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City

Bloor Street bike lanes might get another chance

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 17, 2013

toronto bloor bike laneA new chapter may be about to unfold in the epic saga of the Bloor Street bike lanes. Prompted by emails from residents and advocacy groups, a group of councillors is asking city staff to reume a halted environmental assessment into curb-separated bike lanes on Bloor from Sherbourne to Keele.

"The conversation around bike lanes and completing the bike network in the City of Toronto is an ongoing one, it seems to be forever evolving," says Cllr. Kristyn Wong-Tam, one of the signatories. "That's what the letter does, it basically asks staff to start the [environmental assessment] process one more time."

The assessment would delve in to the merits and possible disadvantages of bike lanes on one of downtown's busiest east-west arteries, covering the effects on turning, intersections, businesses, and other elements of the street.

Six members of city council whose wards cover Bloor - Ana Bail√£o, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Gord Perks, Adam Vaughan, and Kristyn Wong-Tam - signed the request asking city staff include the lanes on their list of transportation projects for 2014 in May. The item was deferred until after the summer break at city hall.

toronto bloor bike laneDespite annual rides in support of more cycling infrastructure on the street, there has been no official movement on Bloor since the incomplete environmental assessment was binned in July 2011 with the Jarvis Street lanes.

Now, more than two years later, Jared Kolb from Cycle Toronto is "cautiously optimistic" council will vote to resume the EA, even if the cycling advocacy group would prefer an investigation that covers the Danforth as well.

"What we're saying is 'that's not quite enough,'" he says. "We would much rather see the original terms of the EA brought back, which was for the entire corridor of Bloor-Danforth, and we are also pushing for a pilot project ... we don't need to wait around for a multi-year EA."

That pilot project, visualized above, would involve converting the south side of Bloor at the Annex in to a fully separated bike lane at the expense of street parking. The results would be measured and used to inform future policy, Kolb hopes. At time of writing almost 800 people had signed a Cycle Toronto petition in support of resuming the assessment.

"I think it's really important to note that there is a difference between 'let's put these bike lanes in tomorrow' versus 'let's study the feasibility, let's determine the impact, let's determine the best type of lanes,'" cllr. Wong-Tam says. "All of that will come out of the environmental assessment."

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Cycle Toronto, Eric Robinson/blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

81 Comments

Deric / September 17, 2013 at 03:02 pm
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The same people who complain about cyclists taking up a whole lane on the road, are the same people who will complain about bike lanes taking up too much street space.

It's time to see some separated bike lanes on a street that needs them, like Bloor.
iSkyscraper / September 17, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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The extreme narrowness of Toronto's downtown streets always makes inserting bike lanes a challenge, even where they are badly needed. (Jarvis was a notable exception to this colonial-one-chain-width issue, but Mayor Biff Tanner sure took care of that one, eh?.)

Despite having many downtown bike lanes of its own, New York is not a good comp in this case, as most of the bike lanes in central Manhattan are either on very wide one-way streets (bikes taking one out of five lanes) or on narrow sidestreets where there was only room for one lane of vehicular traffic and one bike lane to begin with.

DC may be a better comp for this sort of parking-for-bike-lane trade:
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/20129/ddot-tries-to-fill-gap-in-11th-street-bike-lanes/

Or Seattle:
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikeprojects/nNe65th.htm

More on the theory behind it:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/no-bike-lanes-dont-hurt-retail-business/6833/

