How does Toronto define separated bike lanes?
The pilot project that's brought bike lanes to a number of downtown streets like Adelaide and Richmond is surely a positive sign for those who believe that Toronto is behind the times when it comes to cycling infrastructure. But the matter of just how the city has installed these has been cause for discontent.
First there was confusion when the lanes were initially painted but no signage was installed. That's forgivable given the time that it takes to roll out such a project, but since the so-called completion of the pilot project, a bigger issue has emerged -- that of just how separated these bike lanes really are.
The term separated is, it would appear, somewhat murky. At present, Transportation Services has opted to "crack down" on vehicles parking or entering the bike lane, but has not installed bollards to prevent them from doing so. As Cycle Toronto rightly points out, that can lead to some dangerous situations on these high volume streets.
The addition of new bike lanes is a step in the right direction for a city looking to ease congestion, but there's a legitimate question to be asked about whether physical separation should be mandatory on busy streets such as those in question. What do you think? Is a painted line enough, or should there be a more significant barrier to stop vehicles from entering bike lanes?