bike toronto

Toronto just got European-style bike infrastructure and cyclists are overjoyed

Toronto's cycling infrastructure may be ample, but it is still considered inadequate by many of the city's countless pedal-powered commuters.

Though now, there is some new bike infrastructure in Toronto that goes a whole lot further to protect vulnerable cyclists with the unveiling of the city’s first fully-protected cycling intersection.

It's not in the heart of downtown or any other part of the city you'd associate with cycling, but the new protected bike intersection at Columbia Gate and Murray Ross Pkwy is a huge step forward for bike infrastructure in Toronto, dividing bike and vehicle traffic and making human-powered commuting in the York U area a whole lot safer.

In June 2018, City Council adopted a Cycling Network Plan for York University, Downsview and other nearby neighbourhoods, which includes the installation of a designated two-way cycle track along Murray Ross Parkway between Columbia Gate / Evelyn Wiggins Drive and Keele Street.

It took almost four years to realize, but throughout May, photos emerged showing the protected intersection approaching readiness.

On Thursday, the protected intersection finally opened to cycling traffic, though there is still minor work left to complete before the intersection takes its final form.

But that hasn't stopped cyclists from getting some early use out of their new dedicated infrastructure.

The intersection is already getting positive reviews, and if it stands the test of time, could serve as a case study for creating similarly protected intersections in other areas of the city.

It's great to see outlying areas of Toronto adopt cycling infrastructure, and though downtown is rich with bike lanes, Bike Share stations, and other cycling-friendly features, it doesn't have anything quite like this, at least for now.

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