Protected bike lanes up for vote: have your say

truck parked in Wellesley "protected" bike lane

I can hardly believe that it was at the start of Mayor Ford's terrible reign over this city that a protected bike lanes network was first approved by City Council. It was to be a large square network—Sherbourne, Richmond/Adelaide, St. George/Beverley, Harbord/Hoskin/Wellesley, and also Bloor East over the Don Valley. And now, four years later, with barely any progress, two key pieces of that infrastructure—Richmond/Adelaide and Harbord/Hoskin—are up for next-to-final approval at the public works committee on May 14th (agenda published on Friday).

Write that into your calendar's right now: Go to City Hall on May 14.

And if you can't make it send an email to public works: pwic@toronto.ca and let the politicians know how important it is to you that you get these protected bike lanes. Once the agenda is published you'll be able to reference the exact item number in your email. But in the meanwhile, it can't hurt to email all the councillors on the committee: Michelle Berardinetti, Janet Davis, Mark Grimes
Mike Layton, Denzil Minnan-Wong (Chair), and John Parker.

As it happens with most bike projects in this messed up city, these two projects have asterisks: Richmond/Adelaide will be a pilot project this year from Bathurst to York; and Harbord/Hoskin will be definitely an improvement but we won't see a completely protected bike lane—in fact, we haven't even got confirmation that staff will use bollards even where there is room (I talked here on how they could improve that one).

And, while they are finally installing bollards on Wellesley (photo above of truck parked in Wellesley "protected" bike lane), it won't be completed until after World Pride and they seem to have been spaced so far apart that any narcissistic driver would be quite willing and able to park there anyway. Which just begs the point of the whole enterprise.

And then there are the slapdash connections when the infrastructure ends. I've talked before about how the City can improve their proposals for the connections on Peter (re-align streets) and Simcoe (install lights!).

All the more reason to be loud and clear. The more politicians hear us, the safer they feel in taking risks and the more willing they are in dragging the city and staff into the 21st century.

Comments

Frustrating.. now we only get "pilot" projects. Just build the damn bike lanes. They work in other cities, they'll work in Toronto. World class cities have bike lanes, they make the cities more livable, and safer.

Put more bollards up in existing 'bike lanes' - I use that phrase lightly, in Toronto, to prevent the lanes becoming a parking lot, as is often the case.

If 905'ers and suburbanites find it difficult to drive, they can use public transit to get into the core. Toronto needs more 'park and ride'.

Cities with bike lanes & paths are not "world class" cities, according to the Ford brothers and their followers on city council. Cities like London, Paris, New York City, etc. shouldn't be followed with their examples of bicycle infrastructure, according to them.

The picture showing the parked truck on Wellesley is so perfect. I cycle a lot on the reserved lanes and have never had a single ride without some car or truck illegally stopped or parked. The rounded curbs on Sherbourne are easily driven over and there are not enough posts on Wellesley. On both locations it is so easy for cars to get into the lanes at intersections since the dividers do not go far enough into an intersection. Montreal, Munich and other cities actually have planters and other carriers that cannot be crossed. I have taken many pictures. I did call Wheeltrans and have not seen any parked. Canada Post and other delivery trucks are the worst. I have also seen numerous times police driving by and doing nothing about it.Toronto can't even install something as simple as proper bikelanes. All we do here is discuss, analyze endlessly instead. Why not just go to Montreal and see and do what is done in. It works. Very sad.

Of course police don't enforce bike lane laws. If they did maybe they'd have to stop parking there too.

I see cops parked in Sherbourne/Wellesley almost as often as cabs. I've been quite literally run off the road by a cop abruptly pulling into the bike lane while I was riding in it.

The police in this city are not on the cyclist's side.

We keep hearing complaints about bicyclists not stopping at stop signs or stop lights. Yet they totally ignore the motorists who do the very same.