These are the next streets in Toronto that really need bike lanes
Toronto is in the process of getting a bunch of new bike lanes to help people get around safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but many cyclists say we still have a long way to go before becoming a truly bike-friendly city.
Thursday afternoon, blogTO issued a call-out on Twitter asking which Toronto streets are in desperate need of bike lanes, and the tweet received 149 replies in just over 24 hours.
Among the suggestions were many major downtown streets including the entirety of Yonge Street, Dufferin Street, Bathurst Street, Spadina Avenue and Queen Street.
Cyclists also said Donlands Avenue, particularly from Cosburn to Danforth, is in desperate need of designated lanes, as is Overlea Boulevard, Broadview Avenue., Avenue Road., Finch Avenue., Dupont Avenue, Weston Road., Eglinton Avenue., Kingston Road. and many, many more.
Some also said College and Dundas Streets should undoubtedly have bike lanes, particularly to serve Ryerson University and U of T students commuting along those roads, and others called for lanes on roads that connect to the Lower Don River trail.
Dundas and College both need separated bike lanes. Dundas is a Ryerson commuter line and College is a U of T commuter line. Right now they only have sharevron lanes, which aren’t safe enough, especially now with curbside cafes— Precariously_Employed_in_TO (@BrokeInToronto) August 13, 2020
But those who responded to the call-out don't just want new lanes: they want better infrastructure to ensure that bikers using those lanes will actually be protected from cars.
And while the city has put up some barriers along the temporary bike lanes installed this summer, many of them have already been flattened by cars who appear to have little concern for those travelling on two wheels.
I think there needs to be an education campaign on how drivers and bikes are meant to treat dedicated bike lanes, too. As a driver, I’ve seen some pretty bad behavior lately, ie cars just driving in the bike lanes even though they’re sectioned off with physical barrier.— Shawn #BlackLivesMatter (@ShawnCaron) August 13, 2020
"It isn't just about having bike lanes," wrote one Torontonian in response to blogTO's tweet. "They need to be physically separated from car lanes for people to be safe using them. Otherwise they're no better than the middle of three urinals with no dividers."
Others, meanwhile, said the city should focus on some of the paths that are run down and dangerous before installing new ones, such as the one along the waterfront.
"The waterfront path should be redone. It's a mess right now and very confusing for bikers and pedestrians alike," said one cyclist. "All the cars, train tracks, bad signage, worn out road surface markings, crowded intersections make for a very unpleasant biking experience. It's a shame."
Some motorists, meanwhile, responded that Toronto doesn't actually need any more bike lanes and should instead reserve the road space for cars.
But as both the pandemic and the climate crisis rage on in our city and all over the world, many say moving towards being a cyclist-friendly city is just one of the many ways residents can get around without putting their health, or the planet, in jeopardy.
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