Separating bike lanes

Toronto needs separated bike lanes — on wide, fast roads such as the Richmond/Adelaide corridor, suburban Eglinton Avenue where the LRT will be built, or the Bayview Extension that connects bike paths to the Brickworks. On these streets with fast, heavy multi-lane traffic, a simple painted line is not enough to give cyclists a sense of security.

Where Toronto does not particularly need separated bike lanes is on slow roads with only one lane of traffic in either direction that already have bike lanes, such as Sherbourne and Wellesley. I bike on these lanes most days coming back from work, and the painted lines do their job — there’s a clear separation between vehicle traffic and bikes, and vehicles are generally travelling slowly. Yet these are the streets where Toronto is putting its effort to add a physical separation for the bike lanes, in the form of rounded curbs (rounded to allow emergency vehicle access).

More seriously, on Wellesley at least separated lanes could actually make cycling more stressful, because there will not always be enough room for cyclists to pass each other comfortably, and also they will get trapped behind any blockage in the bike lane.

I went to the recent open house about the Wellesley project, wondering how the City would find enough space on this narrow street to create separated bike lanes where cyclists could still pass each other. The answer is, it can’t. The separated lanes will be as narrow as 1.6 meters wide (PDF) for some blocks, and 1.8 meters wide (PDF) on others. Only a few blocks will have the 2.0 meters generally considered the minimum for comfortable passing.

I cross the Bloor Viaduct every day, with its nice wide 2-meter+ bike lanes, and even there cyclists passing others often end up on the bike lane lines to create a comfortable space.

It’s a serious problem. Speeds between cyclists vary far more than between vehicles or between pedestrians, and cyclists pass each other constantly as  a result. I visited a hard-core cyclist friend in Paris a few years ago shortly after the new Socialist mayor introduced different kinds of bike lanes all over the city, and asked him how he liked them. He loved them — except for the separated lanes that didn’t have enough room to pass, where he always got stuck behind slower cyclists. He avoided those.

The result of narrow separated lanes will be that aggressive cyclists will either pass other cyclists very tightly, creating the danger of collisions and an intimidating atmosphere for slow cyclists, or try to cross over the rolled curb to pass, also risking an accident; as for couriers, many will probably simply cycle in the vehicle lane. Less aggressive cyclists, after being trapped behind slower cyclists a few times, may start to look for other routes.

The main problem that we cyclists currently encounter on Wellesley is vehicles stopped in the bike lane for deliveries or to pick up someone or something. At the moment, that means cyclists have to pass them on the left, which is annoying but not too much of a problem because of the slow traffic. These blockages won’t stop with the separation, because vehicles can cross the rolled curb. However, with the curb bikes will have to somehow cross the curb to get around the stopped vehicles, adding an extra element of danger — or else they will hop the sidewalk, creating problems for pedestrians.

The net result of separating the bike lanes on Wellesley would be to make these perfectly adequate bike lanes more complicated to use, without adding much net benefit. The Wellesley bike lanes could certainly be improved, and some of the other ideas being floated by the City in this exercise might be good ideas, but not the curbs.

No cost-benefit analysis would have given priority to Wellesley for separating bike lanes. That they are the target of this exercise is the result of political manoeuvering on the part of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee and its chairman, Denzil Minnan-Wong. They are wasting staff and cyclist energy and resources that would be better placed advocating for and building wide, fully separated lanes where they are most needed.




  1. I agree. This issue is just going to get worse. I’ve noticed in the last few years a dramatic increase in differential cycling traffic. Also, added to the mix are the variety of e-bikes which are becoming more and more prevalent.

  2. What bugs me are the missed opporunities. Bloor through downtown had a recent reconstruction that could have easily accomodated seperated bike lanes, without a major impact on pedestrian space or car lanes. That would have been a great corridor from Spadina to Broadview. Jarvis, as well, is a great candidate, since it easily has the room, and is a good connection just east of Yonge. I beleive it’s due for resurfacing soon anyway.

  3. Separated lanes solve two problems: 1) they keep fast-moving vehicles out of each other’s way on busy roads, and 2) they foster respect for the bike lane and the belief in their safety among novice riders.

