March 05, 2024

West Parkdale Cycling Connections Consultation

Earlier this evening, the City of Toronto hosted the West Parkdale Cycling Connections public consultation which I covered in an earlier blog post. Sometime before this meeting, I found out from the Parkdale Community Updates Facebook group that a petition was being circulated to pause this project (which was closed off this evening due to the heated debate). Given that opposition was brewing for this project, I attended to show my support and encouraged others to do the same. However, I will also discuss some legitimate concerns that were raised.

By the time I arrived at around 5:45 PM, I overheard city staff who were present saying that over 100 people had signed in at the consultation. A very good turnout, while the Parkdale Hall appeared reasonably full. When I asked city staff about what they heard, they said the project wasn’t as controversial as Parkside, but that there was still a fair bit of negative sentiment.

This consultation was the first one I attended which saw someone bring a protest sign; specifically calling for the pre-COVID status quo of unfettered car access in High Park. No thank you!

Fortunately, there was a fair number of supporters present as well. Here’s Keri, Kay Pea, and Dafydd.

There was a sizeable crowd around Councillor Gord Perks who was calmly listening to some folks who were vocally opposed.

While checking the scrum around Perks, I spoke with someone who was concerned about the conversion of Sunnyside to one-way with bike lanes in both directions. There were a fair number of sticky notes expressing opposition to this move. While it would be nice to have the bike lanes in both ways for this short stretch connecting Parkdale Road to Galley Avenue, I had a feeling the part of the project around Sunnyside would be controversial and didn’t feel too strongly about it. Depending on the feedback from the consultation report, I wouldn’t be surprised if the short contraflow on Sunnyside gets scrapped and replaced with wayfinding sharrows.

Another concern I heard from a couple of people involved the flipping of directions on Macdonell between Fern and Garden. They mentioned the directional change could encourage increased use of a nearby laneway. Another person suggested the possibility of having parking alternating sides to create a chicane as a way to slow down traffic (which is certainly worth considering), while other traffic calming measures such as speed humps were suggested throughout the project. One sticky note suggested an advisory bike lane for Macdonell (and Seaforth).

Upon looking at the roll-out plan for Macdonell, I noticed the unmarked contraflow treatment will go north of Galley and go all the way to Rideau which would then lead to the Lansdowne bike lanes to continue north (or continue north on Macdonell to get to Sorauren Park, the Fermanagh contraflow, Roncesvalles, and High Park. I also noticed a short stretch of contraflow bike lane next to Fern Avenue.

If the direction switch at Macdonell were to be scrapped over these concerns, a stop sign will be needed at Galley Avenue. I heard someone express concerns about cyclists at risk about being clipped when drivers turn right onto Galley, so that is certainly worth considering.

Faraz Gholizadeh of Safe Parkside was also there, and he suggested making Claude one-way northbound. Having lived on Claude for a couple of years, I noticed southbound traffic was more common, but we can agree Claude is too narrow to allow two-way traffic. However, more analysis will be needed on the impact of making Claude one-way; especially if Glendale was also to be made into an alternating one-way south of Merrick which will impact access to the emergency entrance of St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

The comments regarding the eastern part of the project along Seaforth Avenue were generally more positive, while the contraflow on Galley Avenue was also viewed positively.

If you weren’t able to attend the consultation, you can submit your feedback online by Tuesday, March 19. While there may need to be some tweaks needed to address some of the concerns raised, I feel most of the project can remain intact which will make cycling through Parkdale a lot more pleasant.

1 comment:

  1. Rizaldo Padilla06/03/2024, 09:12

    I'm a cyclist and I love bike lanes. However, the short contraflow on Sunnyside to Parkdale Road paired with one-way traffic going south provides plenty of opportunity for high speed collision. When I'm going downhill on Galley (not gonna lie) I'm going to speed and maintain my momentum with a rolling stop at Galley and Sunnyside. I'm hoping that the one way traffic flushing down Sunnyside will slow for me. And when I turn on to Parkdale going downhill, I'm met with on coming one-way traffic. And I'm hoping that would slow for me. Someone is going to get hurt and it wont be the car driver. And going opposite way from Glendale up to Sunnyside on my bike. No way. It's too hilly. I use this part of the street to get to the bike path on Lakeshore. The two way traffic for cars works because it forces drivers to slow down for each other. As a result, it would be quicker for drivers to stop and if there is collision, it would be at slow speed. Remember these are streets and meant to be shared. And if means sharing adds to congestion, then so be it for safety sake.