Wider bike lanes and sharrows to help cyclists through intersections and to make it past the DVP highway turnoff have been installed this week on the Bloor Viaduct. Thanks to Michelle St. Amour of bikeSauce for providing some investigative photos. (bikeSauce is a DIY bike repair hub and community space at Queen and Broadview, and being eastenders likely have an interest in an improved Viaduct.)
Staff have indicated that widening the bike lanes have required narrowing of the other lanes, but that this provides the added benefit of motor vehicles slowing down. There is studies that show narrower lanes reduce traffic speeds, increases traffic calming thus making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
For years cyclists had to put up with a pinch on the curve going eastbound before the Viaduct. Cars and trucks would almost always drift into the bike lane as they turned, leaving cyclists vulnerable. This small change has likely made a big difference:
[img_assist|nid=3988|title=Removing the pinch|desc=Photo: Michelle St. Amour|link=node|align=center|width=500|height=375]
At the east end of the Viaduct there is an offramp to the Don Valley Parkway. Cyclists were always forced to negotiate from the bike lane through cars turning off and end up two lanes to the left so they could continue on the Danforth. Even now with sharrows to help cyclists make those lane changes it is probably a struggle. The sharrows will help immeasurably to indicate to drivers and cyclists where cyclists will likely make those lane changes:
[img_assist|nid=3989|title=Sharrows to help change lanes|desc=Photo: Michelle St. Amour|link=node|align=center|width=500|height=375]
A big impetus for the City improving the Viaduct bike lanes was a result of the Ward 29 group's report that argued that improving the Viaduct as one of the prime concerns for cyclists in the Ward 29 area (which includes the Danforth). The Ward 29 group was instrumental in pushing for improvements in their ward as well as being a showcase for other ward groups under the bike union's umbrella ward advocacy program. This is a win, not just for the bike union, but for the local community!