June 27, 2020

June 2020 ActiveTO Update

Earlier in June, I saw the first ActiveTO installations set up along Dundas East one week after being approved by City Council. The City has continued to roll out new bike lanes with University Avenue from Adelaide to Bloor and Bloor Street from Avenue to Sherbourne being the latest additions. Yesterday, I biked a loop consisting of Shaw, Bloor, Sherbourne, and Richmond Streets to check out the progress.

Improvements on Shaw Street

One of the projects approved in April was to repave Shaw Street from Dewson to Dupont; as well as change the direction of two sections in order to further reduce motor vehicle volumes and improve safety along the popular north-south route. While riding along Shaw, I noticed the Dewson-Roxton project – also approved in April – has been completed.
Contraflow bike lanes were installed on Dewson from Shaw to Roxton and on Roxton to connect with existing sharrows on Dewson further west. One way bike lanes were painted from Dewson to Harbord.
Further up on Shaw, I noticed the change in direction and much needed new asphalt. The direction change means it is no longer possible for motorists to go straight on Shaw at Bloor.
A barrier was supposed to have been added at Essex Street to prevent motorists from going through but still allow bikes. Something done in Vancouver and Ottawa. Unfortunately, it wasn’t installed at this time.

Extra Wide on University and Queen’s Park

I rode on University from Adelaide to College last weekend. At the time, only construction barrels were used for protection along with paint. Since then, bollards have been installed from Adelaide to Bloor.
At some intersections, the bike lane deviates to the right. I was informed the City is planning to test designs for protected intersections; something that is long overdue and called for at Bloor and St. George since Dalia Chako’s death two years ago.
Since I didn’t do the Queen’s Park circle yet, I rode on it before continuing onto the Bloor East gap. Concrete parking curbs were added as well as bollards there. Factor in the extra wide bike lanes and you have some of the best quality pilot bike lanes ever done.
If there is one part of University and Queen's Park which is less than ideal, it's this loading zone next to the Royal Ontario Museum.

No More Gap on Bloor!

Originally, the Bloor East bike lanes from Sherbourne to Church Streets were supposed to have been built in 2017. Several delays have pushed this back to 2022 and could have been delayed further. Thanks to ActiveTO, the gap – along with sharrows from Church to Avenue – has finally been filled in with protected bike lanes despite objections from the Bloor-Yorkville BIA. This means the Bloor bike lanes are now a 5.5 kilometre continuous route from Shaw to Broadview.
While the Church to Sherbourne section is wide enough to accommodate both bike lanes and parking, the same cannot be said for Avenue to Church. Loading zones were added at several locations which put the bike lane in the door zone. Seriously, enough with this dangerous design! Hope it can be fixed in the event these bike lanes become permanent.
Left turn boxes were added at the Bay and Bloor intersection even though Bay does not have dedicated bike lanes at that point.

Added Protection on Richmond

Once back on Richmond, I noticed the addition of low concrete walls similar to those seen on Lake Shore from Norris to First. While they were first identified a few weeks before, I can confirm they are continuous from Jarvis to Bathurst Streets with a few exceptions for construction areas including between Duncan and John Streets.
Heading back, I took Argyle for one of the last times before work begins on Monday to complete the bike route from Ossington to Shaw.

Onto Danforth and Bloor West

With the Bloor East gap now filled in, let’s keep our eyes open for Danforth and the Bloor western extension to complete the 15 kilometre continuous bike route from Runnymede to Dawes. A Destination Danforth webinar was hosted by the Danforth East Community Association – as well as Councillors Bradford and Fletcher – on Monday, June 22 which was mostly supportive. Some of the design elements will help improve pedestrian safety including paintable curb extensions and traffic signal changes to give people a head start, while businesses will have the option to give up parking spaces in favour of patios. Parking will be maintained on both sides while bike parking and bike share stations will be added.
Destination Danforth is expected to start construction in mid-July, while the Bloor western extension is still expected for August at the latest. I will report on the Danforth and Bloor western extension once they are built.

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