Back in January I noticed that these "Cyclists Dismount" signs were added along the Bloor St. sidewalk by the railway underpasses between Lansdowne Ave. and Dundas St. West.
I don't necessarily have a problem with telling cyclists to dismount while riding on sidewalks. After all, sidewalks are meant for pedestrians, and I have personally had some close encounters with sidewalk cyclists along here. It's especially dangerous to pedestrians stepping out from the Bloor GO train station.
However, these signs may be an indication of a bigger issue. Many cyclists hit the sidewalk when riding through these underpasses because they fear for their safety on the road. I often see cyclists ride on the road along Bloor St., only to hop up on the curb when they reach the underpasses.
I can understand why cyclists might want to do that.
From the Don Valley to Central Parkway in Mississauga, this is definitely the worst part of Bloor St., for many reasons (Ok, Six Points stinks too). But for cyclists in particular, the problems are:
- Between Dundas and Lansdowne, Bloor St. opens up into four lanes of fast-moving traffic. The only bit of traffic calming is the traffic light at Symington Ave.
- The pavement is awful.
- Motorists seem to speed through here in a race to arrive first at the next pinch point in the road.
- When you're down in the underpasses, there's no chance to "escape" to a sidewalk in an emergency.
- It can be difficult and dangerous to make a proper vehicular left turn off of Bloor St.
It's no wonder that cyclists take to the sidewalks here. But instead of hanging up some signs to address the symptoms, maybe something can be done to address the actual problems of the dangerous and scary roadway?