Personally, I think this will work fine on Bloor and should at least be tried out. Bike lanes are not expensive to build, after all. Try it in paint, and if it works, make it permanent with barriers, street landscaping and other measures. If real, hard data shows it to be a disaster, find another solution.
Jay / September 17, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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So now cyclists will have an option between riding in the lanes, or running down pedestrians on the sidewalk. Cool. It's nice to have options.
Liam replying to a comment from Deric / September 17, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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I couldn't agree more. It amazes me how many drivers are against bike lanes just out of resentment. They don't realize that bike lanes would get cyclists out of their way!
Jess / September 17, 2013 at 03:24 pm
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I live in downtown Toronto and have considered getting a bike many times (it would be so nice to have!) and still haven't purchased one because I am a worried about driving it on the street. I've heard many stories (and even witnesses some of this while waiting for the bus) from bicyclists who have been almost side swiped by cars turning right or by doors being almost or completely opened into them. I would love to see more bike lanes as it would make me and everyone else feel a lot safer while biking.
Mr Kanyo replying to a comment from Jay / September 17, 2013 at 03:32 pm
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Valid sarcastic argument?
Squint / September 17, 2013 at 03:33 pm
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If it was to happen it needs to be better than the lanes on Sherbourne. Learn from mistakes. A simple little bump dividing the lanes won't work. It makes biking an issue as many (many, many) cars/trucks will just hop it and park in the bike lane. It should be those flexible posts, as I understand that emergency vehicles might need to take up the bike lane if there is urgency. And not to mention actual patrol by the police to take care of cars that do park on the lane.
hamish wilson / September 17, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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It's been a long few years getting scant done; no action on the bit of Bloor between Church and Sherbourne that has been in the bike plan either this last decade.
And as much as I like Bloor/Danforth bike lanes, including helping the transit by load-shedding, bi-directional lanes were dismissed as unsafe 16 years ago by staff when an Annex business owner suggested them: too many conflict points from all the turns - and the blocks remain the same; and for Harbord too.
So if this is the proposed pilot; nope - I've always thought of just mere paint like we usually do them, just to start it!
Svej replying to a comment from Jess / September 17, 2013 at 03:40 pm
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Totally agree! I recently moved to Toronto and was too scared to bike on the streets, but I started out biking around using sidestreets and working up progressively to busier streets. You get used to it after a while, you know what to watch out for, and you get familiar with the streets. Also check out the Humber Valley, Waterfront, and Don Valley for really nice vehicle-free multi-use pathways. There's so much to explore! Don't let a lack of bike infrastructure keep you from enjoying a bike! :)
Anthony / September 17, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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A good east/west bike lane is definitely a good idea. I think a lot more people will take bikes to work if they didn't feel like it meant taking their life in their hands.The completion of the Queens Quay/Lakeshore path next summer, and a good separated path in the north end of the city will be an excellent incentive for people to ride. I will preempt all the Mr and Mrs. Angrie's by saying that the significant advantage to more people riding are all health related and have nothing to do with sliding to the left of the political spectrum and spiraling the city into a hippified frenzy of orgiastic bohemianism bottoming out into a wasteland of nogoodneck unemployed losers with no sense of civic duty. Really, I promise.
miss_n replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 17, 2013 at 03:49 pm
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Oh FFS iSkyscraper its not the narrowness (you want narrow? VISIT HOLLAND) its all the On-Street Parking Toronto so feverishly protects.

Seriously, thanks to parking no one drives in the right hand lane on Bloor anyways. Might as well put in some bike lanes.
Dogma / September 17, 2013 at 03:53 pm
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I think Bike Lanes on Bloor is a pipe dream. The cycling lobby would be better focusing on ensuring that a proper set of lanes gets built on Harbord and Wellesley and then go from there.

The challenge for Toronto is too few one-way streets, which are a natural fit for a separated two-way bike lane, and too many streets that are already occupied with street cars. The only way to set up bike lanes on most of these roads is to suck it up and take some parking and lane space away from drivers and that's like trying to pound water from stone.
ionstorm replying to a comment from Jess / September 17, 2013 at 03:56 pm
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I've been commuting by bicycle from Fordland to downtown for the last six years (year round), and while I mostly have the luxury of the Martin Goodman, duking it out in the streets is not nearly as bad to do as it is to watch. And no matter how bad it is, the city needs more bikes. I do a stretch on Queen W and there are sections where there are so many bikes that the cars don't even venture into the right lane. I absolutely want to see more bike lanes, but even without them, getting around by bike is still the best. Get out there and do it! Be careful, absolutely, but do it! You'll be glad you did and we'll all be happy to have you there.
johnsonstarfish / September 17, 2013 at 04:21 pm
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How about, instead of bike lanes, install tolls to get less cars on the road.
Steve / September 17, 2013 at 04:22 pm
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Not if the Fords have anything to say!
Deric / September 17, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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I don't drive because I'm too afraid.
John / September 17, 2013 at 04:26 pm
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We actually need three bike lanes so we can all get along
Bike Lane #1 - For full time riders with their own bikes
Bike Lane #2 - For Bixi Riders that want to cruise and explore
Bike Lane #3 - For E-bikes.

