Lack of safety for cyclists as fixing Queen Street is started

Queen Street may be starting to get its own well-deserved fix-up starting with the sidewalks west of Dufferin, yet it looks like cyclists will have to put up with passing dangerously past construction sites. The photo above by Hamish Wilson shows the typical Toronto construction site with barriers set up to force cyclists into the middle of the streetcar tracks. When they do consider the safety of cyclists, construction companies will illegally place signs that tell cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes. Note how the cyclists above have chosen to actually bike within the construction site where they are able.

In Hamish's own words:

It's truly delightful that some of the roughest road in core TO may finally be getting fixed up, starting with the north-side sidewalks on Queen St. W., west of Dufferin.

But once again, there's a lack of signage and a distinct lack of safety for cyclists, especially with the streetcar tracks.

The use of barricading fencing does delineate, but it seems that it's only as far out as it is for a construction vehicle which is only used for a bit, and surely there might be narrower loaders etc. to help haul the tonnage out, although there is need for room for the pedestrians/public that's true, when the materials are being moved. But the effect of the taking of the absolutely fullest extent of the lane to the edge of the streetcar track concrete is to put cyclists into tight spaces with streetcar track hazards, or to help them feel they can squeeze themselves onto sidewalks or between cars.

So the signage is again inadequate in terms of warning of construction and hazards, including streetcar tracks, and I'm also thinking that there could well be a way to shrink the total space being worked upon to allow for safer passage of cyclists around/over the streetcar tracks, especially in non-wrok hours, and I am happily suggesting that if anyone gets hurt there's absolutely an element of liability back onto the City for once again missing cycling safety on this vital link. (Then there's coordinating it with the other Dundas St. W. work - ie. it's not co-ordinated to have two main routes messed up).

Comments

Second class citizens (cyclists) don't deserve to be accommodated in Toronto - or so that's how it seems people think in this city.

If we weren't second class citizens we might see something like this: http://seattlebikeblog.com/2011/04/11/how-copenhagen-accommodates-cyclis...

Hey uncle tom cyclist, we're gonna make some alterations to your cabin...

Cyclists should stop whining and learn to take the lane. There's only one lane here so it should be occupied by a single vehicle, ie. the bicycle. Just safely cross one track and ride down the middle. That's what I do.

I definitely take the left lane on that stretch of queen right now. I ride right in the middle to avoid getting in an accident on the streetcar tracks. Surprisingly, I have found motorists to be patient and understanding of my taking the only available lane (and I bike there a lot). I haven't yet had an impatient honk, and I haven't had cars try to illegally pass me! I hope that the constrution mess is over soon, it is the kind of situation where it is easy for cars to bully bicycles.

Surprisingly, I have found motorists to be patient and understanding of my taking the only available lane (and I bike there a lot). I haven't yet had an impatient honk, and I haven't had cars try to illegally pass me!

See, that's the difference with the burbs! There, I wouldn't get down half a block without getting "lectured" in a similar situation...

In this situation I would take the lane.
But the probelm peopel are likely having is that they have to move with the slow moving car traffic, where cyclists always want to move faster.

The solution would be to detour to another street, go down to Adelaide and you will have a nice fast commute.

Really we don't we should expect deserve some magical special treatment here, there is a perfectly fine lane here. It's just slower.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/690848
I plan to eventually print this and keep it on me as I ride. I never had an altercation where it would have been needed yet.

Another instance of this is Carlton St just west of Church due to Maple Leaf Gardens renovations. I also notice a lot pylons get placed between parked utility/film/construction vehicles which I think needlessly block the space a cyclist normally rides in.

Taking the lane is great in theory. In practice, not everyone is comfortable crossing streetcar tracks at a less than 90 degree angle in a tight space. Longer wheel base bikes require even more space; ever try merging in traffic on Queen St on a tandem, cargo, or recumbent bicycle?

