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Richmond and Adelaide might finally get bike lanes

Posted by Derek Flack / May 8, 2014

Richmond Adelaide bike lanes torontoRichmond and Adelaide streets have long be discussed as potential homes for bike lanes in Toronto, and a new proposal coming to the Public Works and Infrastructure committee next week is sure to reignite discussion regarding their suitability and traffic flow in the core of the city. The recommendations before the committee call for a pilot project that would involve the installation of cycle tracks (i.e. separated bike lanes) on Richmond and Adelaide as well as Simcoe Street and a short section of Bathurst. This would, in effect, create a loop that cyclists could use to avoid streets with no cycling infrastructure. Standard lanes are also proposed for Peter Street.

Where you can expect some controversy is in the resulting lane reductions associated with the project. That could prove a significant hurdle given that these recommendations have to make it through both the Public Works committee and a vote at city council. There's already an environmental assessment of bike lanes on these streets underway, so the temporary nature of these recommendations might make them more amendable to so called pro-car councillors. If approved, the lanes could be installed as early as this summer.

Discussion

31 Comments

Nic Boshart / May 8, 2014 at 11:46 am
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Ha, how about the lane reductions from condo construction? That makes me laugh.
Lauren / May 8, 2014 at 11:49 am
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I would love this, but I would also love some regulation on construction on these streets. Both have been heavily restricted for the last couple of years, with no end in sight.
Yep / May 8, 2014 at 11:51 am
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Bike lanes, bike lanes, bike lanes. Subways, subways, subways. Sounds good to me. Just wish they'd get off their butts and make it city wide. Can you imagine?
Katherine / May 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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If you are in favour of the bike lanes, let your councillors know: http://cycleto.ca/major-step-forward-support-pilot-project-protected-bike-lanes-richmond-adelaide
MC replying to a comment from Nic Boshart / May 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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When was the last time a condominium raced through a red light or open TTC doors?
Richie / May 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm
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As a driver and a pedestrian... YES
iSkyscraper / May 8, 2014 at 01:03 pm
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Welcome to 2008, Toronto.

The real question is what this will look like. The pretend cycle track on Sherbourne is a half-assed joke -- no other city would call that a protected lane.

(http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=190469)

You need space separation from cars and some sort of barrier that protects against swerving and illegal parking, usually in the form of a row of parked cars or physically imposing posts, landscaping or high curbs.

Whatever they put on Richmond/Adelaide had better damn well look something like this:

Indy - http://www.urbanindy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/kinzie_ave_1_s_vance.jpg

DC - http://b.3cdn.net/bikes/214a403cb620c2996d_pum6bnx0s.jpg

Boston - http://www.masspaths.org/photos/bw2009/may14/IMG_1193.JPG

Vancouver - http://www.ouruptown.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/bike-cycletrack-vancouver.jpg

Atlanta - http://americancityandcounty.com/site-files/americancityandcounty.com/files/imagecache/large_img/uploads/2013/08/cycletrack.jpg

New York - http://www.nowtopians.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/nyc_francesca_bikelane8245.jpg (barriers)

New York - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Protected_bikelane_1st_Av_jeh.jpg (parked cars)

Portland - http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/cully430.jpg (protected by parked cars)

Seattle - http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cycle_track_cropped.jpg

Chicago - http://www.bikesd.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kinzie-bikes-cdot1.jpg

Ottawa - http://cycle.ottawacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/cyclists-lane-450x300.jpg

Montreal - http://ebent.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/167108z.jpg

SF - http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7084/7129919209_6be284b5c3_b.jpg

LA - https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/7537902876/


Need I go on?
hmm replying to a comment from Lauren / May 8, 2014 at 01:04 pm
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well said,

I thought I was gonna be the one to come on here and raise a point that really sticks in my craw

lane reductions with no communications/signage are inexcusable, we just have to eat it because a condo is going up, the city limits the Gardiner and then fills these arterial roads with condo construction, wonder who's filling who's pockets.
jd83 / May 8, 2014 at 01:27 pm
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It's like the lane reduction at Yonge & Bloor. How longs that been? Traffic is a nightmare.