Simon Tarses / September 17, 2013 at 04:40 pm
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Build a tunnel and put the bikes underground.
Biker replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / September 17, 2013 at 05:44 pm
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Or an elevated bike highway!
Dylan / September 17, 2013 at 06:04 pm
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I don't think they'll have too much trouble getting bike lanes put on the Danforth, it is a wide enough street and a bike friendly community. Bloor's a different story though. Its far from a bicycle community plus then they have the Bloor-Yorkville BIA to deal with who paid $25 million three years ago to put in super-wide granite sidewalks in hopes of drawing crowds to their high-end stores. They don't care about bike lanes, they're more interested in valet access and sidewalk appeal (excuse the pun).
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from John / September 17, 2013 at 06:47 pm
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In Toronto, e-bikes are prohibited from using the bicycle lanes and paths. So John's comment about another lane for e-bikes is not a joke. E-bikes have to use the regular traffic lanes, sorry car drivers, even though they are limited to 32 km/h.

BTW. Bicycles are limited to speed of no more than 20 km/h on bicycle park paths and trails.
Holy Thundering Jesus / September 17, 2013 at 07:10 pm
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never gonna happen
kn / September 17, 2013 at 07:17 pm
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Great idea but the 75% of the cyclists refuse to follow any rules of the road. I could see the total mayhem when they actually have to ride in one lane. How about we start by requiring that every cyclist use a helmet, a $2 light and not ride up every one way the wrong way....they might also try and stop at stop signs and red lights too.
Actually intelligent replying to a comment from John / September 17, 2013 at 07:22 pm
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Umm i'm sorry... no... you get a lane going each way and that's it. Toronto doesn't need any more wasted space.
Ben replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 17, 2013 at 07:23 pm
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Hahahahaha...extreme narrowness?! You can't be serious in that statement.
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from kn / September 17, 2013 at 07:33 pm
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kn:

Just like the 75% of the motorists who refuse to follow any rules of the road?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / September 17, 2013 at 08:11 pm
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And the 98% of bicyclists who openly flaunt the rules of the road, or sidewalk, or anything else.
Mayor McGrabass replying to a comment from Ben / September 17, 2013 at 08:12 pm
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Uh, I don't see what's so funny, Ben? Bloor IS narrow, which is why there is an issue with putting bike lanes along it. Between Lansdowne and Church, the only place it widens is at Christie Pits and just past Spadina. With parking on both sides for much of the street, it's a vexxing issue.
kn / September 17, 2013 at 08:19 pm
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W.K I actually agree with you. No excuses for their stupidity. But who gets the raw end of the deal when there is an incident? Either the pedestrian or the cyclist. Soooo why would you ride your bike at night the wrong way up a street without a light knowing you are taking your life into your hands? 90% of cyclist are too stupid to even buy a $2 flashing LED light. I believe there should be bike lanes but the city needs to have a real plan that accommodates for the needs of all forms of transportation. If you take away hundreds of parking spots you need to compensate for this move. This plan doesn't do that. In fact this is just another half baked idea by single minded councillors.
A little puzzled... replying to a comment from kn / September 17, 2013 at 08:22 pm
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Why is riding with traffic so dear to you, anyway? Pedestrians are encouraged to walk against traffic when there are no sidewalk for safety, why wouldn't the same be true for bikes???

I ask because I ride against traffic in the bike lane on Wellington between Bathurst and Strachan, and there is never any motorists who honk or frown at me because there I ensure to ride safely/am very visible, and for the motorists, there is a clearly demarcated bike lane, which is what I think makes all the difference to Nervous Nellies like you.

The way Toronto's traffic is getting, I'd think anything to keep Toronto traffic from being congested should be utilized, and that includes allowing bikes to travel against flow as long as it is done safely.

Thoughts?
the lemur replying to a comment from kn / September 17, 2013 at 08:37 pm
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75%? You sure that's the randomly chosen number you want to go with?

