West end cyclists may want to attend tomorrow evening's public meeting about the Annette St. bike lane. 6:30pm at the Annette Recreation Centre. Details about the meeting are posted here.
I frequently ride along Annette St., especially the section between Dundas and Jane streets. It's actually a pretty decent east-west route through that part of the city, except for the fact that the pavement is in absolutely terrible condition. It's primarily a residential area, with some small shops, schools, and several churches along the way.
As part of this year's re-paving, it appears they will finally be putting in the bike lanes that have been promised in the Bike Plan for ages. Personally, I'd be happy enough if they just fixed the pavement and didn't put in any bad cycling facilities. But if they can put in something good (at the expense of parking) I'm all for it.
This lane would connect to the Runnymede bike lane (north-south), a southbound route to the waterfront via High Park Ave., the Humber River trail system via the Baby Point area, the West Toronto Rail Path, and also continue eastward along an eventual Dupont St. bike lane.
I'm not sure if there has been any community opposition to this bike lane, but it might be a good idea for cyclists to attend this meeting so that we can 1) find out more about the project, and 2) provide input so that it gets done in a bike-friendly way.
A few points that I think are worth bringing up at the meeting:
- It is essential that bike lanes are NOT built in the door-zones of parked cars. Parts of the Runnymede bike lane are completely unusable because of this.
- Make sure the bike lane at intersections does not create a right-hook situation for cyclists. The bike lane should remain wide, and the line dashed, to encourage motorists to merge properly before trying to turn.
- The excellent design and implementation of the eastern terminus at the Annette / Dundas / Dupont / Old Weston Rd. junction is critical. This collision of several busy roads can be tricky, even for experienced cyclists. Some specific points that should be done here are:
- Improve the lane markings and lane direction symbols on the roads. They have been almost completely worn off for some time now. It is not always obvious where cyclists and motorists should be positioned when traversing this intersection, especially when traveling between Annette and Dupont.
- Consider sharrows placed in the middle of the lane going under the Dupont St. railway underpasses. When it comes time to upgrade Dupont St., the actual lane configuration can be re-worked. (Yes, this is just outside of the current bike lane's implementation, but the connection is critical)
- Maybe this would be a good place to install a "bike box" and advanced green for cyclists so that we can easily take the lane?
- There can be a significant amount of right-turning traffic from Annette St. onto Dundas St. Make sure the bike lane doesn't dump cyclists into a right-hook zone.
- What about enforcement? The Runnymede bike lane almost always has cars parked in front of certain stores, and at Runnymede Station. What will be done to prevent the Annette St. bike lane from becoming a parking lot for the schools and businesses?
What do you think? Post your own ideas and suggestions here, and better yet, bring them to the meeting. If you can't come, please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and Ward 13 councillor Bill Saundercook email@example.com