Toronto has already had enough of the construction on Bloor St.
Summer is the season of construction in Toronto, and one of our busiest neighbourhoods for pedestrians, bikes and cars alike is plagued by it right now.
Beginning around the end of May, construction in the Annex on Bloor between Bathurst and Spadina isn’t slated to end until around December.
The biggest headache Torontonians are beginning to experience is the limiting of Bloor bike lanes (didn’t we just get those things?), so there’s one shared lane in each direction for both vehicles and bicycles. There’s also no parking along Bloor in the area, and the construction affects the travel times of the 300 Bloor-Danforth night bus.
Hey @311Toronto & @m_layton -- I thought that during the Bloor Street construction, it was a "drivers and cyclists share the lane" situation, not a "cyclists dismount and walk" one...? #BikeTO @CycleToronto @CycleW19 pic.twitter.com/GOaX0S8iLX— Ashley (@ashley_quan) May 24, 2019
Mere days into construction, cyclists were already greeted by confusing signage, some of which suggested bikes should be walked rather than attempt to share the road with drivers.
Heading west on Bloor near Futures Bakery. Lanes are narrow due to construction.— Dan Voshart 𓀡 𓀒 𓀓 𓀢 (@dvoshart) May 28, 2019
Injury seems minor. All the impact was between the pointy part of the open door and my left pointer finger.
99% I'll be fine and nothing is broken.
Cyclists have also already reported an increased risks of hazards with having to share the road with cars again.
Safety Second at Bloor-Annex Construction Today https://t.co/CNxHKKKHH8— Terry Demostenes (@Terrydemostenes) May 31, 2019
Pedestrians are facing hazards too, construction on the sidewalks apparently leaving people dangerously close to tripping over equipment.
However, thankfully businesses are still open along the stretch of Bloor.
According to the City website, the purpose of the project is to “replace the 142-year-old watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services, on Bloor Street West between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue.”
The construction will also involve sidewalk replacement and streetscaping, as well as the construction of permanent cycling facilities and five new parkettes equipped with bike parking at Brunswick Avenue, Robert Street, Major Street, and Howland Avenue.
“Each parkette will feature pollinator planting, sustainable wood decking, bike parking, accent lighting, and custom site furnishings, including salvaged materials from the former Honest Ed’s site,” reads the City site.
“Discarded quarried stone will be reclaimed and transformed into public art, which will pay homage to the site’s glacial past while forming new striations of local culture, ecology, and economy.”
Though it may be a nightmare now, once construction is completed, “permanent bike lanes will include raised cycle tracks or concrete curbs separating the bike lane from motor vehicle lanes, or parking, where possible.
“The bike lane on the north side of Bloor Street W will include a painted buffer zone and bollards separating the bike lane from moving and parked vehicles. Green pavement markings will be used to highlight bike lanes near intersections.”
Bike lanes between Spadina and Avenue are expected to be reconstructed in 2020. Guess we’ll have to watch out for that next summer.
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