October 07, 2023

October 2023 Consultations and Construction

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

With summer now over, there are two public consultations coming up for the Portland – Dan Leckie Cycling Connections and the Avenue Road Study. I will discuss these projects in greater detail, as well as some recent site visits on Palmerston, College, and Bloor.

All photos for Portland - Dan Leckie and Avenue Road are from the City of Toronto unless otherwise stated

Portland – Dan Leckie

The Portland – Dan Leckie bikeway consultation will be held on Monday, October 16 (6 – 8 PM) at the Bentway Studio (55 Fort York Boulevard). While the website had been up since August per this earlier post, more details have since been released and the survey is open until Friday, October 27. A report will go to the Infrastructure & Environment Committee (IEC) in January 2024 followed by installation next summer.

On a lighter note, Robin Richardson pointed out that I was featured in one of the photos during the November 2021 Esplanade-Mill opening event. It turned out so was Mozzie in the cargo bike! (a.k.a. Mozzmobile) 😊 Credit goes to Jun Nogami for the photo.

Back to the details, there are a few things worth pointing out.

  1. The Richmond cycle track from Augusta to Portland would be made bi-directional to connect with the Denison-Bellevue bikeway. I prefer converting one short block on Queen for a more direct link.
  2. A bi-directional cycle track is proposed from Queen to Front Streets. While bi-directional cycle tracks are no longer best practice, Portland may be too narrow for uni-directional ones.
  3. Traffic diverters will be placed at Wellington Street which will certainly help lower traffic volumes and provide a smoother cycling connection. (see cover photo)
  4. There is an existing multi-use path on Dan Leckie Way from Fort York to Lake Shore Boulevards. Should pedestrian volumes get high enough, an on-street option may be needed in the future.

Avenue Road Study

More than two years since Miguel Joshua Escanan’s death, the Avenue Road Study finally has some design options! A public consultation will be held on Thursday, October 19 at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church (230 St. Clair Avenue West) while comments are due by Thursday, November 2. A report will go to IEC in Winter 2024.

For those who bike, only the Bloor to Davenport stretch will be considered for cycle tracks as was originally proposed in 2020 under ActiveTO. Given this, the design is “further advanced compared to the rest of the study area” per Page 32 of the presentation slide deck. The number of traffic lanes will be reduced from six to four to accommodate cycle tracks, while some parts will see parking kept on one side.

Having walked along Avenue Road during the 2021 World Day of Remembrance event (see below photo from Jun Nogami), I can vouch for how narrow the sidewalks are and understand why the focus from Davenport to St. Clair will be on widening sidewalks. People biking can use either Yonge or the Poplar Plains / Russell Hill north of Davenport, though those who call for bike lanes on every arterial will be disappointed.

There are two sections on Avenue such as Balmoral to St. Clair and Chicora to Macpherson which have three northbound traffic lanes. For both stretches, I would suggest removing one of those lanes to provide wider sidewalks.

I support the centre median option at Clarendon-Farnham, while I oppose the centre median options between Macpherson and Edmund as they reduce available pedestrian space. Fortunately, that is not the preferred option.

Site Check Roundup

While doing some errand on Friday afternoon, I noticed the Palmerston bike lanes are painted in from Bloor to Ulster Streets, though one block from Lennox to Herrick Streets will only get sharrows. The Ulster to College stretch has the lines chalked in and should be painted in really soon. Hopefully next week?

For those wondering if Sanscon will ever get that job done on College, I finally have some good news. While some finishing touches are needed, the eastbound cycle track from Bathurst to Spadina has finally been asphalted and is now rideable.

A lot of work is still needed for the westbound cycle track, while there is still no word on when the barriers will be put back in east of Spadina.

On Bloor, you can finally make out the eastbound cycle track form from Bedford to Avenue.

You can also see a left turn lay-by for cyclists at Bedford.

Moving Forward

Next Saturday, Community Bikeways will be hosting a celebration ride for the new Bloor West Complete Street Extension, which will be a good opportunity to find out if any progress has been made with the barriers. Some others have reported the Douro-Wellington bike lanes have been completed all the way to Blue Jays Way, while the Gladstone bike lanes have been painted in from Dundas to Peel Streets.

Slowly, but surely, this city is getting better for people who bike. We will find out soon enough what kind of impact Mayor Olivia Chow will have on bike lane installations going forward.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the comprehensive updates! I am not optimistic about the state of the Bloor bike lanes in BWV for the ride in mid October.