    Unfortunately, #2 is more of a cultural problem than an engineering problem.

    On Harbord, there is already a large critical mass of riders using the painted lanes. I have no idea how all these riders would fit within a separated lane. I would suspect door prizes are less common on Harbord, since it is hard to park a car without being aware of the busy cyclist traffic (some parking spots should be turned over to a proper bike lane east of Bathurst). Some drivers still stop inconsiderately in the bike lane, but they are inevitably scolded by numerous passing riders, and perhaps may have their car photo posted on the internet for the world to mock. All in all, this is as safe a bike lane as you are likely to find. It would seem the cultural problem is being resolved on Harbord without the need for full separation.

    There are several ways of strengthening the separation on minor arterials, and fostering driver respect for the lanes, without installing curbs or barriers. Distinct paving, flat physical markers or even a thicker line may be sufficient to make it clear that cars are not allowed in the lane. Ruthless and consistent enforcement of the law against stopping in the bike lane would also help foster the necessary cultural shift (so would not erasing bike lanes).

  4. I haven’t heard or read much about the basic retardation of Denzil’s vision for separated lanes; a surprising number of commentators seem to be very accepting of the various elements of the proposal for Wellesley,George and Sherbourne. I don’t believe they have actually committed to anything on Richmond/Adelaide though. This article neatly and effectively captures the essential dumbness of it all, particularly the shell game of substituting one road hazard for another, leaving cyclists with no net benefit.

    What we can say about the Ford ‘administration’ is that they have delivered on the campaign promise to build off-road infrastructure. The number stated during the campaign was $50 million over the 4 years. More recently, they may have stated $40 million. The gatineau corridor is the one example I’ve seen that makes me believe it’s true. But if this is not true, please do a story on it Mr. Reid.

  5. While I am only a single data point in my experience bicyclists are becoming increasingly aggressive in their positioning on the road. In the roads around the Junction bicyclists frequently ride down the middle of the road, ride through pedestrian crosswalks and bike against the flow of traffic (at the intersection of the railpath, Sterling and Dundas for example). In my view all bike lanes should be separated to curb these issues even if it means that their will be more congestion for cyclists. 

  6. Raised curbs? That makes no sense. That’s not a separation.

    I was expecting metal bollards a la Quebec City that I can weave through but cars can’t.

  7. You’re right that blockages in the bike lane are a big problem, but it’s a problem with both regular painted lanes and these new separated ones, so your point is moot.

    Cyclists not being able to pass each other isn’t a good enough argument against the new segregated lanes.  You’re talking about aggressive cyclists creating an intimidating atmosphere for slow cyclists, then proposing a solution that accommodates their aggression.  If we want more people cycling, then we can’t cater to aggressive cyclists like your hard-core Parisian friend. The new lanes will be safer because they’re separate, and also because they’re slower.  You’re also suggesting that bike-couriers will just skip the bike lane and use a vehicle lane.  If mail trucks shouldn’t park in a bike lane for convenience, then bike couriers shouldn’t use a vehicle lane for convenience.  But again, you want to accommodate bad behaviour.

    “The net result of separating the bike lanes on Wellesley would be to make these perfectly adequate bike lanes more complicated to use, without adding much net benefit.”  Well, maybe not for you, but for most casual cyclists this will be a huge benefit. 

    Finally, it’s quite hilarious that you’re complaining about the ‘political manonoeuvering’ and ‘waste’ of resources by Minnan-Wong.  One of Ford’s top lieutenants is pushing through better bike infrastructure than Miller did during 8 years.  Do you not realize how ridiculous your complaints sound?

  8. tdot> Suggesting that people who ride fast are aggressive is wrong. Some cyclists are extremely slow, and riding fast is not agressive. If I’m stuck behind a slow cyclists in a lane, that lane is completely useless to me and I’d never use it. Sorry, need to get where I’m going.

  9. What I heard at the open house that concerned me the most was that they still have no plan for dealing with the intersections. Presently, the painted bike lanes give way to sharrows at most intersections on Wellesley, because there isn’t enough space for bike lanes and left turn lanes. That means, they’re either going to have to remove a bunch of left turns or stick with the sharrows.

