Half-assed connections for downtown lanes
Staff seem to be half-hearted in ensuring that Peter and Simcoe (and Richmond and Adelaide for that matter) are properly connected to the wider network.
Don't get me wrong, the east-west routes look to be awesome. And north-south they've done a half-decent job of trying to make sure there's separation. The big issue is that the staff seem to have decided that they don't find it important to design the lanes so people can safely get into them or off of them (their proposals, booklet). The pinch points:
- Crossing Bathurst will still be a pain. The map just punts the crossings to the "future".
- They've been unclear if they'll include a connection between Peter and Beverley. The map above says "future connection" but staff also said they reviewing modifying the Queen St intersection and connecting via Soho and Phoebe.
- They have no plans to make it easy to cross Queen at Simcoe. Traffic lights are probably the only thing that will make it easy to cross. If we don't get that people just won't use it.
- On the south end the bike lanes just end at Wellington and Peter. And on Simcoe cyclists must continue on unprotected bike lanes for the rest of the trip to the lake.
The interesting thing is that Peter and Simcoe were part of the "Ward 20 bike plan" that Councillor Adam Vaughan presented a few years ago:
The staff need to feel a bit of heat. And it wouldn't hurt to email Councillor Vaughan and let him know you support his proposals for Peter and Simcoe.
And, oh, let the staff know you're not pleased with their pilot project plan. The risk is that a pilot will endanger a permanent installation. The pilot as it stands is likely both too small and too temporary (just 3 months or so) to provide good results to let us know if the lanes will be popular. If they go forward with a pilot they should be doing a lot of promotional work and provide good connections to make sure cyclists know about it and are willing to use it.
See jnyzz's blog post for more commentary.