Plowed bike lanes and secure storage at transit stations are vital to persuading people to take their bikes to work in the winter, said Councillor Adrian Heaps, chair of the Toronto Cycling Committee. “It’s all part of our target of bike lanes this year and making sure transportation[department] looks at bike lanes as public thoroughfares, just like roads,” Heaps said.
Although I have been greatly inspired (and educated) by the winter cyclist profiles I’ve been posting here on Spacing, I feel it is time for full disclosure. I am still only a part-time winter cyclist. Although inspired (and I do ride my mini beater bike in winter) I’m still not up to the lengthy commute during rush hour in winter. I have done it, but it wasn’t pleasant. The main reason being lack of space on the road. I did not feel that I belonged. Sadly, it would appear that there are many motorists who share that feeling (and are willing to express it via honking horns or other methods.) As noted in many of the profiles, winter cyclists in Toronto must take the lane.
Winter cyclists need to ride in the middle of the road due to conditions. These deplorable conditions following this latest storm have been documented by Martin Reis, a sort of Peter Parker in the cycling community, if you will. See them by following the ‘continued reading’ link below.
I can feel my bikey senses tingling… oh wait, that’s probably just the numbness setting into my slush-covered extremities.
Without further adieu, here is the view from the gutter – aka the bike lane.
Editor’s Note: click on the links Day One, Day Two, etc. links to see the full photo set
A little bit of the bike wheel stencil is peaking through. This is College Street Facing east at Spadina (bike route 12) on February 1st.
And, here again on Day Two…
Notice how the roads are nice and clear in the middle…but oh so soupy on the sides.
Over on the other side of this intersection– the southwest corner of College and Spadina (pictured below) we get a very clear picture of what winter cyclists have to put up with — in one of our most well-used bike lanes no less.
Day Three below: Still does not offer safe passage.
Beverly Street below.
Fairly typical situation below with the truck, only compounded by snow and muck.
And, finally, Day Four (today) below.
Further down route 12 isn’t any better (facing east from Huron.)
You may also enjoy a recent Spacing post about snow clearing from a pedestrian perspective.
Photos courtesy of Martin Reis