BIKE SPOTTING at King Street West at Atlantic: the unofficial gateway to Liberty Village
Photos by Charlie Randall
Interviews by Tammy Thorne
I took my bike for a brake tune-up at Liberty Cyclery one recent super sunny day in March and while we were waiting we decided to talk to some local cyclists: What is it like riding int he King St. West underpass? And; How could Liberty Village be better for cyclists?
Sebastian and Elizabeth Dulmage
We tend to stick to the sidewalks. Sebastian is five. They are quite wide here so it’s fine. I don’t mind the underpass too much, but I really wish there were bike lanes every where. On the wider streets in Liberty I was just noticing the bricks underneath the potholes. The old bricks are really cool – but the potholes are not great for cycling in the village.
I usually ride on the street, but it’s a bit dicey and the visibility is bad for cars in there, so if it looks bad I’ll sometimes go on the sidewalk. I live in the village, which isn’t too bad for cyclists, but this underpass is a sore spot. The visibility for cars could be a lot better.
It’s not bad today, but in winter it sucks. It’s not bad in the village, but out here in the underpass it’s not great. (John also just got a new rack at MEC – hanging on his handlebars – so he can ditch the backpack.)
I went through with traffic now and no one bugged me. I go to the gym here in Liberty Village – it’s fine, seems pretty good for cyclists.
I used to take the Martin Goodman Trail more. There is a problem with the Boulevard Club entrance – cars darting in there, not looking for cyclists on the trail, just looking for an opening in traffic. If I was in a car I’d be doing the same thing; looking for a break in traffic but that needs to be made safer for everyone.
I don’t bike IN Liberty Village – I bike TO liberty village so when I get here, I stop. The underpass is a challenge – half the bikers are riding on the sidewalk because they don’t like being on the road and you’ve got half on the road because they dont think it’s right being on the sidewalk. But when you are on the road, it is pretty claustrophobic in there. I ride on the road though, and you are in and out of there in a few seconds.
The village itself isn’t set up for biking. There is a lot of traffic now – it’s crazy – the village wasn’t meant for this much traffic and now there’s a lot of it and there’s people walking in the street and trucks delivering things… so I’m glad I just stop right here and don’t have to go any further.
Check out this infrastructure project to help cyclists and pedestrians coming from downtown (east) get in to Liberty Village without using the underpass: Here is the link to the King/Liberty “Link” project.