But to some ding dongs on council, no it's the scramble at Bay and Bloor that is causing so much pain for drivers...

Get a grip. Cause yeah, a lane of traffic at one of the busiest intersections in the country down for 2 years is not screwing things up.
W. K. Lis / May 8, 2014 at 01:28 pm
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Have new and renovated buildings of all kinds require to put in bicycle parking and access.
Liberty Villain / May 8, 2014 at 01:51 pm
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Lane reductions haven't affected the speed of traffic flow on both Richmond and Adelaide too drastically.

Pedestrian flow is a lot more scarce on these two roads as well.

On both of these roads there is enough room to add PROPER, separated bike lanes.
guest replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 8, 2014 at 01:57 pm
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The city has installed some plastic posts along the buffer area of the bike lanes near Wellesley and Sherbourne very similar to the ones in your links. Would be great to see these along other bike lanes.
Yvonne T. / May 8, 2014 at 01:59 pm
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Wow, so more congestion to come to the already reduce-to-one-lane hell that is Richmond right now? Really?! WTF.
Ivy / May 8, 2014 at 02:23 pm
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The reason there's less pedestrian flow on those streets because they are the worst to walk down. It's like walking down a highway, in the middle of downtown. I really hope these bike lanes happen.
jen / May 8, 2014 at 02:34 pm
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I just biked east along Adelaide today from Bathurst to University and it's a nightmare. Lane reductions due to construction are taking up a lot of the road at different points, and parked cars are taking up what's left of the curb lanes. I can't even think where they would put a cycle track at the moment, unless they ban parking?
andrewS replying to a comment from Yvonne T. / May 8, 2014 at 02:35 pm
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If the bottleneck is a construction narrowed stretch, then the 3 lane bike laned segments should be positively free flowing.
Steven / May 8, 2014 at 03:15 pm
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Hope cyslists get licenced to pay for these lanes.

Oh yeah, cyclists need to get insurance too.
We're in Safe Hands / May 8, 2014 at 03:32 pm
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Kathleen Wynne and the Lieral party will be investing BILLIONS into transportation in the Province including Toronto, I imagine some of that will be going to cycling! Vote Wynne!
rob replying to a comment from We're in Safe Hands / May 8, 2014 at 03:48 pm
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Let's hope those Billions don't mysteriously disappear as well.
Toucan Sam replying to a comment from We're in Safe Hands / May 8, 2014 at 03:50 pm
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Can't wait to follow my nose to higher taxes, electricity bills, power plant cancellations, obstruction of justice (deleted emails), and the list goes on. 11 years wasn't enough time to implement all these new promises, but I'm sure we'll get them now. Everything the Liberals promise during an election always happens. AND we're gonna reducing the deficit!! kinda, sorta... almost. Ahhhhhhh, it's a sweet time to be an Ontarian!!
Joe / May 8, 2014 at 04:24 pm
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"It's like the lane reduction at Yonge & Bloor" - Why are you driving up Yonge? It's the worst street to take anyway because of all the pedestrians. If you get stuck in traffic on Yonge it's your own fault.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Steven / May 8, 2014 at 04:29 pm
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Absolutely. Just like every other city I listed with protected lanes/cycle tracks required their cyclists to get licensed and pay insurance when they built theirs.

Not.

How do people come up with this stuff? Here's a hint -- if no other city in North America is doing something, Toronto is probably not a good place to start.
Toucan Sam replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 8, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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"Here's a hint -- if no other city in North America is doing something, Toronto is probably not a good place to start."

Streetcars in mixed traffic.

That is all.
Adam H. replying to a comment from Steven / May 8, 2014 at 04:49 pm
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Steve, I hope you finally learn that a cyclist in Toronto is a hell of a lot more likely to pay property taxes in the city than a downtown driver is, and also a hell of a lot less likely to receive value for money.

