March 28, 2023

Critiquing Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Phase 2

Since the Phase 2 consultation for the Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone (BHG) project conflicts with the one for the High Park Movement Strategy – both happening on Monday, April 3 – I opted reviewed the materials early and submitted feedback based on the available information. Phase 1 from Davenport Road to College Street was done last year.

Bartlett contraflow just north of Bloor Street

Reconsider The College to Dundas Stretch!

Perhaps the biggest disappointment with this project is the stretch between College and Dundas Streets. The proposal is to maintain two-way vehicle access with the painting of sharrows. Seriously, WTF is the City thinking; still resorting to sharrows in 2023?!?! Hasn’t it been established long ago that sharrows don’t count as infrastructure and are often worse than doing nothing? If you plan to attend the BHG consultation, please tell city staff you oppose this outdated measure and instead, push for a contraflow bike lane as with the rest of the corridor.

Given the City suggested a southbound thru traffic restriction in the afternoon, I would suggest making the street one-way northbound with a southbound contraflow lane to remove the need for this measure.

Neighbourhood Greenway from Dundas to Peel

Two options are provided from Dundas Street to Peel Avenue and I don’t see why the City bothered presenting the first one which called for a contraflow bike lane on the east side next to parked cars while maintaining all vehicle movements. Putting the contraflow bike lane next to parked cars is a significant safety risk with motorists needing to cross the bike lane to get in and out of parking spaces.

Proposed traffic flow from Dundas to Peel Streets - Via City of Toronto

Contraflow bike lanes should always be placed on the opposite side of parked cars which is what the second option (a.k.a. neighbourhood greenway) calls for. This option calls for additional traffic diversion, including a cycling only block between Argyle Street and Alma Avenue. Traffic would be diverted at Collahie and Argyle Streets, while Argyle would be converted to one-way eastbound between Gladstone Avenue and Antonio Lopes Lane. One additional consideration for the cycling only block is the need to decide whether to change the traffic direction for Alma Avenue (to one way eastbound) or make Gladstone from Peel to Alma one way northbound.

Traffic Signal at Dufferin Street

The last part of the project deals with the traffic signal at Dufferin Street where residents are being asked whether they want it at Alma Avenue or Peel Avenue. Peel is the preferred option to improve access to Pessoa Park and the West Toronto Railpath, while accessing Dufferin Street would be a lot easier at Peel given the short bike lane between Peel and Queen. If only bike lanes could have been installed on Dufferin between Queen Street and Springhurst Avenue to improve Waterfront access …

West Toronto Railpath at Dufferin Street (via Craig White / Urban Toronto)

Next Steps

The deadline to submit your feedback is Monday, April 17. Even if you cannot attend the consultation, it’s important to stress your opposition to sharrows between Dundas and College, while supporting the rest of the BHG project. The presentation slides were unavailable at the time of writing – which would have indicated when the project will go to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee as well as construction timeframe – though I expect it should be later this year.

UPDATE 2023/03/31: The City released the slide deck which allowed me to clarify what was being proposed at Gladstone and Argyle, as well as include maps of both the College to Dundas and Dundas to Peel sections. The direction change south of the cycling block was not previously disclosed.

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