bayview bike lane

Bayview bike lane will be huge improvement to street

If you've driven along Bayview Avenue south of Pottery Rd. over the last few weeks, you'll have noticed that the street boasts a smooth new surface and is marked by a sea of orange pylons. Both are in preparation for one of the most most significant but least talked about infrastructure improvements in Toronto this year: the Bayview Avenue bike lane.

It's understandable that this project has been overshadowed by the pilot project to install bike lanes on Bloor St. this summer, but the Bayview project is exciting for a whole different set of reasons, and comes without even a bit of controversy.

The lower section of Bayview Avenue (what many of us still refer to as the Extension) has long been a perfect candidate for cycling infrastructure given that it sports two wide road shoulders rarely used by vehicles.

bayview bike lane

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, these shoulders were in good enough condition to be safe to ride, but over the last decade or so they've fallen into terrible disrepair, and cyclists are forced to ride closer and closer to rapidly moving traffic to avoid huge ruts and potholes.

Add to that the fact that the Brick Works is notoriously difficult to access via both public transit and the Lower Don Recreational Trail and that there are ambitious plans in place to revitalize the parkland in this section of the Don, and you have a situation where bike lanes along Bayview become something of a no-brainer.

Unlike other cycling infrastructure in the city, Bayview will get a two-way trail on the east side of the street between Pottery and Rosedale Valley roads that will be separated with a wooden guard rail. There are already sections of the street that have such a path, which will now be unified and re-paved.

Construction is expected to be completed in November, which will limit the use of the trail this year, but expect it to be a popular route come the spring. There was a time when cyclists considered Bayview as a go-to place to ride. It's a gorgeous route, there's lots of space, and it can be a quick way to get north and south along the east side of downtown.

Slowly but surely Toronto is getting better at this cycling infrastructure thing.

Photo by Jess on Flickr.

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