    Which is *ridiculous*. If the separated bike lanes are going to end before intersections, where the protection is most needed, then what exactly is the point?

    We need more bike lanes in this city, not endless iterations on existing ones that already work. What are the chances the promised Richmond/Adelaide lane will materialize before 2014?

    Minnan-Wong’s downtown bike plan is so much smoke and mirrors.

  10. @Leo
    Raised curbs make a difference.  This is typical on-street bike lanes in European cities.  Partly it creates more of visual and even tactile separation that causes drives to note the difference between where bikes belong and where cars belong.  

    In Europe they also use paint (red?) sometimes to differentiate the bike lane from the car lane.  The City tried blue paint a few years ago on Strachan, near the Ex, but it didn’t work (it peeled) and the City seems to have given up the paint idea.

  11. shawn micallef> Understood.  The slower ones will use the lanes, and the faster ones will move elsewhere.  Still an improvement if it gets more people to cycle, isn’t it?

  12. tdot> Not if it’s, as Dylan writes, on a street like Wellesley. It will be holy hell if many cyclists like me avoid the separated slow bike lane and ride in the car lane. I need that lane, it’s where I go alot. Needs to accommodate many riders and that’s done with the ability to pass.

  13. Re. the political manoeuverings – my advice is, beware Minnan-Wong bearing gifts. This is distraction, not improvement. Miller didn’t remove any bike lanes.

  14. Sounds like aggressive cyclists are the problem and not the width of the bike lanes. Those people need to learn to chill

  15. if you build a bicycle lane that works terribly, then it’s a convenient scapegoat to point to when you want to avoid building the next bike line. “We’re not putting in any more separated lanes, we don’t want another Wellesley Disaster(tm) on our hands!”

    It’s cynical, but we all know it’s true. Hopefully voices of reason like yours, Dylan, are heard – and I hope you’re doing more than just writing on the subject… you should meet with your councillor during their office hours, circulate your thoughts to the BIA for Wellesley, and so on…

  16. grieves> What’s an agressive cyclist? I pass a lot of slow cyclists because I pedal with some intent. Some of us need to be places. Chill all you want on a park path.

  17. First, I think the real problem here is the width of the separated lanes, not the separated lanes themselves.  In my opinion, if a road requires bicycle lanes (many slow side roads do not), then they should be separated.  It’s the infrastructure that makes people feel comfortable.  Really the argument should be that they should be wider.

    Of course, the problem with the wider separated lane argument (from a policy perspective) is that you are arguing for cyclists to have a right that car drivers don’t have.  Wellesley has a single lane of vehicle traffic each way, and if you get stuck behind a slow driver, you’re stuck.  As designed, this is the same for the bike lane.

    To me though, if the goal is getting people out of their cars by making cycling more attractive, then we should be looking at wider, separated lanes.  Then you get two benefits (safety and passing) and you’re really starting to make a case for bicycling over driving.

  18. Dylan, if you want more cyclists, you need separated lanes. It is a simple fact backed up by a lot of research. I too am a fast cyclist, so I too like to pass, but I would rather have more cyclists than less.

  19. I cycle regularly on Wellesley, and I hadn’t even thought about this issue of passing cyclists; although now it seems obvious. E-bikes are particularly problematic, as they accelerate faster, and travel faster than all but the most lycra-clad cyclists. It has also occurred to me that the rounded curbs will not prevent delivery trucks (or paper shredder trucks right across from the provincial government’s offices……hmmmm) from blocking the lane. It’s also popular for movie trailers.
    I went to the meeting, and one design that they rejected which actually makes more sense is having a two-way bike lane on one side of the road. Indeed, this could solve the passing-slow-cyclists-problem. I asked a staffer why this idea was rejected, and the answer boils down to: “It would get in the way of cars at signals.” Apparently, the two-way design means interferring with left/right turns of cars; which means that the bike lane “needs” a dedicated phase, which is apparently too much of a bother for drivers. I mentioned in my written comments that we shouldn’t be sacrificing a significant piece of cycling infrastructure for the needs of a handful of car drivers (most of whom are using Wellseley as a connector to Jarvis/Mount Pleasant during rush hour).

