Sunday, December 15, 2013

Visioning a Cycle Track on the Dundas / Carlaw Corridor using "StreetMix"

By Michael Holloway

A Cycle Track can move many more people per hour in one lane, than two traffic lanes with cars can. If we build bike lanes in a congested city - people on bikes will come ... thus reducing the number of people using their cars. Adding cycling infrastructure will reduce the congestion that we are all experiencing on Toronto's arterial roadways - at all hours of the business day it seems these days.

Using this "StreetMix" application I can visualize Carlaw Ave in different configurations based on a known Roadway Footprint measurement. For this test I've chosen a 13 metre wide footprint (property line to property line).

Here's Carlaw Avenue as it exists now (assuming 13m) at off-peak hours: two traffic lanes; two parking lanes; and very narrow sidewalks (a function of the Industrial 'built-form' - the architectural and cultural history of the area).

Play with the 'Carlaw Avenue (Existing)':

Now there are just two car lanes, one northbound and one southbound - wider sidewalks, and a "Cycle Track" (a two-way Bike Lane) on the West side of Carlaw. I also added a separation island for the Cycle Track, and made the sidewalk as wide as I could...

Below I narrowed the Cycle Track and the separation device so it equals the 2.8 metre width of the car lanes. (total car lanes: 5.6 metres). I've widened the sidewalks as much as possible once again.

That feels better. :)

Play with 'Carlaw Avenue (remix)':




  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I got a comment in email notifications that was posted here (deleted by the author) - and I think it makes good points - so I'll address them anyways.

    The 'commentator-not' may be correct in thinking that my chosen 13m width (property line to property line) is much too narrow for Carlaw along this stretch. (That's why I left it at "assuming" in the article.)

    I couldn't find documentation. Searched extensively again just now with new keywords I have been made aware of ... nothing.

    Did find this 2007 planning approval for a Bike Lanes on Carlaw and Logan north of Riverdale Ave - though:

    "Proposed Bicycle Lanes on Carlaw Avenue from Riverdale Avenue to Simpson Avenue and on Logan Avenue from Simpson Avenue to Dundas Street East" |

    (nice URLs the city uses, hides content really well)

    Looking for street measurements in city documents has revealed though, that the city always measures the street curb to curb - while the app includes the sidewalks. Not including sidewalks makes a huge difference!

    My 13m comes from a Planner friend who guessed off the top of his head, 13m or 14m. I will measure it this week - or perhaps someone knows where to find the widths of our streets?

    Would be a valuable resource.

    I walked the area on Friday December 13 - part of my learning about the Planning Studies underway, and South of Queen *felt* wider than North of Queen.

    This is the beginning of a conversation with the Community (I hope) - so please design away with this App (or any other sharable interfaces that you are aware of). More apps means more reasons to have conversations about a North-South Cycling Network in this blog - in the neighbourhood.


  3. Measured Carlaw at Queen today. I paced off 13 paces from curb to curb - and then for safety, paced 13 paces on the sidewalk, and measured that with my tape measure.

    I got 38 feet. Google That's 11.58m!!! My visualization above is 1/2m too wide!