March 20, 2024

Eglinton Catch-Up for March 2024

On Sunday, I wrote about the East Don Trail and had mentioned the eglintonTOday Complete Street project was expected to go to the Infrastructure & Environment Committee next Wednesday. Upon reviewing the agenda released this morning, it turned out the item will not be debated and will instead be dealt with in May. However, Motion IE12.4 covers several cycling projects such as Ferrand Drive, Galloway Road, Portland-Dan Leckie, Silverthorn, Weston Cycling Connections, and the Jones Street upgrades. Advocates are encouraged to e-mail by Tuesday, March 26 at 4:30 PM to show their support for any items that are relevant to them. Now, let’s get back to discussing last weekend’s site check along Eglinton.

While I previously checked the Leslie to Kennedy stretch in July 2022 and the Allen to Yonge stretch in June 2023, I never covered Yonge to Leslie. After turning right onto Leslie, there is some green paint for a bus stop and buffered bike lanes which merge into the sidewalk when crossing the Don River. You can also make out the LRT portal.

A couple of signs instructing cyclists to keep left and pedestrians to keep right is shown, but how is this possible when the sidewalk is narrow and you don’t have a line demarcating pedestrian and cycling space?

The buffered bike lanes end at Brentcliffe Road.

Unfortunately, the Brentcliffe to Mount Pleasant stretch of Eglinton will not be part of Phase 1 of eglintonTOday. Given the dangerous five lane design – including an eastbound high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane – it would only make sense to cover the entire underground part of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT at once. Having said that, this part of Eglinton is more residential with frequent driveways which will increase the risk of motorists blocking the cycle track when it does get built here.

The next stretch of bike lane appears in front of Leaside station at Bayview Avenue. Unfortunately, no cycle tracks were built in front of Laird station. From here, density increases all the way to Yonge Street.

The “bike lane begins” sign appears slightly before where they actually start in front of Mount Pleasant station which may create some confusion.

Unlike most stations which used a standardized white box with glass and orange trim, Mount Pleasant station’s primary building repurposed an old Imperial Bank building which Metrolinx undertook an extensive effort to preserve the original façade. Something Toronto and other cities need to encourage more of.

The complete street is still under construction between Holly and Yonge Streets with lots of fencing and pylons.

The Yonge and Eglinton intersection is fully open to car traffic, but a final layer of asphalt is needed for the cycle tracks between Yonge Street and Duplex Avenue.

The cycle tracks from Duplex Avenue to Avenue Road are now completed with some parts having bioswales.

At Avenue Road, I turned around to get back to Yonge Street.

There was one 80-metre stretch from Avenue to Highbourne Roads which only had a painted bike lane going eastbound in front of the PetroCanada gas station before it becomes a raised cycle track again.

Passed by Eglinton station before turning off onto Yonge Street to go home.

Back in November 2023, David Lepofsky – who chairs the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance – claimed the new bike lane design was dangerous given pedestrians could wander onto the bike lane. While I wouldn’t go as far as claiming the design should be illegal, future raised cycle tracks need to be designed so that the height of the bike lane is between the roadway and the sidewalk.

When the eglintonTOday Complete Street project finally comes to IEC, advocates also need to call for an extension of the Midtown Yonge complete street to Eglinton as soon as possible. Bikeways need to be considered as a network and this action will help maximize use of bikeways on both Yonge and Eglinton.

For those who wish to express their support for Eglinton, Cycle Toronto has this petition which you can sign and share.

No comments:

Post a Comment