  20. Dylan, as an able-bodied male, your sense of security biking on a two lane arterial road marked for 50 km/hr is different than a large number of the population. You’ve extended your own subjective experience on Wellesley to make it a singular truth of what would give *all* cyclists safety, comfort or a sense of security.

    I don’t believe that everyone using a bike or wanting to use one will agree with you, particularly those who are elderly or young.

    It doesn’t change the fact that Wellesley is an arterial road and cars are still allowed to reach speeds of at least 50 km/hr. To you on a bike, 50 km/hr might be fine, but not for everyone. Denmark recommends that all roads with speeds over 40 km/hr should have separation.

    The width of the bike lane in some spots is unfortunate but it is still above the recommended minimum width of 1.5 metres or 5 feet. The rolled curb will facilitate exiting and entering the cycle track so I think it will be less of an issue than you suggest.

    I take issue with your suggestion that Wellesley is only getting cycle tracks because of political manouvering and that a cost-benefit analysis wouldn’t have approved them. Right, because we’ve done cost-benefit analyses for all the other bike lanes installed in the city. I don’t believe that it’s that easy and there is *always* some politics involved. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good for cycling. The cycle tracks will attract new cyclists and improve the cycling experience on some key routes. Cycle Toronto saw the big benefit of the cycle track network, which is why it has pushed for it all along. That’s why I support it as well.

  21. Why are they only considering separated bike lanes that straddle the car lanes?  Put a 3.5-4.0 metre two-way bike corridor on one side of the street.  That way you have room to pass other cyclists when there’s no oncoming bicycle traffic.  

    I agree with Leo, we need better separation than a rolled curb.  We need a steep sharp curb or bollards to prevent taxis and delivery trucks from pulling over in bike lanes.

  22. Herb – I’m a slow cyclist, more often passed than passing. If people are passing me close in a narrow lane, that’s going to make my bike ride more stressful, not less. I suspect the same would be true for elderly people and children. The 1.5 minimum is for an open lane, not one that needs to safely accommodate 2 bikes side-by-side.

    I note that I support separated lanes, but only where they make sense. I don’t think we should let a generally good principle override the realities of a specific situation.

    The two-lane on one side solution would certainly work to address the issues I’m raising – that’s what they do in Montreal, and I’ve seen examples in New York too.

  23. Herb says that separated bike lanes are essential for getting people who are afraid to bike in a normal bike lane to start biking. Then he says in any case it’s easy to jump the separation curb. Really? I doubt someone who is afraid to use a painted bike lane will enjoy zipping across a raised curb. Maybe Herb too is “extending his own subjective experience to make it a singular truth that applies to *all* cyclists”, as he puts it.

  24. At posted speeds of 40 km/h, bicycles and automobiles can share the roadway. At posted speeds of 50 km/h, then you need, at minimum, separate bike lanes. At posted speeds of 60 km/h or higher, the bike lanes need to be segregated from the automobiles speeding by, hopefully by some sort of physically barrier (curb, hump, bollards). Over 70 km/h, we will need concrete Jersey barriers.

  25. FYI: It looks like your spell check may have changed ‘metres’ to the American ‘meters’.  

  26. Dylan – Maybe the two-way would be the best option, I’m not sure. I’ve heard the staff have issues with it, such as it requiring its own signal phase (I think), costing more and would increase conflict points at intersections. But maybe the benefits outweighs the drawbacks.

    Not true – 1.5 m *is* the minimum for a cycle track – according to NACTO guidelines:

    The rolled curb is a temporary design and the eventual design of a raised track with a sloped curb would help cyclists pass while still providing a psychological barrier to drivers.

  27. Dylan, I don’t think anyone would disagree that Eglinton and other fast arterials need protected cycling infrastructure. But this is Toronto, it’s not going to be a “build it and they will come” scenario. There has to be existing demand to make it politically feasible.

    Harbord / Wellesley is one of the only east-west corridors that has a chance of becoming a child- and senior-safe protected bicycle infrastructure, where people actually ride now:

    Bloor is out thanks to the BIA and Ford. College is out because of the recessed-parking-bay street layout, making it car-door city in the painted bike lanes. Not to mention the streetcar, which Dundas and Queen share.

