Monday, November 14, 2016

Complete Streets Opportunities on Logan & Eastern - Weston Bakery Redevelopment


Completing the existing cycling commute grid; extending the grid; making local connections - as part of the Weston Bakery Redevelopment proposal and other nearby developments.

Below is an image of the City’s online GIS map zoomed in on the south of Ward 30 (Riverside, South Riverdale, Leslieville and and the South of Eastern area). The Bike Infrastructure layer on the map is enabled (red lines, pink lines, blue lines) - and then we add markup to an image of the map showing , nearby development proposals (black lines), and our proposed new cycling infrastructure (gold lines).

Complete Streets Opportunities on Logan & Eastern - Weston Bakery Redevelopment - Full Size: http://bit.ly/2gbmY7J


The Weston Bakery proposed development is for retail/residential complex. Here's the blurb on the City of Toronto Development Applications webpage:

"Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning application to permit the re-development of the lands for the purposes of a new mixed use development containing residential, and commercial uses. Included in the proposal is the construction of a 7 storey mixed use building complete with ground floor retail uses including a food store and 259 residential dwelling units above. An additonal 7, 3.5 storey town house type dwelling units would be constructed on the Logan Avenue facade . 288 parking spaces to serve the development are proposed to be provided, all in a below grade parking structure. Resubmission Mar 17, 2015: Flood Plain and Flood Proofing Analysis pending advise from the Province on the Lower Don Lands SPA."

We see this as a great opportunity to extend the Eastern Avenue Bike Lanes from where they end just east of Logan, west to Broadview - and add cycling infrastructure to the existing 'Logan Avenue Bikeway'.

The local road network is already full to gridlock during peak hours - we need to increase these roadways' capacity - the only way to do that is to make them 'Complete Streets'. This means adding infrastructure that supports not just driving, but cycling and walking too.

In the near future the Relief Line will go right under this precinct as will Smart Track (on the heavy rail line on the berm). People will need to walk to mass transit stations nearby. As well, 20% to 30% of us will choose to cycle to work and school - if that option is made safe.

All the indicated black boxes (except the First Gulf ‘East Harbour’ development) purport imminent higher population density in the immediate area.


They include:
  • 462 Eastern Avenue - Weston Bakery (259 residential units)
  • 875 & 887 Queen Street East - Church and Heritage structures on the southwest corner of Queen/Logan (118 residential units)
  • 897 Queen Street East - Jim's Restaurant, AutoShare Lot (59 residential units)
  • 7 - 79 East Don Roadway & 661 - 667 Queen Street East - Riverside Square (894 residential units)
  • 21 Don Roadway | First Gulf's 'East Harbour' - a 'New City Centre' - Offices/Retail and a transportation hub bigger and more connected than Union Station.

So massive new local population density and massive new local employment.


East-West Cycling Grid

To handle all the transportation needs of all these new residents we propose extending the Eastern Avenue Bike Lanes east to Broadview and then connect them to a point due south of Monroe and create a route north-south through Riverside Square on a proposed 'Woonerf' there; connecting to a neighbourhood route through Rivertowne; through Riverdale Park East and connecting to Danforth Avenue west of Broadview.

We also see a connection to First Gulfs' East Harbour Transportation Hub - which runs along the rail berm from the overpass at Eastern to the west side of the Don Valley just south of Corktown Common Park.

As well, we envision a Pedestrian/Cyclists Bridge across the valley at Sunlight Park Road (where the existing steel bridge sits across the river abutting the southbound lanes of the DVP). This route takes advantage of a direct, line-of-sight path from Eastern Avenue at Broadview to the Richmond/Adelaide Bicycle Corridor which starts at Parliament Street.


North-South Cycling Grid

Logan Avenue is an existing Bikeway with a contraflow bike lane from Lake Shore Boulevard to Eastern Avenue. North of Eastern it continues as a 'Signed Bike Route' with Logan signed as a Two-Way roadway.

We propose that the City make Logan a One-Way Street from Eastern to Queen with a contraflow Bike Lane on it.

Image via StreetMix

This configuration will preserve existing one-side street parking. It can be configured either One-Way southbound, or northbound - with the contraflow either continuing on the east side of the street as it does from LSB to Eastern - or if the One-Way is preferred northbound - a contraflow on the west side with street parking on the east side.