Riding in one lane actually works pretty well. Not going to argue that there aren't cyclists who run stop signs and red lights or go the wrong way (I bike and all those things annoy me), but, uh, requiring a helmet? Helmets aren't legally required. What's it to you?
the lemur replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / September 17, 2013 at 08:38 pm
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I think you mean 'flout'. Although there probably are a few law-abiding cyclists who flaunt their compliance.
the lemur replying to a comment from kn / September 17, 2013 at 08:39 pm
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Taking away parking spots is not such a big deal as long as you move them to adjacent streets. That's what happened while the Jarvis lanes existed and also when Sherbourne was put in (more parking spaces were actually created than previously existed).
todd / September 17, 2013 at 09:24 pm
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If that first picture is anything to go by, it would be an absolute disaster. How would the car in the right lane be able to see the 2nd bike lane when making a right? Not to mention the absolute clusterfuck of traffic it would cause if there was only 1 lane for each direction of traffic, would take 60 mins from keele to sherbourne.
Sean / September 17, 2013 at 09:41 pm
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Perfect time to get all cyclists licenced and on insurance to pay for their spot on the road.
Gabe / September 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm
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I really like the hind quarters on that lady in the first photo. Quite the ride.
Gabe / September 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm
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I can appreciate that...
Me replying to a comment from Gabe / September 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm
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LOOK!! It's MONEEEEESHA!!!!
the lemur replying to a comment from Sean / September 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm
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Yeah, sure, because licensing and insuring drivers totally pays for their share of the cost of roads.
Steven / September 18, 2013 at 12:40 am
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Businesses will suffer as cars make bigger purchases than cyclists.
the lemur replying to a comment from Steven / September 18, 2013 at 01:18 am
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That's been shown to be untrue over and over again. In fact recent studies indicated revenue going up.
michael / September 18, 2013 at 07:37 am
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an environmental assessment on Bloor St in Toronto? I think it's all paved!
formerTDotresident / September 18, 2013 at 07:58 am
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I wholeheartedly support this measure. Toronto's bicycle infrastructure is pitiful and this would be a great step in changing that.
Seanster / September 18, 2013 at 08:54 am
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Can't understand car drivers who don't support bike lanes. I drive to work down Bloor reasonably often and I never take the inside lane if I can help it. It's just too narrow and bumpy for cars and bikes to ride side by side. If I can't safely pass a bike, I don't mind following one for a while until I can. I'm actually grateful to bikers who go to extremes to share the rode with me, after all, if they took their legal place in the middle of the lane, all us car drivers would be screwed indeed. Car drivers should be aware, the bikers are sharing much more than we are and taking great risks to do it.
j-rock / September 18, 2013 at 09:34 am
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This city loves nothing more than having the same arguments over, and over, and over. We already know who is in favour of this, and who is against it. We can also predict with an incredible level of accuracy, the arguments that will be made by both sides. Can we just skip all the back-and-forth, and jump ahead to the point where nothing actually gets done?
first replying to a comment from miss_n / September 18, 2013 at 10:02 am
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Great lets bring on the bike lanes.
Now as someone who owns several properties along bloor that will be affected who will pay for my lowered income due to lack of parking.

And do not say it does not happen because each time they dig up the streets my revenue drops and it hurts my businesses. these businesses support the communities and employee people. each time the roads are torn up people have to be let go do to lack of revenue. so less cars = less traffic = less money. Simple equation.

So who is going to pay for this? As a business owner this does not help me in any way.
As an employer this does not help me in any way.
As a member of the community that employee's people this does not help in any way.

So for a few unskilled people who can't ride a bike in the city. I have managed to do this for over *20 YEARS* without one single issue and that includes riding in the snow and ice.
None of my employee's have ever said one word of complaint of riding to/from work except for rain/snow.

If you are so afraid to ride in this city then you have 2 options
DO NOT RIDE try this new thing the kids are doing called walking or use the subway.

OR

Move into the suburbs and ride around the 'safe' neighbourhoods those losers have.

Do not screw up my city because you can not ride a bike properly.
I do not need to cut employee's who have families to support.
I do not need to make *MY* community that I work and live and invest in to suffer due to a small minority that are incapable of learning how to operate a bike properly.




the lemur replying to a comment from first / September 18, 2013 at 10:19 am
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Every kind of roadwork involves disruption, but it gets done anyway and things go back to normal. Just ask the businesses that mysteriously don't go under when bike lanes have gone in.

Bike lanes have actually been shown to increase business: http://www.mnn.com/money/personal-finance/blogs/bike-lanes-tied-to-increased-consumer-spending

Bike lanes have nothing to do with being unskilled or unable to ride a bike properly and everything to do with making traffic safer overall and more welcoming to shoppers regardless of mode of transport.