When can we expect you to demand that drivers actually pay their share?
jd83 replying to a comment from Joe / May 8, 2014 at 04:54 pm
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@Joe

Ummm, because it's my neighbourhood...

And I wasn't talking about me driving. My comment is geared to idiots who make statements that the traffic problem is due to the scamble at Bay & Bloor. But then having no issue closing down a lane of traffic for 2 years to build a condo.

But with statements like "It's the worst street to take anyway because of all the pedestrians". You're one of those idiots.

iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Toucan Sam / May 8, 2014 at 05:53 pm
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Toucan Sam, you might want to google before you type.

Depending on what role you want the streetcar to perform, there are plenty of examples to cite. As a mixed-traffic local streetcar you have:

Tucson - http://urbanrailtoday.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/0_urt_tuc-lrt-stc-testing-2014-jan-z_arizona-daily-wildcat-_tyler-baker.jpg
Seattle - http://fueledbybeer.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/seattle_streetcar.jpg
Portland - http://www.railwaypreservation.com/vintagetrolley/Portland_Streetcar_39_sm.JPG
New Orleans - http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/60/files/2013/01/6956602.jpg
DC - http://www.princeofpetworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/h-street-streetcars.jpg
Atlanta - http://streetcar.atlantaga.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/img-slider-Sweet-Auburn-stop.jpg
LA - http://www.planetizen.com/files/styles/primary_image/public/images/LA-streetcar-2-crop.jpg?itok=IIuV0URx
Philly - http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8509/8499662582_f99e4eee62_z.jpg
Jersey City - http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/14411078.jpg
SF - https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gb4LzMUqJa8/T_X2Pjr9z3I/AAAAAAAAEtU/NEpzch705_Y/njudah.jpg?imgmax=1600
Boston - https://www.flickr.com/photos/widecab/4512762033/in/set-72157623835559104/

Of course in Toronto the transit network is stretched so the streetcars are called upon to serve in a quasi-LRT role (just like the last three examples above). No argument from me that King, Queen and a few other routes should be made streetcar-only during all times in certain segments to remove mixed-traffic conditions and improve speeds.
hamish wilson / May 8, 2014 at 07:02 pm
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It's timid, and really overdue to respond to the crash stats, and is really needed to go far far further so we could have an option to bad streetcar/transit, though that's competition eh?

A further and also obvious place is much of Bloor St. especially west of Ossington where Harbord ends and then the street grid is really bad, shrinking to no other options than College, Bloor or Dupont to cross the railtracks. Better Bloor biking would expand the subway for near-free as some would get biking instead of sardining.

Really nice to share all those eg.s of other cities; thanks!
Kevin / May 9, 2014 at 07:27 am
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Hope these go in. People are right, traffic is terrible! The bike lanes on other streets in the core (e.g., College & Harbord streets) are so full during rush hours. Adding more cycling infrastructure will reduce congestion.

kev.
TM replying to a comment from MC / May 9, 2014 at 08:00 am
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Most of the streets these lanes are proposed on (except the small section of Bathurst) are streetcar free, and if you think about it, safe(r) bike lanes 1 street over from King or Queen will probably mean that less bike traffic where streetcars do run.
taurean / May 12, 2014 at 04:56 pm
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Can anyone explain to me why are bike lanes being proposed for Adelaide & Richmond instead of Queen & King st. Q & K already flows slower then A & R already which makes it more safe, and there are more businesses on Q & K then A & R which would benefit more, especially places like (Regent Park). A & R are mostly for traffic coming to & fro the DVP w. no streetcar disruption; this doesn't make really any sense.
ginnee / May 13, 2014 at 07:27 am
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Not King and Queen because you'd be taking away the one lane in each direction for cars. It's better on the neighbouring one-way streets.

However I hope it's not going to be like Sherbourne. That's a very poor design as it's sometimes level with the road with no separation and often level with the sidewalk. Cyclists are often swinging onto the sidewalks, assuming that the design tells them it's OK to be in the pedestrian realm.

So please make the bike lane properly separated from the other streams with NO crossover opportunities.

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