support this plan: pwic@toronto.ca Mention the item number in your email: 19.3. You can also sign up to speak on November 14 by using the same email address. You've got until Sunday to send your emails.

I also encourage you again to attend the November 12th meeting on Harbord bike lanes organized by the Harbord Village Residents Association.

This month's PWIC meeting is loaded with bike-related items. Also on the agenda is a proposal for developing a new cycling education program for schools; a report on the Rogers Road bike lanes (car traffic not effected, more than enough car parking); a request to the Ministry to clarify contra-flow bike lanes (currently they're in a grey zone); and a proposal to study methods for improving cycling safety around streetcar tracks (not much can be done, except take away parking but that's too radical an idea).

Comments

Wonder where Rob Ford, Doug Ford, Frances Nunziata, Denzil Minnan-Wong, and the other Ford clique at city hall stand on this?

Bi-directional?

Uh oh.

As was mentioned in the staff report on possible layouts for Sherbourne, bi-directional bike lanes would require a separate signal phase. I would anticipate bicycles will get maybe ten seconds every minute to cross intersections; the remaining fifty seconds the bicycle signals will be red.

There are a number of other safety problems with this arrangenent which should occur to anyone who has ridden for any length of time, especially along the western Martin Goodman which is essentially a bi-directional path beside the main road, with some cross-roads where cyclists always have to be wary.

The bi-directional arrangement is not for the benefit of cyclists. It's a disbenefit and will make the path probably less safe than the already half-assed Sherbourne lanes. But it was chosen to, ta-da, preserve parking for cars.

Waste of money.

Here how I'd do it: "pencil-in" your entire bike lane network using painted lanes first. Do the whole she-bang, including the places where you think separated bike-lanes should go eventually. This way you can increase the number of cyclists across the whole city and give them a real network to use on their bikes.

Study the success of all this. If you see places where collisions or bike-lane-parking are higher, then go over this routes again "in ink" with separated lanes.

This would be a more long-term strategy and take longer to get to separated bike lanes, which I understand everyone loves, but it also means that separated bike lanes aren't installed AT THE EXPENSE OF expanding the overall bike network.

Now, if you'll let me get political: The only reason the current city government is moving forward with separated bike lanes is so they can say, "Look! We spent big money on bike infrastructure, and we spent it a form of infrastructure that everyone agrees is better than painted lanes" and they can say that, and they can spend that money, without pissing people off for "taking up" road space on new roads.

It's actually really smart politically, but it does fuck-all to improve cycling in the city, especially when they use it as an excuse to ERASE bike lanes like Jarvis.