    So we’re left with Harbord.

    I think this is a matter of making perfect the enemy of the better.

  28. They can’t do the raised track right away because there want to coordinate it with road resurfacing.

    I fully agree with Antony that Wellesley-Harbord is the *only* east-west route that is feasible right now for child-senior friendliness. And I’ll repeat his last line:

    “I think this is a matter of making perfect the enemy of the better.”

  29. I think a two-way bike lane on one side would be a better option. Still safe, but leaves room to pass if needed.

    Plus it would force the city to start looking at better intersection design. Toronto intersections are bollocks, generally for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. 

  30. Beware of the left they delivered very little for cycling under Miller
    Obviously bloor would be better than Wellesley but there will never be continuous bicycle lanes on Bloor
    Too many stores, too much lost parking revenue 
    and too many ward councillors affected
    Wellesley Harbord Hoskins is not continuous now
    2 big gaps
    The Harbord Bakery has been very vocal 
    In opposition to Unseparated bicycle lanes in front of their bakery
    On Harbord
    The Wellesley Harbord Hoskins lanes separated
    Are better than anything delivered by Miller and co.
    My reading of most of these posts suggests
    Most of the authors have never ridden separated lanes in holland
    There is lots of room for separated lanes on Wellesley Harbord if there is the political will to make the room
    Toronto is behind we need to catch up downtown ward politics is in the way

  31. Jersey barriers on the bayview extension are long overdue.

  32. My kids ride along Harbord all the time, and for the most part it is already safe for kids and seniors. I urge everyone not to overestimate the power of physical separation. Remember that most collisions occur at intersections, where physical separation is impossible.

    My only concern on Harbord is about the section east of Bathurst where the lanes disappear and turn into sharrows. And at those points, my main fear is door prizes, not side-swipes or other vehicle collisions. The threat of door prizes is not a surprise given that this section was designed around parking needs and not cycling needs, with the bike route zigging and zagging awkwardly around the parking areas. My hunch is that parking drivers sense they have priority and thus are more likely to forget about cyclists. Somehow the parked cars elsewhere along Harbord do not seem so threatening, perhaps because the bike lane is more evident and communicates clear cycling priority.

  33. Thanks for your comments, John. Good to hear a local parent’s perspective.

    I’m not particularly critical of the city’s mediocre separated path design. If it’s a little narrow, at least it’s a usable bike lane. After you subtract the span of a car door, painted lanes outboard of parked cars (like College) have maybe 30cm of safe, usable room. And even then, a driver passing too close can cut the safe zone down to a mere ribbon.

    The other mitigating factor is the frequency of cross streets with stoplights. Every red light is an opportunity to safely re-shuffle bike lane queues.

    Finally, if a Harbord/Wellesley separated lane is slow, the fast confident cyclists can choose College or Bloor instead. Right now, there are no options for people who would only ride in separated bike lanes.

  34. So much blather in the comments. Fast or slow cyclist, driver or cyclist, please stop assuming you know how any cycling infrastructure will work well by drawing from Toronto experiences: it’s a poor database. Here in Tokyo the infrastructure is crap, but the fatality rate is a quarter. Why? I could tell you but it would be more useful is people looked that up, and Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, Vancouver…

  35. Not a fan of the physically separated bike line, as it traps the cyclist in a relatively narrow corridor. No room to pass other bikes or avoid unexpected obstacles. I feel much safer being able to use the whole road, when necessary. 

    Painted lines are more than enough protection, provided drivers are aware they’re sharing the road with bikes and are appropriately respectful, and cyclists follow the rules of the road and ride predictably, so that drivers can judge what they’re going to do. I feel like separated bike lanes work against both those criteria. I think they help foster the misconception in drivers that bikes don’t belong on the road and are simply “in the way”, as well as the misconception in cyclists that they are different enough from cars that they can ignore various rules of the road at their convenience.

