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The worst roads for cyclists in Toronto, redux

Back in August 2009, we asked our readers to list the worst roads for cyclists in the city. There was plenty of choice - frankly - and those who responded cited door prize dodging on Queen West, crater crashing on Pottery Road and the bone rattling experience of riding on Dufferin among the worst offenders.

Three years on, it's time we took stock of the quality of the city's streets from a cyclist's perspective once again. We threw the debate to Twitter and collected some of the best or most frequent suggestions in the list below. I've also included a list of the roads I personally avoid as best I can. Do you agree with my choices?

SHERBOURNE

It might have a bike lane, but riding down this street is like being repeatedly slammed in the crotch (literally and metaphorically). With the imminent demise of lanes on Jarvis, Sherbourne will be getting its promised upgrade to fully separated lanes. Not a moment too soon.

BLOOR-DANFORTH

A few stencils on the road ain't gonna cut it - riding along the busier sections of Bloor Street or Danforth Avenue is like running the gauntlet. Swerving cabs, stray pedestrians and thundering traffic make this popular cycling street tough to love in rush hour. The insane bike lane over the Don Valley on-ramp at Broadview is worth a mention, too.

DUFFERIN

Oh, Dufferin. Perennially despised by motorists and cyclists alike for its shoddy road surface, the street regularly tops lists of the worst roads in the province. Everything about riding here is wrong unless you've got a nifty full-suspension bike. And even then you'll probably go home with a spinal injury.

KING

Streetcar tracks are an enemy of the skinny-tired cyclist. Though they usually aren't a problem positioned as they are in the middle of the road, the cerbside parking on King forces cyclists closer to the transit lane and closer to peril. Throw in dense rush hour traffic and it's a recipe for disaster. I haven't had a door hit me yet, but King is where it always feels close.

DUNDAS

Though it's not so bad in the east end (it even has a bike lane) Dundas gets all Mr. Hyde at various stretches downtown. The line up of traffic waiting to cross Spadina, University and Yonge always feels like an accident waiting to happen. The section before Bathurst near Kensington Market is like crazy paving installed by a someone with in a furious temper.

So there you have it, my two cents. Here is a selection of your worst cycling roads as seen on Twitter. Feel free to throw in any more suggestions in the comment section. Whinge on!

Photo: "Jarvis Bike Lane Stencil" by Martin Reis in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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