John Street (at Urbane Cyclist – now carrying MORE complimentary copies of our new issue!)
We asked: What’s it like biking on John street and how could it be better?
Photos by Heather Reid /Interviews by Tammy Thorne
Christine Hwang and her Brompton folding bike. (NB: She has four bikes and a Bixi membership.)
The problem with John street is actually connecting to it, because when you try to turn left there (north towards Grange Park) you would be going the wrong way (westward) so it would make sense just to have a separate bike lane going west (a contraflow lane) that is separated from traffic. I now know I can take this alley way to the south, to go west. I do take John all the way down to Front, and it’s better than some of the other routes going north/south, but past queen it is harder to feel safe.
I think the best idea would be to put a two-way (Montreal-style) separated bike lane on Simcoe because they do not need four lanes of cars going south on that street. That would be fabulous, so would a pedestrian friendly street, but if you have a pedestrian friendly space you are sometimes expected to get off and walk your bike and we are using our bikes for a mode of transportation, not for fun; to get to work or whatever so we need safe routes. I also had a hip problem a few years ago so I got a lot more into biking, it’s lower impact on my hip than walking.
I think they need a ramp right here so I can roll in and out of the park more easily. Get rid of the curb.
South of Queen has been under construction for over a decade it seems so I’d like them to finish that off soon. That will give us more room.
A pedestrian area here would be cool – add some cobblestones, have some street festivals – that sounds all right.
Anna and Michael
M: John street is congested. There’s a lot of people out because it’s a nice day.
A: A lot of the drivers don’t pay attention – when you use bike signals it seems the car drivers don’t comprehend what you are doing. They are often parked in the bike lane too.
M: With all this construction there is a lot of detouring, which adds to congestion. Fewer parking spaces and better regulation of the way they are used might help.
A: They should make the cycling infrastructure more noticeable too – more visible.
M: They should expand the existing bike lanes further out in the city and connect them better… if they make the in between streets more bike friendly then we can connect and get around and avoid some of the streets where there are more cars.
I’m test riding a Yuba from Urbane. (Jesse took Heather for a ‘test’ ride through the Grange park to see how it handled with human cargo.)
Well…a juice bar would make John street better for cyclists.
A pedestrian area sounds interesting I heard about the counting project – cars and bikes – with Dave Meslin a couple of years back.
This little stub of John feels very urbane and bike-friendly but south of Queen the lack of pedestrian/cyclist-friendly design and poor condition of the street surface don’t make those blocks as appealing for cruising/shopping/dining.”