  36. @Island Cyclist, a street like Harbord, Hoskin or Wellesley is generally not the kind of street in the Netherlands that would have a separated (curbed) bike lane. A wider street like University would have the type of separated (and grade-separated, relative to the sidewalk) bike path, but narrower streets, particularly in town centres, are more likely to have just a painted bike lane, or one that is paved or coloured differently from the car lanes. What is needed is a safe connection for cyclists between Hoskin and Wellesley; the streets themselves need bike lanes that are not compromised by parking, rather than separated lanes for their own sake.

  37. A rounded curb would still probably make some motorists think twice about parking in a bike lane more so than a painted lane would I’d argue.

  38. This is a terribly unfortunate article. Separated bike lanes have been proven to increase safety for cyclists and bring more people out of their cars and onto bikes.  Many cities around the world have implemented separated bike lanes successfully.  Some of these lanes are on wide thoroughfares and others and narrow old European streets.  Separated lanes provide safe cycling for all users, not just the “aggressive” 20 or 30 somethings who are fearless on the road and want to pass others all the time.  Having cycled in other countries, I can say that people in Toronto bike like they’re constantly in a race.  

    I suspect that the perspective of the author would change if he was a 10 year old boy or a 75 year old who isn’t comfortable changing car lanes to make left turns or racing around the streets. Separated bike lanes are accessible and inclusive and should be put everywhere!

    Also, the separated bike lane plan is not Denzil’s plan.  He adopted it from Toronto cycling advocates and activists who have identified four streets that could make a decent start for a network of separated lanes and have been advocating for them for years.  Denzil is the chair of PWIC so what are we supposed to do?  Argue against a reasonably good plan because we don’t like Ford or Denzil?  

    Welleseley does have its “design” challenges, but we fought and lost to get bike lanes on Bloor.  And, Harbord street is a disaster of cycling infrastructure planning all because the City caved to the BIAs to ensure that a few on-street parking spaces were retained. 

    Separated bike lanes in Toronto will transform this City into a wonderful place to ride a bike, safe and accessible for all users.

  39. Hi Lemur 
    I have ridden extensively in Holland
    With my children on the back 3 and 5 when we last did it as a family
    I have very few memories of any city roads I rode on as wide as University 
    It would be a limited access highway in my experience not an inner city street
    I have cycled in Utrecht Rotterdam Edam Hoorn Amsterdam den Hague etc
    and streets that in Toronto would be “impossible”
    to accommodate separated lanes seem to be possible there
    Cycling is given priority unlike here
    Traffic engineers ie cars determine everything here
    Separated bicycle lanes changes the dialogue
    Cars lose some priority and active transportation is elevated in importance
    If City staff think they can design separated workable separated bicycle lanes why  wouldn’t we let them
    It is time to change the conversation
    Separated bicycle lanes have been transformative in New York Montreal
    They will be here too.
    We need to let it happen and not defeat what we can get because we would think there might be something better

  40. Island Cyclist, I think you’re missing my point. Separated bike lanes in the Netherlands are mostly on wider streets than Hoskin or Wellesely, such as this one near The Hague: On-street lanes are on narrower streets in city centres, like this street in Haarlem: Obviously separated lanes and infrastructure are ideal, but we don’t always have space for them, even if there is a willingness to sacrifice on-street parking.

  41. Can anybody provide some information on exactly why a two-way bike lane on one side of the street is not treated as a viable (and indeed superior) option? While two one-way 5 ft wide lane is terrible, a two way 10ft lane (or even 9 ft) is very generous and will allow the bike traffic to flow very nicely. What are the downside?

  42. These people are obvious trolls which shows in their comments.

    Why is everyone bashing the fast cyclists. They are the real cyclists.
    It is not aggressive to keep up with the pace of traffic and traveling at the road’s rated speed limit.

    Are people on the highway aggressive for passing the slower vehicles to get to the proper speed limit?

    For children there is the sidewalk if their tires are under 24 inches in length and same for the elderly. They have always had that option and no one is stopping them from adopting it right now.

    Riding slower than the pace of traffic without an option to pass(cars don’t count, they didn’t have that option in the first place if it’s single lane while bikes always did if there is no cars) would be disrespectful and impeding the flow of traffic (a traffic offence) and wouldn’t make any sense to do on a commuter road for children and golden years.

