The first cycle track in Toronto is now complete! After all the politics and foot-dragging, Toronto is now in the club with the likes of New York City, Chicago, Montreal and Vancouver.
Christina Bouchard created a quick video and the City of Toronto released a press release (thanks David Juliusson):
The City of Toronto has completed construction of its first cycle track - a lane for bicycles that is separated from motorized vehicle traffic. The new lane is located on Sherbourne Street between Bloor Street and King Street.
Over the next few years, Toronto is creating a 14-kilometre network of cycle tracks in the downtown area.
The Sherbourne cycle track has new features that distinguish it from the City's painted bicycle lanes:
• Buses don't stop in the cycle track. It is raised to sidewalk level at bus stops to provide accessible passenger loading. Cyclists are required to stop for passengers getting on or off buses.
• Bike boxes have been provided to assist cyclists making left turns when connecting with east-west bicycle lanes on Shuter Street, Gerrard Street and Wellesley Street.
• Parking next to the bicycle lane has been removed and parking lay-bys have been provided at six key locations to facilitate pickup/dropoff activity and commercial deliveries
Toronto City Council has adopted a Cycle Track Bylaw setting out the rules of operation for cycle tracks. The bylaw provides for a $150 fine for drivers who stop or park their vehicle on a cycle track.
The only exemptions to the bylaw are the following three:
• emergency services or police vehicles actively responding to an emergency
• Hydro and utility vehicles in the lawful performance of their duties
• Wheel Trans vehicles actively loading or unloading passengers
Toronto Transportation staff are working with the Toronto Police Service and Parking Enforcement staff to ticket and tow vehicles that are illegally blocking the cycle track.
Frequently asked questions and other information about cycle tracks are available at http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/network/downtownupgrades/.
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.