April 08, 2023

Site Check Along College

Happy Easter, everybody!

On the week of March 6, the City of Toronto started construction on College Street to upgrade the existing bike lanes. Raised cycle tracks are called for from Manning to Spadina Avenues, while at grade cycle tracks using parking curbs will be used from Spadina Avenue to Avenue Road. Since I had errands to do in the area yesterday, I decided to check on the progress done so far.

Rendering of College Street upgrades (via City of Toronto)

When I got on College at Huron Street, I noticed parts of the bike lanes east of Spadina had narrow buffers painted in; something which had already been done last fall. With work progressing from west to east, I anticipate the barriers will be added here last and shouldn’t take that long to do.

After passing Spadina Avenue, I was reminded why the upgrades were needed in the first place. The existing bike lanes were placed in the door zone and I almost got doored on this street. Hopefully this will become a distant memory later this year.

Construction pylons could be seen on the eastbound side when approaching Bathurst Street. However, no work has been done on the westbound side yet.

The bike lanes currently end at Manning Avenue. One piece of good news is City Council approved a motion made by Councillors Alejandra Bravo and Dianne Saxe to include extending the College bike lanes west from Manning to Lansdowne Avenues as part of the 2025-27 Near Term Cycling Implementation Plan, as well as to start design and consultation work. A move that’s long overdue which I argued in this recent interview with CJRU 1280 AM. It is unfortunate Dundas Street from Sorauren Avenue to Bloor Street didn’t get added on.

After turning around at Manning, I saw the pylons have been put in place to block access to on-street parking and bike lane.

Some construction equipment and more pylons could be seen just before Markham Street. There was a mound of gravel in the block before which I didn’t snap a picture of.

The block in front of Shoppers Drug Mart just past Markham Street has been dug up, while some wooden pieces for the upcoming concrete pours have been put in place.

Things are back to the status quo once past Bathurst Street to continue with the errands.

Please be cautious when cycling on College from Manning to Bathurst, though I’m sure construction will continue to progress east in the weeks ahead leading to additional bike lane closures.

As Toronto continues to expand their bikeway network – including on Bloor Street from Runnymede to Resurrection Roads which will be subject to public consultations this week – I hope this city continues to upgrade existing bike lanes with protection. The ones on Davenport Road were upgraded from Bedford Road to Bay Street last year, while a short stretch to Dupont Street remains. If only the rest of Davenport from Dupont to Old Weston Road could get this kind of treatment …

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