December 03, 2019

Send Peel-Gladstone Back To The Drawing Board

On Monday, December 2, the City of Toronto hosted a second drop in meeting regarding Peel and Gladstone Avenues. While I couldn’t go to this one, I was able to prepare some thoughts on the revised plan.
Original Peel-Gladstone Proposal (via City of Toronto)

The original plan called for one way northbound motor vehicle traffic on Gladstone Avenue from Minowan Way to Peel Avenue and one way westbound on Peel Avenue with contraflow bike lanes provided on both streets. Some of the concerns raised include opposition to having three consecutive one way westbound routes for drivers, traffic from Minowan Way being directed onto Peel, and neighbourhood traffic congestion. Given these concerns, the City opted to keep two way traffic on both streets while continuing to allow the contraflow bike lane on Gladstone from Argyle Street to Peel. One option called for sharrows and the other bike lanes in both directions.

Unfortunately, neither of these revised options will be appropriate for the cycling community for the following reasons:

Option A – Sharrows do not count as infrastructure. End of story.
Option B – The presence of on-street parking means placing bike lanes in the door zone on one side. Not only would this design put people riding bikes at risk of getting the “door prize”, the design would impair proper snow clearing efforts. This idea needs to be thrown out of Toronto’s design book ASAP.
If we are to reject both design options, how can we make it better while addressing the concerns raised? Let’s go back to the original contraflow proposal and make the following changes:
  1. Switch the direction of Alma Avenue to one way eastbound so we don’t have three consecutive one way westbound streets.
  2. Switch directions on Gladstone to one way southbound with northbound contraflow bike lanes to be consistent with Gladstone further north.
  3. Allow two way traffic on Peel from Minowan Way to Gladstone but keep it one way westbound west of Minowan Way. This – along with switching directions on Gladstone – would allow people driving on Minowan Way to get back to Queen via Gladstone and provide a low traffic environment for people riding bikes.
  4. Add a traffic signal at Dufferin and Peel which can be synched with the Queen and Dufferin signal and help improve access to the West Toronto Railpath extension.
Comments are due on Friday, December 13, so be sure to let the City know neither sharrows nor door zone bike lanes are acceptable. 

Rob Z (e-mail)

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