February 17, 2024

Revisiting the East End Grid

Last year, the City of Toronto announced plans to upgrade existing bikeways on the Leaside Bridge to cycle tracks which were approved by City Council. However, there was still a big question mark on providing an additional north-south connection from there to Danforth Avenue. The City recently announced a public consultation scheduled for Thursday, March 7 (6 – 8 PM) at 816 Logan Avenue to address just that.

The City of Toronto's proposed bikeway connecting the Leaside Bridge to Danforth Avenue

The Proposal

The following bikeways are proposed to connect the Leaside Bridge to Danforth Avenue:

  • Sharrows on Hopedale Avenue from Pape Avenue to O’Connor Drive
  • Cycle tracks on O’Connor Drive and Broadview Avenue from Hopedale to Cosburn Avenues
  • Improvements to the existing Cosburn bikeway from Broadview to Logan Avenues
  • Contraflow bike lane on Logan Avenue from Cosburn to Danforth Avenues with three options

No More Sharrows!

One thing that makes me go ballistic is how the City of Toronto’s Cycling and Pedestrian Unit continues to propose pointless sharrows on certain routes! While the intent was to allow access to the bi-directional cycle track on the west side of Leaside Bridge without waiting for a traffic signal, Hopedale makes the overall route unnecessarily circuitous. Instead, the City should install cycle tracks on Pape Avenue to at least O’Connor Drive and extend those on O’Connor to Pape Avenue for a more direct route. A further southern extension to Cosburn Avenue could also be considered for a connection with the future Ontario Line stop.

My alternate proposal calls for a Pape-O'Connor-Broadview route to the Chester Hill Road contraflow

Extend the Broadview Bikeway

When the City initially reviewed north-south options from the Leaside Bridge to Danforth, Broadview scored the highest among four options. Unfortunately, the Danforth and Broadview intersection was recently reconstructed without any consideration for people biking on Broadview; meaning it won’t be possible to extend the proposed Broadview bikeway all the way to Danforth anytime soon.

Instead, the most likely solution would be to extend the Broadview bikeway to the Chester Hill Road contraflow which then leads to Cambridge and Danforth Avenues. This will also provide a much-needed connection to the Pottery Road trail. The existing Danforth cycle track would need a conversion to a short bi-directional from Cambridge to Broadview to allow people to bike eastbound.

Upgrade All of Cosburn

In addition to a left turn box at Broadview and Cosburn, the City proposes placing the westbound bike lane next to the curb from Logan to Broadview Avenues which could allow for protection to be added. While we’re at it, a separate proposal is needed to upgrade the rest of Cosburn Avenue to cycle tracks which is far superior than the existing door zone bike lanes.

The City of Toronto's proposal for the Broadview-Cosburn intersection

Mixed Feelings about Logan

While parts of Logan Avenue already have some form of bike lane south of Danforth Avenue, the overall design is inconsistent with a contraflow south of Eastern Avenue, bike lanes both ways from Dundas to Gerrard, and a one-way northbound bike lane from Bain to Danforth Avenues. Something that needs to be addressed with a separate project if a bikeway along Broadview south of Danforth is not possible anytime soon.

North of Danforth, three options for contraflow bike lanes are proposed. The first is a continuous southbound contraflow bike lane from Cosburn to Danforth Avenue. The second places traffic diverters at Browning and Fulton Avenues, while the third switches the direction between Browning and Fulton to one-way southbound for motorists (with a northbound contraflow). Normally, I would support traffic diverters, but I find it is poorly executed given drivers would not be able to go north of Browning without having to turn left onto Pape. At least the third option switches the direction of Carlaw to compensate.

Option 2 for Logan Avenue - Note how it forces northbound drivers to take Pape to continue north

While my preference is a cycle track along Broadview as close to Danforth as possible, I would still be open to a contraflow on Logan as long as the stretch of Logan south of Danforth can be fixed in due course.

What About Donlands?

While out of scope for this specific project, I feel there is still room to put in a cycle track on Donlands Avenue which would be placed between Jones and Greenwood Avenues. With upgrades to cycle tracks being considered for a short stretch of Jones from Queen to Dundas Streets, it would only be a matter of time that the rest of Jones be upgraded as well, which would make a bikeway on Donlands that much more urgent. Fortunately, Donlands is a candidate for the 2025-27 bike plan.

If you are unable to attend the consultation, you can submit your feedback online by Thursday, March 21 in support of building the grid in Toronto’s east end.

1 comment:

  1. I support the proposal as it is more sensible. It has 1) least bike commute time to downtown compares to Logan 2) Logan has more speed bumps, stop signs and intersections for potential accidents 3) proposed route will not negatively impact car traffic that much since most of the major roads feeding into Broadview are already single lane (pottery, Mortimer, and cosburn) 4) Cambridge and Chester Hill rd already have a bike lane. 5) it prepares the Broadview as a complete street for future mid rise buildings (as planned).

    Thank you for taking time to put this proposal together.