The Cycling Unit at the City of Toronto has been collecting data of people's cycling routes. They've been collecting it via a phone app that collects GPS data while cycling. I recently got a copy of the City's preliminary map of cycling densities from that app thanks to John Taranu.
The City Core is interesting (we already know that the suburban cycling volumes are low). I'm going to assume that a lot of the people using the app were probably the less casual type; they're more passionate about cycling. They probably used the app mostly on their work commutes. Given that, it looks like that from the east most commutes are channelled into Danforth or Dundas East. From the west people end up skipping Bloor and going down to College, Harbord or Dundas. Or all the way down to Queen and then Adelaide/Richmond.
It makes me think that getting cycle tracks on Adelaide and Richmond was a huge win. Probably the biggest in the last couple decades. And I will say arguably, more important than Bloor bike lanes.
Next let's look at another map. This is from the recent survey of draft proposed routes from the City's ten year bike plan. Thanks again to John Taranu, this time for combining the two maps the Cycling Unit staff presented in the survey.
It's unfortunate that they decided to use the same green line regardless of whether it's a bike lane, cycle track or just a "signed route". The narrow green line means it's already installed; wide green that it's approved. The red lines are proposed and are more likely to be included in the bike plan.
There are some nice solid additions, including Bloor, Yonge and Kingston Road. But again looking at the core shows that despite having by far the highest volume of cyclists in the city that staff have decided to wimp out and do little. Sure we'll get Bloor and an extension of the Railpath (but not plowed in winter), but looking at the traffic volume map and it shows that all the cyclists on College, Dundas or the ones trying to connect to the new cycle tracks on Richmond and Adelaide will get next to no relief. Parkdale and further west is mostly out of luck.
Staff are taking the politically expedient route by ignoring the gaps on College in particular. College has the highest cycling traffic volumes in Toronto! College was one of the first to get bike lanes but looks like we'll have to wait at least another decade before anything improves there. For shame.
Is it wrong to think that we should be prioritizing where people are already cycling and making it safer and more enjoyable for them?
W. K. Lis
In the suburbs, streets areSun, 08/02/2015 - 10:21
In the suburbs, streets are for cars. There maybe bike trails, but they don't go where you need to go. Like stores, schools, or theatres.
David Juliusson (not verified)
I live in Ward 6. My realityWed, 08/05/2015 - 08:40
I live in Ward 6. My reality is this. In 1998 John Vandenberg died at Royal York and Lakeshore. That got the Lakeshore between 1st and Norris to be put onto the 2001 Bike Plan. In 2013, Sue Trainor died at Dwight and Lakeshore. The government jumped into action. Instead of a bike lane we get a government report. A lane will happen in 2016 or 2017.
At Lakeshore going east from Park Lawn is a section that right now is used as parking for construction is a few block piece that was a bike lane when we were Etobicoke. It is known by the Councillor, Cycle Toronto and the city. Eventually it will be a bike lane again, but when. Beside it a 66 storey building is being built plus a number in the 38 storey range. This area is a major traffic jam every morning.
The Lakeshore is a major arterial road. It is the only east west road in Ward 6 that leaves our ward. We get reports, community consultations but no bike infrastructure.
RZaichkowski (not verified)
I agree the College bikeSun, 08/02/2015 - 13:06
I agree the College bike lanes need to be completed and that Parkdale needs a bike lane on Queen. It's a shame the West Queen West study did not have a clear mandate, given there aren't any east-west alternates to Queen and King west of the proposed Railpath extension and CAMH-Adelaidde connections. It is something that remains Ward 14's top priority after Bloor, but it will likely be a longer term process to get the community and businesses on board.
W. K. Lis
Any plans to include bicycleSun, 08/02/2015 - 16:19
Any plans to include bicycle lanes on the Queensway reconstruction between Claude and Roncesvalles Avenues. All I found was this PDF at http://www.tcat.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Roncesvalles-at-Queen-Reconstruction.pdf which says nothing about bicycles lanes.
Alex K. (not verified)
First of all, let us hopeWed, 08/05/2015 - 15:16
First of all, let us hope something will get done. In Toronto we like to draw lines on maps whether it is a highway network, transit or bike infrastructure. At the end we just spend our spare time on cheap debates.