We also propose similar treatment north of Queen to Dundas, where existing bike lanes travel up to Gerrard and north via a Woonerf style treatment between Gerrard and Bain - and beside Withrow Park as a painted road edge line that acts as separation for northbound cyclists with Logan marked One-Way northbound. We also propose that the speed limit on the Logan beside Withrow Park be reduced from 40km/h to 30km/h maximum.

We wonder if parking can be removed on Logan in order to create a bi-directional bike route from Danforth to Gerrard. If not - then a bike lane on Carlaw from Danforth to Dundas.


Links

Weston Bakery - http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=3105811&isCofASearch=false

'Red Door' development - kitty-corner to Jimmy Simpson Park - http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=2c04cfacd6f0c410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=c1c26d87bc002410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Riverside Square - http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=728da19cdcef7410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=c1c26d87bc002410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

897 Queen Street East - Jim's Restaurant, AutoShare Lot - http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=dcab1bbd20711510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=c1c26d87bc002410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

21 Don Roadway | First Gulf's 'East Harbour' - http://project21.firstgulf.com/




w30b/mh

Friday, November 4, 2016

East Harbour (Unilever site) Update - what @Ward30Bikes is advocating for in this project


By Michael Holloway

via Toronto Star, via FirstGulf - East Harbour's Broadview extension south through a proposed Transit Hub on the rail berm - with (typical of last-century city building) missing Active Transportation visioning

East Harbour is developer FirstGulf's new brand name for the UniLever Site at Lake Shore Boulevard and Don Roadway (the Don River). With progress being made on the numerous different elements integral to this massive city centre development south of Eastern and Broadview, East Harbour has been in the news quite a bit of late.

Here's a good overview with lots of pictures:

Urban Toronto - November 2, 2016
Preliminary Plans Reveal Scope of Unilever Redevelopment
by Stefan Novakovic
http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2016/11/preliminary-plans-reveal-scope-unilever-redevelopment

I'm on the working group representing Ward 30 Bikes.

Not included in these overviews is all the active transportation infrastructure we've been talking about at ~2 years of working group meetings.

We're advocating for a way to extend the Eastern Avenue Bike Lanes west from Logan across the valley through this project.

We're advocating for an east-west corridor for bicycles from Eastern at the rail bridge along the south side of the berm (integrated into the massive Transit Hub somehow) and across the valley to connect to the Lower Don River Trail and to Corktown Common and beyond (Richmond/Adelaide Bicycle corridor).

Early designs also include a north-south route along the west side of the property and then a connection to the bridge across the valley via said transit hub (which extends from the west side of the valley to the rail underpass at Eastern).

We also want to extend the Eastern Avenue Bike Lanes west of the rail underpass to Broadview - and somehow north from there to the Viaduct near Danforth/Broadview.

Broadview is to be extended south of Eastern through the site and into the Port Lands. We see this section of Broadview as a street with high quality separated bike infrastructure on it (as does the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative report).


Image via: East Harbour: Where Toronto will go to work and play | https://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2016/05/09/east-harbour-where-toronto-will-go-to-work-and-play.html | via @torontostar



mh

Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Bike Infrastructure Lately


I think we can safely say, Toronto is in the midst of a new era for bike improvements.  Wait, wait, before you start crying foul (yes, yes, we have a LONG way to go), let's stop and think about all the good that has come over the last few months.  Bloor, Simcoe, Bayview, and the Viaduct.  In the midst of being frustrated about the slow pace of change in Toronto, take a moment to think about some recent successes.

Bloor
The new pilot project protected bike lanes along Bloor sure did cause quite the media hoopla in August. Never has road works been so heavily reported!




















September there was the Bells on Bloor victory celebration lap, and Ward 30 Bikes co-hosted with Scarborough Cycles a feeder ride from Logan / Danforth to meet up with the main ride - great turnout in the east end:

Danforth & Logan feeder ride























Bells turnout was huge!

Councillor Layton speaks at Bells on Bloor, photo: Cycle Toronto


Bells on Bloor Photo: Toronto Observer




















And then in early October we learned that a new Forum poll shows that 70% of respondents approve of bike lanes in Toronto!


But since then, quite a few other improvements have been installed to much quieter media reaction. Here's a rundown of what's happened lately:

Simcoe upgrade
Last year Councillor Cressy put forward a motion to separate the rest of Simcoe Street bike lane.  For those familiar, what was there before was mostly separated lane (with planters!) from Richmond St to Wellington.

