June 28, 2024

June 2024 Bloor Site Check (+ Danforth-Kingston Consultation)

The last time I visited Bloor Street in Etobicoke was during a bike count with Community Bikeways (TCBC) which also happened to be the first day of bike lane construction from Aberfoyle to Resurrection. Construction has largely wrapped up since then including the installation of barriers, so I thought I would use my day off work to join TCBC’s “Koffee on the Kingsway” at Café de Flore and check out the newly installed bike lanes.

Koffee on the Kingsway

On my way over, I noticed a temporary bike lane was set up just east of Yonge Street to accommodate ongoing construction to expand the Bloor-Yonge subway station.

Just before I went inside Café de Flore, I saw a fox wandering on and off Bloor Street.

Seven of us – myself included – showed up for today’s “Koffee on the Kingsway”. In this photo are myself, Albert, Wayne, Jennifer of The Etobicoke Voice, and Ian. I ordered a flat white and an apricot Danish; the latter of which is awesome! Definitely recommend visiting this café if you are in The Kingsway.

After the meetup wrapped up, I travelled west to see the newly installed Bloor bike lanes. While some construction pylons remained, the barriers are largely in place.

Even with two westbound lanes plus a turning lane at Islington, there was enough room for a wide cycle track.

Just west of Islington is a bus layby which goes to show the arrogance of space in the area.

One problem with keeping two westbound traffic lanes under the subway and Milton GO line is the cycle track was pretty narrow.

Approaching Resurrection Road, westbound Bloor Street widens to four traffic lanes.

At Resurrection Road, you can see the newly installed cycle tracks transition to the raised cycle tracks completed in 2020 as part of the Six Points reconstruction. You can also see two left turn lanes to get onto Dundas Street.

Speaking of Dundas Street, Metrolinx recently launched the next phase of the Dundas BRT project with a focus on the Toronto stretch from the Mississauga border to Kipling station. Three design options were provided which all accommodate cycling, so be sure to give your feedback by July 24.

Hopefully this bike share station at Six Points will get even more usage now that the bike lanes are fully continuous. 😊

Time to head back eastbound. Here is how the Resurrection intersection looks when heading east.

Thankfully, the cycle tracks are a lot wider going eastbound.

Some purple paint and bollards were placed at some side streets to create tighter turning radii and slow down motor vehicle traffic.

At Islington Avenue, I stopped documenting and continued east to Chinatown for some errands.

During yesterday's City Council meeting, Councillor Stephen Holyday tried to get the Bloor West Complete Street Extension removed during the 2025-27 Bike Plan debate along with other proposed arterial bike lanes in Etobicoke. Fortunately, his efforts to get Bloor removed failed by a 5-17 vote. Unfortunately, Councillor Brad Bradford – who championed the Danforth bike lanes installed in 2020 – became a traitor to the cycling community by voting to remove the Bloor bike lanes WHILE RIDING HIS BIKE! Another disappointing outcome is that not a single councillor brought forward a motion to make the bike plan bolder, so the 100 km recycling act stands.

Here's a video Ben Singer made a couple of weeks back for another Bloor perspective.

Danforth-Kingston Consultation

On Tuesday, I attended the Danforth-Kingston Complete Street Extension public consultation at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School which was standing room only with more than 100 people in attendance.

Jason Diceman with Toronto’s Public Consultation Unit told the audience over 1000 people submitted feedback online!

Kyle Gatchalian walked through the presentation slide deck which you can see at the project website. I also wrote about it in an earlier blog post.

Councillor Parthi Kandavel took a dig at Councillor Holyday’s chaotic February 28 meeting by saying he looked forward to a respectful conversation unlike in Etobicoke. He said he would support bike lanes in places which don’t involve the removal of traffic lanes which appears to be the case for most of Kingston Road.

A Q&A period was held after the staff presentation and the councillor’s remarks which Councillor Kandavel sat through the entire time. About 20 questions were brought up, but here are a few highlights.

  • Ella Wind with Danforth-Kingston 4 All asked as a parent about how city staff are consulting with Toronto’s youngest people; in which staff called on parents to attend on their behalf.
  • One person (Hasan?) asked about building a bridge to get to the Cenotaph instead which Becky Katz confirmed is not being planned.
  • Nicole – who lives near Danforth – talked about the narrow sidewalks and 70-80 km/h traffic speeds and challenged Councillor Kandavel how he planned to do safety without removing car lanes which got a lot of applause.
  • Ron claimed the Danforth will cause disappointment no matter what and wants RapidTO lanes installed instead; to which Becky said are not ideal for less confident cyclists including children.
  • Jess Spieker of FFSS got the loudest applause by saying Vision Zero is a choice and that the lack of barriers means people walking or biking will be killed or seriously injured in collisions.

You can see the full presentation and questions in Phillip D’Cruze’s video.

One concern I brought up was the two Waterfront connections which would see one eastbound traffic lane removed to accommodate a bi-directional cycle track. Since the width of the eastbound traffic lanes and sidewalk were over 14 metres, I suggested the possibility of widening the sidewalk into a multi-use path while still keeping the traffic lanes to help address Councillor Kandavel’s concern and that of other bike skeptics. I was informed one of the gaps wasn’t subject to road resurfacing, as well as concerns with property lines.

If you couldn’t make it to any of the Danforth-Kingston consultations, please give your feedback by July 15. Phase 2 consultations are expected this fall, but the atmosphere on Tuesday was mostly positive which I was told was also the case at other meetings.

1 comment:

  1. On the Kingston Road segment (Chine to Brimley), I don't wonder if its not worth ressurecting the idea of paving the existing trail through Bluffers Park, and ideally, tacking on a small extension to the foot of Midland. This was proposed some years ago and got a lot of negative feedback from the locals for some reason. But that was then, this is now. The TRCA bought out the house at 1 Midland, so the TRCA/City should have pretty much all the property they need to run from the foot of Midland to Brimley with off-road Waterfront Trail. One would still hope for a safer Kingston Road as well, but it strikes me as great way to promote safe, easy-access cycling in the area and build that community.