Even if bike lanes on Yonge, Bloor, Danforth etc. are built they will be of limited use to someone who lives, works and plays in the core. Downtown bike lanes will be flooded by users from surrounding neighborhoods and many core-only cyclists will be forced on streets without bike lanes if they want to get somewhere quickly (what is happening in Montreal).
There are many European streets which have just as narrow as a 20m ROW and safely accommodate transit, bikes, pedestrians and local traffic. The problem is that those designs are not familiar to our Transpo and City Cycling won't propose a street layout that Mr. Buckley won't sign off.
On IdeaSpace for WQW study I proposed removing on-street parking and restricting the road space to local traffic only so the curb lane can be used as a protected bike lane. Instead they study the sharrows on College. Apparently someone who drives from Georgetown or Barrie has more right to the road space on College, Dundas, Queen or King than a cyclist who lives, works and spends all her money in Toronto.
Yes we need more bike lanes in the core but the proposals won't probably come from the bike plan. They should come from the grassroots (such as the King West transit mall proposal that would accommodate bikes).
hamish (not verified)
The long-festering problem ofMon, 08/10/2015 - 16:28
The long-festering problem of east-west bike safety in the old central-west core is again being passed over with this new bike scheme, though yes, finally, we may see a bit on Bloor. The direly needed and most important parts of Bloor however, are west of Ossington where Harbord ends, and options dwindle to main roads, and only Bloor is close/free of tracks. To push for further duplication of bike lanes in the central core is less-wise to selfish, when it's really west of Ossington that is in great need of safety, and the City has known for 30+ years of this danger, and ruled out putting in this segment in the 2001 Bike Plan.
In the central core, yes, then I will agree with Herb that Richmond/Adelaide are Big Wins, perhaps a tad more important than Bloor as there aren't core options. Yet once again, these fade to nothing, and there is Zero Vision to push the east-west routes forward, despite high ridership and the real need for bikeway relief. The TTC doesn't want to move on bikeway relief on Bloor, though it's free capacity really, and they remain in their silos elsewhere eg. King/Queen, as honestly, bikes are competition, and they make money from the core to ship to the suburbs.
The role of bikes to ease transit has to be incorporated: and when the staff of the Cars Dept. write about corridor studies to constrain bikeways, what about the transit corridors being in desperate need of relief, and according to Places to Grow and Official Plan etc., don't we want to help these trans*it corridors?
Whether through overload or ordering, or something else, how the City has done the College St. facility on the map used in current consultings is foul. It is marked as a continuous green line, but there's a big difference between the painted bike lanes along wider College from Bay to near-Manning, and then the sharrow/bike markings in the tighter curb lanes that are parked upon 87% of the time, and with no signage indicating any degree of bike priority either.
So the west core is being sold out again; it's wrong!
Ed T (not verified)
Well, people are alreadyThu, 09/10/2015 - 11:17
Well, people are already riding where they ride, they don't need any more infrastructure do they? We need infrastructure where no one is riding.
That's weird logic, Ed T. SoThu, 09/10/2015 - 13:08
That's weird logic, Ed T. So you're saying that we should pay no attention to the safety or comfort of the routes that people are biking on?
There are many people biking on substandard, uncomfortable, and often unsafe streets. With your logic we would completely ignore their concerns. With your logic all the people who take College and are forced to battle it out when the bike lanes end can just suck it up: their safety is not the City's concern.
I think you're pretty much alone on this one.
Just keep in mind, that if we make the places where people are already riding even safer and more comfortable we'll see even more people riding on these streets.
RZaichkowski (not verified)
I would suggest ignoring EdThu, 09/10/2015 - 13:21
I would suggest ignoring Ed T. He goes by the alias "calgarykiaguy" and is one of the worst trolls on social media.
Antony (not verified)
Also good to be able to pointMon, 10/05/2015 - 19:11
Also good to be able to point to safe, high quality examples when you try to persuade inner-suburban residents' associations and BIAs (full of people who have never considered riding a bike in the city) to give up car parking.