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Residents may have noticed new "sharrows" painted along College Street from Lansdowne to Dufferin. This is the city bike committee's brilliant idea to convince drivers to "share" the road with cyclists. Problem is the symbols are painted in the parking lane so they are obscured most of the day by parked cars. Are they intended for only rush hour use? Who knows?
And frankly, would you allow your 11 year old child to bike on busy College St in a "sharrow"? I wouldn't.
Physically separated bike lanes are the only safe alternative for bike riders from 6-60. When is this city going to catch up with Portland, Montreal, New York, Amsterdam, etc.
I urge residents to contact our councillor to ask about the logic behind this ill-considered bike plan.
This is the second morning in a row that I've seen somebody on a bicycle pulled over going down Shaw where the hill has just started, and behind a big hedge at Essex, south of Hallam, bang! a police car peels out to catch the unlucky biker. This is a place that bikes have a lot of momentum, and nobody stops at the sign. It also feels so safe, being a one way street.
I commiserated as best I could with sympathetic looks, and murmurs
"That sucks!" but I have to admit, I was kind of glad it wasn't me.
Also on this topic: I got a $110 fine for not having a bell on my bike riding West on Dundas between I think University and St. Patrick. Hadn't done anything wrong, just biking by in an otherwise completely legal manner. $110! I can't say it made me feel fondly about my local law enforcement personnel, or approval regarding the priorities of my municipal government.
Anyway, when I left the cop stepped right back out into the street and stopped the next cyclist to come by. I calculate that tactic is worth about $1200/hour to the city.
Toronto Police service
SAFE CYCLING – SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY
“Traffic Safety” remains a top priority of the Toronto Police Service. One of our traffic safety goals is to “Increase traffic enforcement to better protect the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.” The Toronto Police Service is continuing to focus its efforts on encouraging safe cycling as a practical mode of transportation in our city.
The Service will be launching the “Safe Cycling – Share The Responsibility” Campaign, commencing on Monday, 2009 June 22. The campaign will conclude on Sunday, 2009 June 28. This one-week campaign is designed to promote awareness and education by reducing the potential for bike and wheel sport related injuries.
The traffic on Toronto’s roadways affects almost everyone within the City . The safe and efficient flow of traffic, and the safety of our drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians, is therefore of significant concern to the Toronto Police Service.
Building partnerships and mobilizing local communities to respond to local traffic problems will assist in sustaining successful efforts and improve neighbourhood roadway safety.
Hello, There's growing discussion in the Brockton neighbourhood about the Railpath bikeway, Toronto's Bike Plan and Metrolinx's mandate to plan for active sustainable transportation. The West Toronto Railpath south of Dundas provides a fantastic opportunity to knit together Toronto's bikeway network and engage the community in a meaningful way. I'm wondering out loud if a joint community working group may be of some value to the planning processes underway by the City and Metrolinx?
Click on map to enlarge it
Attached is a quick map showing some key opportunities. Strategic investment in the Railpath bridges could create:
- linkages with proposed bicycle lanes along College, Argyle and High Park and with minor bicycle routes along Brock, Sorauren, Dundas and Lansdowne
- access to the Railpath at Dundas, Lansdowne-Sorauren and Brock so that the Railpath can become a bicycle highway through the city and allow for both local and regional cycling.
- easier access to amenities such as community centres, a major grocery store and schools which will help to reduce automobile trips. In particular, the bridge (or bridge/tunnel combination?) connecting Lansdowne, the Railpath and Sorauren would greatly improve pedestrian and cyclist safety crossing Lansdowne to the grocery store while providing a much more convenient option to get to the summer farmer's market, recreation and new community centre at Sorauren Park.
The bridges provide a huge opportunity BUT also a huge technical (and financial) challenge. I would suggest that the overwhelming energy and creative talent in the neighbourhood could generate some practical and fresh design ideas to help make the big moves happen.
Would there be any interest among Metrolinx and the City to create such a working group?
(*note: full disclosure, I would have a potential conflict of interest participating in such a process since I work for the City... but as a resident of this neighbourhood I just wanted to make sure that the great ideas I've heard at the recent open houses are filtering up)
Having an integration between the Railpath and the city street grid is very important, as this will ensure its greater use, convenience and safety. Your map clearly shows these great opportunities. However even more important for the safety and usability of the Railpath would be the electrification of the rail line from the start, especially considering the massively increased volume of rail traffic once the GO expansion and the Union-Pearson link is complete. I welcome the possibility of a working group to give input to Metrolinx, and electrification would have to be at the top of the agenda. I'm hard pressed to imagine spending much time in the existing corridor with diesel trains going past every seven minutes.