Illustration: Ian Sullivan Cant
From the Horse’s Mouth: What's up for Toronto cycling in 2016
The year 2016 is poised to be a big year for cycling in Toronto - even though there are only 32 km of new bike lanes planned for installation. The City's cycling manager told dandyhorse that the cycling staff in Transportation Services at the City are hard at work on some great projects, including the much anticipated cycle track pilot project on Bloor West. Here are some of the other big plans for this year according to Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, Manager, Cycling Infrastructure and Program, Transportation Services.
We're working on completing the Ten Year Cycling Network Plan and will be bringing the plan to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee this spring. This plan will guide the expansion and improvement of the city's cycling network. Not only does this plan identify new cycling routes, but it also identifies new resources – in the form of staffing as well as budget – that we need to deliver on the plan. The plan will build on the city's current bike routes through projects that will connect the gaps in the existing cycling network, grow the network into new parts of the city, and renew the existing network routes to improve their quality.
While we're looking forward to completing this plan, we're very excited about some of the projects that we're working on that are proposed to be installed this year as well. I'll highlight three of them:
Lake Shore Boulevard West Cycle Track in Etobicoke
A gap in the Waterfront Trail currently exists in Etobicoke between Norris Crescent and First Street. To continue along the Waterfront Trail east and west of here, cyclists must travel along busy Lake Shore Boulevard West, in mixed traffic with high vehicle volumes as well as TTC buses and streetcars. Staff have completed a feasibility study and public consultation process. We're proposing to install a physically separated two-way cycle track on the south side of the roadway. In addition, a contra-flow bike lane is proposed along Waterfront Drive. Pending Council approval, these projects are planned to be installed this summer. Full details are available here: www.toronto.ca/lakeshorecycle
Bloor Street pilot project
As I'm sure most of your readers are aware, we're working on a pilot project that would allow city staff the opportunity to study the impacts and benefits of bike lanes on Bloor Street. Last year, staff began developing design options for bike lanes on Bloor Street between Avenue Road and Shaw Street. We held a public meeting late last year to get input from the public on the designs, and there was a tremendous level of input received. A second public meeting is planned for March 9 to present the preferred design. If approved by city council, the project would be installed this summer. Full details are available here: www.toronto.ca/bloorbikelanes
Two projects on Bayview Avenue will improve connections to the Evergreen Brickworks and Leaside. A new multi-use trail will be built along the east side of Bayview Avenue connecting the gaps between Rosedale Valley Road and Pottery Road, providing a new safe connection to the Brickworks. In addition, wide paved shoulders will be added to Bayview Avenue between Pottery Road and Moore Avenue, greatly improving the conditions for cycling on this roadway. Both of these projects will be constructed this summer.
Woodbine Avenue and East-End Bikeways
Our 2016 project list also includes bike lanes on Woodbine Avenue. Staff are currently developing design options and plan to consult with the public in the spring. In association with the design of bike lanes on Woodbine Ave., we're also looking at some connecting bikeways in the east-end including local streets of Norway Avenue and Corley Avenue, as well as cycling improvements to the O'Connor Drive bridge.
In addition to the ones I've mentioned, there are several other projects on the go, including other new bike lanes and trails, improvements to existing bike lanes, active studies for future bike lanes, more bike parking locations and assisting the Toronto Parking Authority with the planning of locations for Bike Share Toronto expansion. Please follow us on Twitter at @TO_Cycling or subscribe to our e-newsletter for more updates.
Next up: From the Horse's Mouth with Mike Layton on the minimum grid
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