Cycling staff want your opinion on new parking on Queen West. Hold the panic and rage

The City recently installed a number of bike stands along Queen Street from Gladstone to Markham. Brian Park, Toronto Urban Fellow at the Cycling Unit, told me about their survey of the bike parking, asking that people fill it out:

Transportation Services is installing new bike parking infrastructure between Markham St and Gladstone Ave on Queen St W as part of a special study being conducted by Transportation's Cycling Infrastructure and Programs Unit. We recently updated our webpage - please take a look.

Please be nice be nice in your comments. It's amazing how jerky people can get. The City has already been forced to take remedial action on one installation because of a panicked response from some people.

Pylons repurposed as doomsday signs. Conveniently you'd have to dismount to read them.

This bike rack was installed at the southeast end of Trinity Bellwoods. Brian happened to be there when a furious Dorian approached him, outraged at the bike rack placement and that it would cause disaster and mayhem to rain down on people using the park path. Dorian was kind enough to record the interaction on the Facebook page for City of Toronto Cycling for posterity:

Dorian commanded Brian to "remove it today" preceded by a nice "F you". It appears that Brian did neither, thankfully. Dorian then followed up with his threat to put up signs and create a petition. It appears that Dorian managed to sign up enough panicked people to get City staff to trim the hedges to increase the sight lines around the corner. The bike rack is still there and being used last I looked. I also haven't heard of any tragic deaths due to bike rack impalement. So that's good news.

It doesn't seem to have concerned Dorian that this path exits out onto a sidewalk. If it wasn't a bike rack there it could just as easily have been a child or your grandma. Maybe the path is badly placed but until that gets fixed (not any time soon) only a jerk would take that corner at full speed.

Anyway, space is precious in this City what with businesses generally trying to keep all their sacred curbside parking so putting in bike racks anywhere is tough. It's encouraging enough that City staff are finding parking spots and boulevard space to place some bike racks. So I encourage you to go fill out the survey to help us get more of them. Just be nice about it.

Comments

This is the kind of jerk that gives cyclists a bad name. Obviously someone with WAAAY too much time on their hands.

The path ends in sidewalk so technically cyclists need to dismount there anyways.

Finally I want to say thanks to the City for installing more bike parking. It's sorely needed everywhere!

What it really needs is a curb cut so people can continue on the road. Not rocket science, all it needs is 10 minutes with a cement saw.

  1. curb cut
  2. collapsible bollards.

I have often had cause to wonder why some take stark opposition to what others do in the perceived best interest of cycling.

The city staff who are charged with designing, planning, building and implementing new infrastructure; the advocates and volunteers who dedicate their free time to work on numerous initiatives; and the activists who willingly risk their freedom in order to demonstrate support for cycling - all are unified in purpose, but some lack pragmatic expectations.

A bike lane that is not smooth enough, a bike rack not wide enough, a bike facility unrealized; organizations, volunteers, city staff, advocates - all are sent to the proverbial 'gallows' when it is discovered that the means and/or results, fail to fulfill and idealogical checklist.

Measuring success in absolute terms may seem appropriate, and at times necessary, but it is not realistic. A little moderation and empathy would be a welcome change to a community that is invested in change, but often attacks itself.

This is not about accepting failures; it's about seeing the big picture, understanding that things may not always work out as expected, and continuing to work in support of each other regardless.

Virtue is founded on humility, we need more of it, and it is without a doubt, far preferable to zealousness.

Seymore,

Yeah, good luck with that. When it comes to cyclists, nothing surprises me.

I have warm memories of the time I was driving my kids home from school and exiting from Essex street to Shaw street. Shaw is a one way going South (the contraflow bike lane hasn't been installed yet), and traffic is parked on the East side of the road, so when you come Westward on Essex you CANNOT see cycling traffic coming from the South, its blocked by cars. You can see pedestrians crossing the street of course. I came out to Shaw, signaled my turn, looked South for pedestrians and North for oncoming traffic, started to nudge out and... a cyclist comes speeding the wrong way from the South and I have to hit the brakes to avoid him slamming into my car.

I will spare you the colorful language that was used and the amusing hand gestures involving the middle finger of his right hand, but suffice it to say that I was called several historically unfavorable names and told to, ahem, become amorous with myself, all in full earshot of my 10, 5 and 2 year old children.

I stopped making a legal turn in time to avoid an accident that would likely have hurt this cyclist far more than me, when he was cycling very fast the wrong way down a one way street from a location where he was virtually invisible.

For that I was disparaged vociferously.

Incidents of this kind have happened to me many times (and to be fair, incidents involving car drivers have happened to me many times too, though I have yet to tangle with a car driving the wrong way on a one way street...), so I have lowered expectations when it comes to getting cyclists to behave civilly and interact constructively with others.

Kudos however to both you and Herb for calling for more humility in the discussion, it is needed on both sides.

Cheers,

Ian

http://cyclinggotham.blogspot.ca/