Sherbourne separated bike lane proposal received to strong support
City Transportation staff presented their vision of an improved Sherbourne Street for cyclists. The cyclists were pleased and there did not seem to be much political opposition from any group with the left mostly on side and with Councillor Minnan-Wong on board. You can view all the presentation slides now.
When determining how to best separate cyclists from motorists, City staff needed to take into account that it would still need to be permeable. Their design considerations included:
- A rolled curb will separate the bike lane from the vehicle lanes
- Bikes may enter and exit the cycle tracks
- Emergency vehicles and Wheel-Trans can access cycle track when required
- Garbage collection maintained as usual
- Cycle tracks will be maintained all year
Typical Intersection - the separation narrows bringing cyclists into clearer view with motorists. Note the indirect lefts, which I covered in a previous post..
I believe we can safely assume that most cyclists support the separated bike lanes. There has been, a smattering of tweeting suggesting that the separated bike lanes on Sherbourne were supposed a top down decision in order to buy off cyclists. Nothing is ever so simple, especially when it comes to politics in Toronto. Though there has been a political angle with Minnan-Wong, the push has mainly been by activists such as the Toronto Cyclists Union, but we can also find ruminations of improving Sherbourne as a showcase back in 2010 when Dutch planners came to town for Thinkbike:
From ThinkBike Team in 2010, dreaming of a better Sherbourne.
As an example of the complexity of cycling politics, the National Post reported Vaughan as now saying that the separation isn't enough where previously he had characterized separated bike lanes as "barricaded bike lanes". Vaughan now criticized the plan as "not a pronounced enough separation.... Unless you make it physically risky to put a car in that spot, you will get cars in that spot. You'll have taxis, you'll have couriers, you'll have vendors."
Can we now count on you Vaughan to support separated bike lanes on Richmond and/or Adelaide?