I seriously doubt that you actually own any businesses or do any kind of skilled job, in part because you seem to lack the ability to write worth a crap. Hint: plural of employee is employees.
Ben replying to a comment from Mayor McGrabass / September 18, 2013 at 10:35 am
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Nope. Bloor Street is highway compared to many of the streets I have seen bike lanes on throughout Europe.
Yet another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 10:36 am
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Wow. I read through a ton of comments and not one mentioned the impact on local business.

When it comes to bike lanes on Bloor/Danforth, I think the bike lane lobbiest would do well to get support from bankruptcy laywers and moving companies, since eliminating street parking on Bloor and even more so on Danforth would result in a rash of businesses going bankrupt or just closing down.

If you look at Danforth, it's filled with restaurants and those eateries rely heavily on people coming to the Danforth from all across the city at all times of the year. Imagine some couple decided to ride their bicycles from south Etobicoke to the Danforth for a nice Greek dinner when it's 30 below or 30 above or when it's snowing or raining. Never going to happen, right? The reason the Danforth is clogged with traffic is people are driving their to spend money at the local businesses.

Don't get your hopes up for bike lanes on Bloor/Danforth any time soon, unless we elect more Lefty crackpots who are anti-business. We already have too many, what with Perks, Vaughan and Layton.
the lemur replying to a comment from Yet another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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Didn't 'first' talk about the impact on businesses?

Was there a rash of bankruptcies and businesses moving out when bike lanes went in on College? Harbord? Queen?

Concerns about the loss of on-street parking is mainly in the minds of delusional alarmists. Parking can easily be shifted to side streets. Has already happened without problems.

'Imagine some couple decided to ride their bicycles from south Etobicoke to the Danforth for a nice Greek dinner when it's 30 below or 30 above or when it's snowing or raining'

Nice exaggeration. No one is suggesting that. Bike lanes would be mainly for the benefit of locals, plus the Danforth happens to be right on a subway line anyway.

The idea that a bike lane is enough to kill off businesses has repeatedly been shown to be unfounded:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/no-bike-lanes-dont-hurt-retail-business/6833/

Yet Another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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Actually, never mind. I just had my completely unresearched assumptions corrected pretty hard:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/no-bike-lanes-dont-hurt-retail-business/6833/
Jeff / September 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm
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Further reading and research on how bike lanes do NOT hurt local business:

http://greenlaneproject.org/blog/view/here-are-the-four-reasons-protected-bike-lanes-help-local-businesses
Yet Another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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Again, I'm really sorry about this. From now on, I will make sure something's factually true, before I rush to type it onto the internet.
hamish wilson / September 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm
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With the parking issues (real in some minds), some years back in all of this I did a rough count of the on-street spaces in the tight 4kms of Bloor St. W. from Spadina out to Dundas St. W., and the compared to the Green P capacities, easily figgered out via the internet, and we had then roughly two, 2 times as much off-street parking through this corridor as would need to be given to bike safety by getting drivers to walk a bit. Not that logic is part of all this; and not that an EA would think that comprehensively, but the subway doesn't only provide a major fast non-car mobility option for 500,000 daily riders, it's often meant a lot of off-street parking too.
miss_n replying to a comment from first / September 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm
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Oh FFS "first" you do know that Bloor street is wide enough to accommodate both parking AND bike lanes? Don't you?

Also if you're getting tired of the city ripping up the street, talk to the folks making utility cuts and constantly digging up pipes.

I'm not afraid to ride on bloor in its current incarnation, but I know some people are. And frankly if you can't handle progress, then tough, call a whaaaaaambulance.
Elizabeth replying to a comment from Yet Another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm
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That's really cool you kept an open mind after having such an initially strong opinion. People don't usually do that (at least online.) Good for you.
Josh / September 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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In certain cases and areas it wouldnt hurt business and in other cases it would. One article cannot speak to all cases.

Local area residents and businesses should have final say or a very weighted vote.

I think it would hurt business on the danforth if youre to remove street parking for bike lanes. Most of the area lots and streets are already full most times.

Yet Another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm
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You're welcome, Elizabeth. It's easy to fly off the handle online, and start anonymously personally insulting public figures, especially after a lifetime of sexual frustration and failure. Being single and unemployed makes me so bored that I have the free time to argue with strangers, though I recognize that it benefits me in no tangible or emotional way. Anyway, want to have a picnic with me?
Graeme / September 18, 2013 at 01:23 pm
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NO and more NO!