    What this infastructure does is undermine the people who can keep up with traffic by forcing them to accomodate an elderly pace and reduce their options to change lanes.

    A bicycle on proper gear doesn’t look very aggressive, going at the proper speed of the road. It looks normal and moves at the pace of traffic, where is this aggression that everyone seems to see. There is no such emotions when biking.

    “Sounds like aggressive cyclists are the problem and not the width of the bike lanes. Those people need to learn to chill”
    Sounds like aggressive, inattentive drivers are the problem and not wither we have bike lanes, those people need to learn to chill

    “you are arguing for cyclists to have a right that car drivers don’t have. Wellesley has a single lane of vehicle traffic each way, and if you get stuck behind a slow driver, you’re stuck. As designed, this is the same for the bike lane.”

    You are arguing for pedestrians to have a right that drivers and bicycles don’t have. Wellesley has a single lane of vehicle traffic each way, and if you get stuck behind a slow driver, you’re stuck. As designed, the sidewalks should be the same as the bike lane. Single file and big enough for one person to fit”

    Cyclists should definitely have the right to use the left side of the whole lane to pass, when safe because it’s sensible, they are smaller.

    And Fourth Paragraph applies here.

  43. One day I’d like to see many more people, my children included, be able to ride in the City joyfully and safely (and sorry but not on the sidewalk). At present I’m considering moving to a City that is willing to embrace these ideas. As such, I’m tired of hearing people who have already figured out how to navigate the city on two wheels selfishly complain about potential improvements that would improve ridership. If we want to make this City more people and cycle friendly, separated lanes will go a long way to make this happen. In the meantime if you’re going to criticize, please offer up other solutions to see quality improvements on this street or another adjacent passage. way.

  44. Here’s some feedback from Vancouver, where we’ve had a couple of two-way separated bike lanes for a few years now.

    Being able to pass is important and a two-way path allows that and takes up less width than two one-way lanes. The ones we have are both on one-way streets so it’s not quite the same thing.

    A separate timing for the bike lane and pedestrian crossing than the right turning cars is important. It’s a new thing so takes some getting used to but overall everybody likes it. A nice side effect benefit for drivers is they no longer have to wait for pedestrians to cross when they’re trying to turn.

    The sloped edge is used in a few places here as well as a narrow bike path. It’s used on #3 Road in the suburb or Richmond. It seems fine to me whenever I’m on it. Getting on and off it is pretty easy. The height different is a great delineator between the modes. It keeps people from walking into the bike lane as it’s obvious that it’s a different space. Works better than paint.

    The Dutch do some really great things at intersections that work well. I don’t know of anywhere in North America that’s copied them yet.

    But lots of things can work. I don’t expect the same thing to be used throughout the length of the route. It’s good that there’s debate about it.
    I’m in the confident and enthusiastic category and can cycle pretty well anywhere and even I prefer the separated lanes. I say go for it. Be involved in the process of their design and even if they could be wider or whatever, you’ll be glad you have them and it will whet the appetite for more. One thing that the separated lanes did here in Vancouver is make them a tangible real thing that someone could go look at and try out and the opposition to them just seems to vanish once people get accustomed to them and see their purpose.

  45. Here’s my request for Toronto cyclists: if you want to zig zag across pedestrian crossings rather than wait for a turn signal in the traffic lane, get off your frigging bike and making pedestrians crossing with their light jump around you. The amount of “having your cake and eating it” I see on Dundas between University and Parliament every day is stunning.

  46. I just looked up the panels from the open house: Like this one:

    Dylan, you failed to mention that the current set up is even crappier for most of the route. I don’t know what you think is so great about 1.7 m bike lanes right next to parked cars. Are you going to defend that crap that puts cyclists right in the way of the door zone? The plan for those sections is to make them into 1.8 m without parked cars and their dangerous doors.

    And then we have one side that is only 1.5 m: and the plan is to make both sides 2.0 m with no parked cars.

    I wonder why Spacing is trying to defend the status quo here.

  47. If a separated bike lane is the standard 2.1 meters wide to allow safe passing, I’m all in favour of it. But it has to be consistent, not haphazard.

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