Illustration by Ian Sullivan Cant
For this installment of From the Horse's Mouth, we spoke with Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) about cycling in (and around) his ward. His take? Small wins are great, but we need council to take a stronger stance for infrastructure – including the proposed minimum grid of connected bike lanes across the city, which Perks supports.
How would you describe the state of cycling in Toronto?
I think we are slowly moving toward a tipping point. Right now the big wins are out of reach. (We) need more support from council. Activists just have to keep organizing.
I think the big thing that's going to happen this year is the bike lane on Bloor.
What would you say to those of us working towards more cycling infrastructure?
Even though it's exciting to go to project-specific meetings, we need to demand more support for the city as a whole. We need to say cycling deserves its fair share.
What changes have occurred in your ward? What else can we expect to see this year?
A bike box is coming to the southeast corner of Dundas Street and Sorauren Avenue this year. (Bike boxes are on-street markings that help motorists and cyclists chare the road.)
The City of Toronto has (also) completed an environment assessment to determine routing for extending the West Toronto Railpath south from Dundas Street West, along the Kitchener GO rail corridor, to beyond Strachan Avenue and the planned Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle bridge. The recommended solution will consist of a new multi-use trail. The trail will be aligned in the rail corridor under the Dundas St. bridge to Dufferin Street and on street and adjacent to the rail corridor from Dufferin St. further south.
Demolition of the Dunn Avenue and Dowling Avenue bridges over the Lake Shore East Metrolinx/GO Transit Rail Corridor and the F. G. Gardiner Expressway (FGGE) took place in fall of 2015. Both bridges have reached the end of their service life and the installation of temporary (10 years lifespan) bridges allow the city to complete an environmental assessment to determine a permanent replacement plan for the bridges.
When complete the functionality of the bridges will change. The Dunn Ave. bridge will accommodate vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists and the Dowling Ave. bridge will accommodate pedestrians and cyclists (no vehicles). This change was recommended and approved as part of the Western Waterfront Master Plan.
At the Dundas/ Dupont/ Annette intersection, Green pavement markings have been painted at the intersection to allow better visibility of the bike lane.
Bike lanes have been installed under Lansdowne bridge (at Rideau) to increase safety for cyclists.
The Fermanagh Avenue contraflow lane has been installed, as have the Roncessvalles bump-outs.
The TTC rolled out the first 10 bike stops (five toolboxes and five repair stands) at their most popular cycling stations, including a stop at Keele station. The project was a success and TTC will roll out an additional 20 units across their network this summer. The locations have not been determined.
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