Look, I'm all for bikes having a safe place to ride (well those that can actually follow the rules of the road at any rate. The rest deserve to be run over.) But many of Toronto's streets are too narrow, or too congested with other things to have bike lanes make any sense.

You want bike lanes, put them on streets that are adjacent to the major roads. The streets that are quieter and are not filled with cars, pedestrians, a million street poles, garbage bins etc...

It just makes sense.
the lemur replying to a comment from Graeme / September 18, 2013 at 02:49 pm
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A lot of the streets that are 'too narrow' or 'too congested' are that way because of on-street parking.

Cyclists already use the quieter side streets those don't need bike lanes. But there aren't a lot of streets 'adjacent' to major roads - you can't go very far by taking something that's parallel to Bloor.

I don't know what poles and bins have to do with bike lanes - those things are on the sidewalk and this is about reorganizing the space on the road.
Rich / September 18, 2013 at 03:12 pm
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Few things: 1) Have any of the 'opposed' ever been to Europe? Our roads/car lanes are very large in comparison
2) When bicycle lanes, ones that have curb style seperation from the car lanes, are put to use, the bike traffic and car traffic rarely come into contact with each other allowing vehicles to move as they would like without those pesky bikers in the way and vice-versa. Case in point, the Netherlands.
3) If there were dedicated bike lanes, more folks who would like to ride would do so as the safety factor becomes much more manageable for the masses. ....therefore folks, the need for more and wider car lanes would diminish BECAUSE there would be more people enjoying themselves whilst attaining a higher level of fitness rather than a higher blood pressure level caused by sitting in a gas guzzling/environment killing money trap!!!

Go on vacation to Amsterdam and check out how it really CAN and DOES work people. It is a remarkable thing to witness! Literally EVERYONE rides there which results in a very healthy and fit population. The noise pollution/environmental pollution level in what is surely a very congested town is kept to a minimum as there are more bikes on the road which leaves a lot less noisy motors speeding around.

The list goes on and on, but bottom line is we are approaching the whole topic in a very narrow minded way in my humble opinion.
Completely seperate lanes for cars and bikes is an absolute must on main arteries (including seperate signal lights for both sets of lanes). Painted lines is all that is needed on side streets as the traffic is much less on those streets.
I have ridden thousands of kilometres on the streets of Toronto over the last 15 years or so and have ridden in Europe as well. The enjoyment of riding where there are concessions for both vehicle traffic AND bicycle traffic is a great thing! Honest. It really does work.

There is no reason why both car drivers and bike riders alike shouldn't be able to share the same roads. Nor should either 'group' be so vehemently AGAINST each other. It feels like the RC's against the Protestants! Just a little bit silly I say.

WE CAN DO BOTH. Effeciently at that. We just need to look at other examples of how to get it right as they have done in other places.

Oh, and for those reading this and are getting more worked up about my seemingly anti car vibe....I have driven 100,000's of miles all over the world also.
Just sayin'!

Thanks
Mayor McGrabass replying to a comment from Ben / September 18, 2013 at 04:31 pm
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Yeah Ben, but we aren't talking about Europe, we're talking about Toronto. And for a major thoroughfare, Bloor is narrow.

If Europe is germane to this conversation in your mind, then I should probably mention the photos I took of manatees in Florida last winter, because they' are equally relevant.
Mayor McGrabass / September 18, 2013 at 05:54 pm
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And if anyone's wondering, yes, I am still a virgin, and I'm also fat.
Elizabeth replying to a comment from Yet Another Dave / September 18, 2013 at 07:18 pm
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Okay. I'll meet you at Liberty Bellwoods Park at 3 pm tomorrow. Okay? I'll be the fat woman in the red dress.
Ben replying to a comment from Mayor McGrabass / September 18, 2013 at 07:19 pm
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Fuck you.
Ben replying to a comment from Mayor McGrabass / September 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm
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^No idea who wrote that, but it wasn't THIS Ben, so Mayor McGrabass, do not mistake me for an oaf who cannot partake in intelligent debate.

