Bike Spotting for Bikeability in Toronto Pt. IV: Promo for Safety Issue
This selection of Bike Spotting was done as anecdotal evidence to support a larger feature in our Safety issue. These Bike Spotting profiles are outtakes from the ones that were printed beside research by U of T that maps out Toronto’s wards in terms of bikeability.
We talked to cyclists at Bayview and Blythwood, Dupont Triangle, Queen and Cameron, York University, the Danforth and Chester, Regent Park and Queen and Dufferin, to hear some of the safety concerns cyclists throughout the city have.
We asked: Do you feel safe biking here? What would you to to make it safer?
Also see our roundup of the Best of Bike Spotting with Safety in Focus.
Interviews by Sarah Greene and Amelia Brown
Shawn Conway (The Cameron House, Queen and Cameron) Photo by Yvonne Bambrick
I don’t feel very safe here. There are simply too many cars; it’s already a busy street because the number of people who use the streetcars, and to have drivers zipping along trying to get ahead of the streetcars. It’s also really densely packed, weekends and weekdays. To make it safer they could reduce the number of cars and make it more difficult for single occupancy vehicles to travel on Queen Street, to make more room for bicycles.
Geoff Snack (Regent Park) Photo by Yvonne Bambrick
Compared with the University and Yonge area I feel safe here. But I’m a very defensive cyclist. University and Queen is awful. Usually I bike along King, and King is a bit rough. Bike lanes improve safety. But I think education for motorists (and cyclists!) about how bike lanes work is more important.
It appears to me that cycling safety and cycling etiquette information has to be sought out. There has been no effective initiative from the government nor cycling communities to provide this information to those who ride regularly, but do not identify as cycling enthusiasts. I think reaching this large demographic is key to the safety of everyone. Lines in the road can only do so much, people need to understand what those lines mean and what needs to happen within those confines for them to be truly effective.
Olivier Alonzo (Sunnybrook Hospital, Bayview and Blythwood) Photo by Tammy Thorne
There’s a bit of gravel, they’re constructing some condos or something. They’re dumping gravel where the bus stop is at the institute for the blind [CNIB]. But other than that, I’ve been pretty lucky so far, no major complaints. Most of the time it’s pretty fine.
Peter Demakos (Parkdale, Queen and Dufferin) Photo by Yvonne Bambrick
How safe I feel depends where I am. I definitely don’t feel safe on King Street or Dufferin. I think Queen Street could be more bike-friendly, but overall as long as I have my wits about me, I feel okay. On Queen there’s so much bike traffic that folks are generally used to it. But you still do have to be really attentive about car doors.
Adding bike lanes is a good start to make roads safer. I think bike lanes would be a really great thing.
Around here, Dufferin is a street where there’s no parking and vehicles travel at quite a high speed. There’s quite a bit of aggressive driving on Dufferin. I don’t like to generalize but I do have that experience consistently and I wonder if it’s almost viewed as car territory or something, by a lot of folks. Vehicles are going at a high speed and there’s not a lot of room on the side, which is the makings of not only a scary situation but a really, potentially dangerous one.
Michael Polanyi (The Big Carrot, Chester and The Danforth) Photo by Yvonne Bambrick
Well, I would say no in winter, when it’s dark, and at rush hour when cars are travelling 60 km/hr because I noticed there aren’t any speed limits posted on this street. But, I feel safe once I get across Broadview onto a beautiful bike lane.
Obviously it would be safer if the city gave us a little bit of dedicated space. It’s a very wide street, so I think it’s possible here.
Tien Van (York University, The Pond and Sentinel) Photo by Heather Reid
Yeah, sure. I’m a pretty athletic guy so I’m not too afraid of potential hazards or dangerous people. I’d only commute by bike during the day though. Obviously there are not enough by-standers or people to spectate potential hazards. Honestly, to make it safe you need designated bike lanes, but that’s impossible because the structures prevent it. Other than that it’s okay, but it’s not made for cyclists.
Joseph Antony (Sunnybrook hospital, Bayview and Blythwood) Photo by Tammy Thorne
I don’t like biking on Eglinton, but Bayview is okay. There are a lot of trucks on Eglinton, and at the DVP ramps they get too close. Obviously lanes would make everything a lot better here.
Special thanks to Vic Gedris, Heather Reid and Yvonne Bambrick. If you’d like to see more of their beautiful photos, buy the Safety Issue of dandyhorse.
More Bike Spotting coming to the dandyBLOG soon!
More in the Safety issue, pre-purchase it here!
See previous dandyhorse Bike Spotting
Related on the dandyBLOG
Best of Bike Spotting Safety in Focus
Bike Spotting for Bikeability
Bike Spotting for Bikeability Part Two
Bike Spotting for Bikeability Part Three
Bike Spotting for Bikeability Part Four