When: Wednesday March 5, 6:30pm
Where: Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor St. W.
Why: Because the developments and changes at this intersection could have a big impact on the West End for cyclists!
I urge all cyclists to come to the Bloor/Dundas Visioning meeting this Wednesday. This is the second of three sessions put on by the City to get public opinion from residents about potential developments in the Bloor St. W. and Dundas St. W. area, and a good chance for cyclists to make their desires and needs known to the City.
I attended the first visioning session on January 16th, along with well over 100 other people. Area residents had many concerns about the potential developments that may happen here, as well as many ideas about what could be done to make it better. I saw a few other cyclists whom I recognized, and I could tell from the meeting notes that they got the word out about possibly adding bike lanes or other cycling infrastructure improvements. Some even got creative on the comment boards.
To quickly summarize, here are some of the concerns that cyclists may want to bring up at this meeting:
- East-West bike lane on Bloor St.: Cyclists across Toronto have called the lack of cycling facilities along Bloor-Danforth the biggest missing piece of the whole network. The current streetscape in this area (from Dundas St. all the way past High Park) provides a nearly consistent very wide curb lane. Whether there are cars parked along here or not, there is plenty of room for cyclists to ride away from the main through-traffic and away from the door-zones. So the space for new bike lanes is there. This should actually be one of the easiest parts of Bloor St. to implement a bike lane on. (Personally, I actually like the current configuration, so at the very least I hope they don't make it WORSE).
- Lack of connectivity in the Bike Plan: If you look at the Bike Plan map, you'll notice that it seems the plans does its very best to make cyclists AVOID the Dundas and Bloor area! However, this is a major east-west (Bloor) and north-south (Dundas/Roncesvalles) corridor and destination for cyclists. Adding the Bloor bikeway would be a start, but connecting it to other parts of the area is important too.
- West Toronto Rail Path: The Railpath is actually under construction and the first phase should be completed next year. However, all access points are on the east side of the tracks. Maybe something can be done to connect to it from the Bloor-Dundas area?
- Bike Parking: Bike parking is actually pretty good along this stretch of Bloor St. If they reconfigure it, they should do their best to expand the available parking, or maybe even do something more radical like try giving some car parking spaces to bicycles, which would give more spaces to pedestrians.
- Bike access to Dundas West subway and Bloor GO stations: Dundas West station needs better bike parking. Perhaps more bike racks, some lockers, and some sheltered/covered spaces can be found. This block of Dundas St. can be a bit nerve-wracking for cyclists too, as we try to avoid the criss-crossing streetcar tracks, turning streetcars and buses, u-turning taxis, jaywalking pedestrians, etc.
- Motor vehicles turning on/off the streets: Unfortunately, even though this area is right next to a major subway / streetcar / bus hub, and a GO station, any increase in density will likely bring more cars and delivery trucks to the area. As residents from the proposed towers drive in and out of their buildings, they will have to cross sidewalks and potential bike lanes. These will have to be designed wisely.
Of course, you may also want to go to the meeting to comment about the pedestrian environment, crosswalks, traffic congestion, TTC subway and GO train platform linkages, additional subway station entrances, beautification, appropriately-scaled buildings, services to support a local population increase, etc..
More info in our events listing.
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