To your comment I have this rebuttal: to say that streets of similar dimensions, carrying the same modes of transport, in a country of similar affluence, with population densities in the same order of magnitude, and comparable land use patterns cannot serve to inform decisions regarding bike lanes on Bloor Street is a falsehood. Professional urban/transport planners rely on the results of other case cities constantly, while, of course, keeping in mind the local context in which solutions from one city may be transplanted to another. Perhaps you read Bettencourt et al.'s article on the allometric scaling of cities and the effect on wealth, innovation and crime (http://bit.ly/gM6Kg8)? I will assume that you haven't and give you a brief synopsis of their findings: geographic proximity has little to nothing to do with how similar cities behave, and accordingly, planners/policy-makers should be looking at size and spatial characteristics when seeking other like-minded cities from which to adopt policies.

With that said, before I was only talking about Bloor Street's size and ability to handle a bicycle lane. Having spent considerable time living in Europe, I can say that I have seen similar proportioned (and smaller) streets carry car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic in livelier, busier, attractive, and frankly, more exciting city centres. I think that this observation is, to borrow a word, germane to the discussion at hand.

I stick by my point. Bloor Street is only as narrow as you envision it.

Dave replying to a comment from Ben / September 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm
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"do not mistake me for an oaf who cannot partake in intelligent debate."

I don't think he was mistaken but then again, you two are both on the same level.
Mayor McGrabass replying to a comment from Dave / September 18, 2013 at 11:28 pm
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Fuck you Dave!
Jeff / September 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm
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TAKE YOUR PICK ALREADY!!!! We can't support everything do you want us to support BIXI or Bike lanes. Pick one!!!!
Gabe / September 19, 2013 at 12:08 am
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I still can't get enough of the hind quarters on that lady in the first photo. Do you remember the Movie Weird Science where those guys got to design their own woman? So cool...
Me replying to a comment from Gabe / September 19, 2013 at 11:04 am
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I still think it's MONEEEESHA.
Me replying to a comment from Jeff / September 19, 2013 at 01:09 pm
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Ah, but the Left don't worry about where the money comes from. That's what the working folk are for.
Alex / September 19, 2013 at 01:23 pm
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Sounds perfect. Street parking on major streets is useless. All it does is slow down traffic, so one person can walk a block less. Why would stores be upset? Instead of having space for one (or two cars max) per store, you have a lane that encourages people to drive by your store and see your wares, and they are already in a mode of transportation that means they can stop whenever, lock up their bike, and come in. Get rid of street parking on Yonge, King, Queen, Eglinton, Bloor, Spadina, and anywhere else we have a major street that still has street parking. Replace it with a car lane or a bike lane, I don't care which, just something useful that eases congestion.
Graeme / September 20, 2013 at 04:16 am
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Make cyclists have bicycle licences, insurance, wear helmets and have lights.
the lemur replying to a comment from Graeme / September 20, 2013 at 08:45 am
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Licences and insurance don't guarantee good conduct on the part of drivers, so why would it work for cyclists? Licensing bikes is also less cost-effective regarding the expense of administering it.

Having said that, I might agree to include a bike provision on my driver's licence and insurance.

Making people wear helmets is a lost cause.

Cyclists are already legally required to have lights.
Me replying to a comment from Graeme / September 20, 2013 at 10:09 am
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Or just ban the nasty things.
Tim replying to a comment from Graeme / September 20, 2013 at 02:22 pm
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I agree with Graeme. If you want to have equal respect on the road then the playing field should be equal.

Might help with the cause for bike lines if you prove you had "X" amount of registered licensed cyclists on the road. That paid a registration fee for their right to be on the road.
the lemur replying to a comment from Tim / September 20, 2013 at 04:46 pm
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What about people who already held driver's licences? Would they pay extra in addition to their licence/registration fees?

A registration fee paid by the driver of a car doesn't give the 'right' to be on the road - it allows the vehicle to be used. Similarly, a driver's licence doesn't provide an entitlement for a particular car; it just allows the holder to operate *a* vehicle of the appropriate category.
Graeme and Tim / September 20, 2013 at 08:24 pm
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Sorry everyone. We didn't realize the City has studied bicycle licensing numerous times, and it's always come back completely, laughably unworkable:

http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/safety/licensing/history.htm
RT replying to a comment from Graeme / September 22, 2013 at 12:37 am
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Graeme, without being disrespectful, your comment just made me fart.
Phil replying to a comment from Biker / October 11, 2013 at 04:58 am
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Holy Shit, now how about that one...

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