There is an open house today at Metro Hall for the John Street "pedestrian improvements". There's a new councillor, Joe Cressy, but the same old plan which gives all the space over to either cars or patios, leaving cyclists to a small space between the cars and the planters separating the patios from traffic.
There is still no safe crossing of Queen Street between Spadina and University, which is incredible given the amount of bike traffic. There is still no other solution that works as well as John Street which is in essence being taken away from cyclists. Cyclists at Soho/Peter still have to make a jog to cross the streetcar tracks at an odd angle, a risky move for many.
Urbane Cyclist is moving their store from John to Spadina. Is it possible that this decision was influenced by the lack of support by the City for this cycling route? It might have played a part.
I've addressed John and Soho/Peter a few times, but since little has changed even with a new councillor it is worth retreading what I've covered before:
- Why John Street is important to a downtown protected bike lane network: John is more direct, safer and more convenient than the alternative of Soho/Peter or any other.
- How for a brief moment cyclists accidentally had the most perfect protected bike lane. Until they installed the tables and chairs.
- Is there anything for cyclists in the John Street plan?: without bike lanes to help people of all ages and abilities keep separate from car traffic, John Street will be worse after the "pedestrianization".
- How City staff fudged the numbers to make cycling traffic appear inconsequential: City staff failed to count cyclists properly and inserted a fudged number of 2% at all times of day. Volunteers counting showed that the actual numbers can be as high as 30% of all traffic on John!
The best improvement to John would be for the City to make them one way for car traffic to provide enough room for bike lanes and patios. But if the City insists on giving John Street over just to cars and patios, there needs to be a proper plan in place to accommodate cyclists on Peter and Soho. The City has moved the traffic lights, but cyclists are still required to cross the streetcar tracks an odd and unsafe angle. Soho and Peter looking south:
Instead of the jog we could have something more like this:
Apparently Mountain Equipment Co-op is now moving to the northwest corner and it would be awesome if they were open to allowing a bike lane to go through their property. Or a compromise like that proposed by former Councillor Adam Vaughan where the corner is shaved to make the crossing more direct.