July 04, 2023

Bike Brigade + Adelaide Site Check

Happy Fourth of July to our friends south of the border!

After work this evening, I got to deliver a FoodShare box with the Bike Brigade for the first time in almost two years. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic largely behind us, the organization still draws in lots of volunteers ranging from FoodShare delivery boxes to community fridges to ride marshalling. Something which I encourage you to sign up.

Photo courtesy of Dave Shellnutt

Given the recent complaints about the handling of the Adelaide Street construction – here’s a good explainer from Dave Shellnutt – I decided to take Palmerston-Tecumseth and Adelaide to get to my delivery location to check it out.

After turning onto Palmerston Avenue from College Street, I came across a contraflow bike lane which goes all the way south to Niagara Street, but a gap remains north from College to Bloor Street. Protected bike lanes are featured on one side between Richmond and Adelaide Streets pictured here.

While waiting at Bathurst Street, I noticed the old pavement markings leading to the right (south) side of the road were gone, but the new markings to the left (north) side have not yet been painted in. The right side has parked cars while a DHL delivery van could be seen blocking the new cycle track on the left side.

Aside from the DHL van blockage, I didn’t notice any other vehicles parked in the new cycle tracks. However, some cyclists still rode on the right side despite the new cycle tracks on the left which haven’t had the barriers put up yet. The barriers need to be installed ASAP to eliminate this confusion.

Some parts of Adelaide had construction pylons such as in this picture taken between Spadina Avenue and Peter Street. If Toronto can’t put up the permanent barriers right away, why not use the construction pylons as an interim measure?

The left side cycle tracks end at York Street where cyclists will need to merge into the one traffic lane remaining.

For now, having motor vehicle traffic restricted to one lane between York and Victoria Streets does give cyclists the opportunity to bike on the other side of the pylons for added safety, while the construction also helps slow down motorists. However, cyclists should always remain vigilant in these construction zones. The diversion streetcar tracks – along with the relocated cycle tracks – are not expected to be done until next year.

At Victoria Street, I noticed a “bike lane closed” sign which – combined with the streetcar tracks – is a crash waiting to happen. Per the City’s website, construction wasn’t expected to start on this stretch until mid-July. What the City of Toronto should have done was to keep the cycle tracks on the right side open until those on the left side are ready to go. If that isn’t possible, at least divert the bicycle traffic to nearby streets such as Shuter or Esplanade-Mill.

Victoria Street also had some bicycle signals installed on the left side, but will remain shut down for the time being.

The bike lane blockage disappears at Church Street (for now) where I turned off to finish my delivery.

Unfortunately, the City’s mismanagement of the Adelaide Street construction zone has lead to some crashes such as this one experienced by former Cycle Toronto board president Brandin O’Connor.

If you are concerned about the Adelaide construction zone, I encourage you to please e-mail AdelaideConstruction@toronto.ca, as well as copy Councillor Ausma Malik (councillor_malik@toronto.ca) given it’s in her ward.

Thanks Dave Shellnutt for calling out this Adelaide construction hazard, as well as to the rest of the Bike Brigade team for all their hard work over the past three years.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post and for including who we can reach out to with our concerns. Letters written!