Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bike Lanes

Ok, not exactly my usual type of topic (i.e, Sophie, CF, Transplant), nope. This time I am going to write about my experience with Bike Lanes in Toronto. As you know, i depend on my bicycle (it is a nice fancy one) to get to work. I say depend, but really it is a choice that i love and wouldn't trade for anything and love cruising down the lakeshore while the other commuters are sitting in cars stuck in traffic. The city of Toronto has in the last few years made a big effort to improve the cycling infrastructure in city. Examples of this are, some bike paths like the Martin Goodman Trail are now plowed and salted in the winter and literally what feels like lots and lots of new bike paths. All of it is really great, it seems like biking is thought about and talked about at the municipal level which really is great. BUT....

There are some things going on right now that are not making it any easier on cyclists. On many streets these new bike lanes act like nice pick-up / drop-off locations or cab stands. This actually makes it quite dangerous for cyclists, doors opening, cars pulling in and out. NOT GOOD. As a cyclist you want to be on the right hand side and shouldn't have to go around these cars. So city folks, if you are going to build these lanes, you also have to enforce the parking in them.

Next, in the winter months, the bike lanes act as a place where the plows dump the snow, again, i understand that only a few people will bike all year round, but this again is a huge barrier for all cyclists.

And last, there are some plans in the works now to convert lanes from major arterial streets like Jarvis and University into spring/summer bike lanes. This I really don't get. Why would a cyclist really want to be there in the middle of all the cars if there are great alternatives (with existing biking infrastructure) parallel to these major roads.

But most of all, if you see a cyclist or a group of us, give us some room and we promise not to yell and swear back at the drivers. Promise :)

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Cyn said...

I'm doing my darndest to give you all some room, but I just can't figure out why anyone would choose to ride up these hills that I see them on.

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