Ugh. Toronto is building new roads, but despite all the talk about making the city more pedestrian and cycling friendly, cyclists and pedestrians are still second-class citizens.
First off, a belated happy new year! As my first post of 2015 I'd like to talk about turning over a new leaf. It seems like my former nemesis, ex-Councillor Adam Vaughan and I can finally agree on something. In this case on beautiful, sturdy dividers for protected bike lanes. Here's what Vaughan had to say about an example in Vancouver:
What separated bike lane should look like. Try parking a truck here! Beauty should drive planning.
I'm digging into improvements for the new protected bike lanes on Richmond, Adelaide and Simcoe. These lanes, known as cycle tracks by the planners, are currently a pilot project and are part of an environmental assessment that still needs to be approved by City Council. Previously I looked at better protecting cyclists at intersections.
This is part 2: Doesn't help if it's hard to get to the cycle tracks
I'm quite happy—like many cyclists—that we've got new protected bike lanes on Richmond, Adelaide and Simcoe. These lanes, known as cycle tracks by the planners, are currently a pilot project and are part of an environmental assessment that still needs to be approved by City Council.
Previously on this blog I had panned a redesign of Yonge Street by young landscape architect Richard Valenzona, but which was given the prestigious NXT City Prize by a panel of judges which includes our Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmat.
As Schrödinger's Cat had pointed out, Valenzona's design was suspiciously similar to the Exhibition Place, London design which looks now like this:
The City, with its just announced revision to the Harbord-Hoskin plan, continues to be unwilling to take radical steps to protect cyclists, nor to ensure that there are certain routes where cycling safety is paramount. Instead they would prefer to not disturb the god-given rights of car drivers to convenient parking.
Ottawa actually builds protected bike lanes. In Toronto we like to think and talk about it a lot.
The saga for a north-south route continues as the City drags its feet on planning safe intersections. John Street bike store, Urbane Cyclist, isn't taking it lying down.