dandyCommute: Queen and Sorauren to Adelaide and Brant

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dandyCommute series: Queen and Sorauren to Adelaide and Brant

Story and photos by Sonya Allin

Sibi, all ready to go to school

I commute to take my daughter to kindergarten.

We start by snaking through residential streets around Sorauren and Queen, and cross Lansdowne Avenue at Seaforth. That intersection’s changed a lot for the better since they installed a traffic light! From Lansdowne we travel east, and cycle under the train tracks on Brock Avenue. In my opinion, that’s the best place on the west side to get past those tracks.

Florence Avenue takes us from Brock to Dufferin, which is still in a bit of nightmarish shape; will they ever end the construction there? Once past Dufferin, though, Argyle St. is there to calmly take us east, almost all the way to Trinity Bellwoods Park.

A few fellow bike commuters on Argyle Street

Once we’re through Trinity Bellwoods, we head down Strachan to Adelaide. Adelaide is all well and good for cycling until you hit Bathurst Street! From there it’s just … a mess.

Ambling across the crosswalk at Bathurst and Adelaide

We climb on the sidewalk with our bike along with other cyclists to get to the crosswalk, and then we accept whatever fate decides to bring us between Bathurst and Brant. Fate generally brings things like potholes, ambulances, truck traffic, and plenty of zooming cars. I’ve seen one car-on-car accident on that street since we started commuting in September!

Yes, that’s a bulldozer behind us, on Adelaide Street. Yikes!

I’m hoping, so very much, that bike lanes are installed on this stretch of Adelaide by the spring, along with some measures to calm the traffic around Sibi’s school at Brant street. There are lots of parents that bike around this area with their kids in tow; we’re certainly not the only ones!

We've made it to Adelaide and Brant

Why do you commute?

We don’t own a car, and cycling is much faster and more reliable than the streetcar. Also, I love to cycle; it’s my favourite way to stretch my legs.

What’s the best part of your commute?

I like cycling down Argyle Street the best, perhaps, because it’s calm and wide and there are always lots of other cyclists in the morning. But you may have to cycle the wrong way down some of it; that’s the only drawback. I pass my friend’s house on Argyle too, and sometimes he’s on his porch to say hello. That’s an extra bonus.

What’s the worst part of your commute?

Adelaide street, for certain! I feel like we put ourselves at risk for the 5 minutes we are on the stretch between Bathurst and Brant, every day. I’m excited to see bike lanes on Adelaide .... as soon as possible!

What’s the most surprising part of your commute?

Perhaps the potholes on Adelaide? I tend to be focused on dodging bulldozers and whatnot when I cycle that street so the potholes often catch me off guard.

What infrastructure change would make your commute better?

Bike lanes and traffic-calming measures on Adelaide Street. Particularly in the area of the school on Brant Street. Also, it needs to be easier to cross Bathurst around Adelaide. Going east, there’s a crosswalk at Adelaide proper but when you are cycling west … there’s nothing! The crosswalk at Wellington has disappeared in recent months, which means there’s just no easy way.

Sibi’s opinion of the Adelaide Street situation

Bi-directional bike lanes on Argyle would also be nice but this is nowhere near as urgent. Bike lanes would bring Argyle from a 9 to a 10-star cycling street, in my book!

Sonya Allin on her commute

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Related on the dandyBLOG:

Local parents support Richmond-Adelaide cycle track: City asks for input on bike lane proposal

dandyCommute – Junction triangle to Spadina and Richmond

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