Whenever there is construction in Copenhagen, bike lanes are accommodated, divets get ramps and the flow and safety of cycle traffic is generally preserved. Wish we thought more like that here.

It will be great!! to have a smooth Queen St. - it's been truly horrible for too long a time, so let's hope that it all is getting repaired, though I at times worry about the hundreds of tons of material used for roadworks, unnecessarily so, when utilities hole something with integrity.

I also hope nobody will get hurt - and yes, as many of us do wish/expect to go faster than the cars, we're used to the risks of the speed and don't have the patience for the full lane-takings.

Out in Parkdale, where this is taking place, there aren't really adequate side-streets to use, or one risks a ticket as contraflow isn't yet set-up. While many police won't bother, some will, and that's another unfairness.

With the crossings of streetcar tracks, some of us get blase about just doing it, but they can still be nasty. I've occasionally been telling people of what I try to do - to raise/hop my front wheel up over the track so that at least I'm not thrown, and the momentum of the dragging of the back wheel tends not to be so bad/dangerous. I've had one other long-term cyclist say that this works for him - but what about others?

And where are the safe east-west routes that don't have us with this extra danger? Like Bloor!

Thanks for posting/sharing Herb.

I take the lane! Even if it is a streetcar lane, after all, cyclists have the right-of-way over streetcars (not recognized by streetcar drivers or TTC supervisory personell when you phone in to complain). Like when you are in the streetcar lane trying to make a legal left turn signalling and the streetcar is inching towards your back wheel dinging his bell or tooting his horn. If the oncoming traffic wont yield so I can turn, then I won't. I remember one time at College & McCaul I couldn't safely make the turn so I continued through the light and rode to the next intersecting street with the streetcar mere inches from my back wheel, if I had stopped he would have run me down! Complaining to the TTC got me the anser you shouldnt be in the lane in the first place!

Kicking abusive pylons from the roadway should be a mandatory CANBIKE skill.

And yes, maintaining adequate and safe bicycling and walking through construction zones needs to be required. What we are getting makes no sense from any but the low ball pave and pour crowd.

I agree that construction should never marginalize cyclists and that signs saying 'cyclists dismount and walk bike on sidewalk' are the definition of marginalizing, but in this case, taking the lane isn't much of an issue. Just signal and merge with care when you have an opening. Cross the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If I advocated licensing cyclists, one merit would be to make sure everyone can handle a situation like this safely and without whining.

One encounters situations like this all the time while cycling, and I don't think anyone has ever honked at me for taking the lane while passing a construction site. Even if someone did, so what? Just ignore that ass because you're a legal road user who's doing nothing wrong and operating your vehicle safely. You might also yell at them and give them some sort of hand signal if safe.

I agree that construction should never marginalize cyclists and that signs saying 'cyclists dismount and walk bike on sidewalk' are the definition of marginalizing, but in this case, taking the lane isn't much of an issue. Just signal and merge with care when you have an opening. Cross the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If I advocated licensing cyclists, one merit would be to make sure everyone can handle a situation like this safely and without whining.

One encounters situations like this all the time while cycling, and I don't think anyone has ever honked at me for taking the lane while passing a construction site. Even if someone did, so what? Just ignore that ass because you're a legal road user who's doing nothing wrong and operating your vehicle safely. You might also yell at them and give them some sort of hand signal if safe.

I was in the Queen St. W. area last night and there was a sign suggesting/saying that cyclists need to dismount and go in the ped zone just a bit west of Dufferin. It's too long to describe it all, but once again we have ongoing systemic disses and contradictions between sign and reality.

Why not a simpler sign of motorists and cyclists must share lane; be careful in crossing streetcar tracks.... or would that indicate that the City knows there's an issue with streetcar tracks, and not just the cycling folks.?

I'd be interested in seeing this citation you're going to be issued!

Might be a hassle to be stopped and then have to go before the judge to throw it out, but it would be funny to see if the constable gets a spanking from the justice.

pennyfarthing ok frye