The better parts of Simcoe



After that... the bike lane down to the waterfront trail was left to your faith in the magic repellent powers of painted lines.

Before: Simcoe Bike lanes - the painted lines, they do nothing!






































Well, in October, we got better separation:  bollards.  Not the best, but better than before (note: can't find a good after photo)

Upgrade in process.  After the buffer, bollards were installed


And on a personal note, I biked my son to the 2nd last Jays game of the post season and was super thankful that coming up from the waterfront trail I had those plastic sticks to keep vehicles (mostly) in check, what a difference it made for that section leading up to major family destinations.  It's actually kind of shocking that major destination like Rogers Centre, Steamwhistle Brewery and Train Museum, Ripleys Aquarium and the CN Tower didn't have a safe way to get there by bike.  From now on, Waterfront Trail to Simcoe Bollards and I'm there!


Bayview near Brickworks

The media picked up on this one, and called it a game changer.  Given that the connection is only from Pottery Road to Rosedale Valley Road, and doesn't go all the way south to the Corktown Common trails down there, or north towards Moore and the paths in the Mt Pleasant Cemetery, i'm going to say calling it a game changer is bold. Or it's just click bait.  Also... a metal guard rail?  That a'int no game changer.  Ya! Way to reinforce that feeling of riding beside a highway!

I will concede however, it's a game changer specifically for getting to the Evergreen Brickworks. Because if you've ever done it from Ward 30 with kids in the past.... your heart palpitations may still not have stopped.  Ride down Pottery, then a poorly paved Shoulder-Of-Death and a blind corner right before the Brickworks.... ya...   So then you probably did what we did, crossed the viaduct went on an extended detour through Rosedale and picked up the Milkman's path.  Which is fine and dandy until you need to get out of the valley and your kids can't push their bikes up the rough wooded trail let alone bike it (and your dutch cargo bike can't make it out either - to much pretty nature!)  So you try one more time by going deeper through Rosedale, find the switchback ramp over the tracks at Summerhill and make your way up to Moore and try to get to Brickworks from the north via the Beltline trail.  Only to find not only do you have the same rough wooded trail problem on your way home, but by now your young kids have biked 5km out of their way just to find a safe way into Brickworks.

So, yes... for us folks in Ward 30 trying to safely get to Brickworks, this is indeed a game changer.  The most direct route now has significant safety improvements.
October view of Bayview bike paths across from Brickworks, note the bike traffic signals too! Photo: @Sean_YYZ Twitter

And the new pottery road multi use bridge is a HUGE improvement as well.




























But I need to have another go at the guard rail protection of Bayview bike paths:





























Not good enough! I feel that living in Toronto I am condition to cheer for whatever we can get.  Our love affair with plastic flexi-post bollards are not going to win any best practice awards in Denmark or the Netherlands.  So a metal guard rail is better, yes... but, we can do so much better!!

Grass buffers perhaps?  This is the Don Valley, there is space.

Netherlands - family friendly bike heaven




























The Viaduct
Well this was a surprise to I think almost everyone.  Protection for the viaduct was approved YEARS ago, but we've been forever told that the membrane of the Viaduct cannot be drilled into, so protection couldn't happen.  And then city staff quietly went x-rayed the bridge and figured it out. Install happened over one weekend, with a giant crew of TWO workers and ONE hand drill.  And ta-da, protected-ish.






















My safety assessment:  I won't let my 6 year old ride on this, but when I ride I have less fear of orphaning my 2 kids.   Let us know in the comments how you feel about the width of the bike lane for passing etc.,


Still under construction and finishing asap:  upgrades to Gerrard bike lane between Sherbourne and Ryerson (spoiler... protection with trees!) and Peter Street.  Stay tuned, we'll report back soon.








Sunday, October 16, 2016

Upgrading the Dundas Street East bike lanes

We spend a lot of time at Ward 30 Bikes discussing potential new bike lanes and bike routes. As part of the new 10 year cycling network plan, however, the City of Toronto is also looking to identify routes that can be upgraded from painted bike lanes to protected bike lanes or cycle tracks. Here in Ward 30, there's an obvious candidate: the Dundas Street East bike lanes, which are a major east-west route across the middle of the Ward, used heavily by commuters heading to and from downtown.

Recently, City staff have suggested to us that, although they have identified Dundas Street East as a candidate for upgrading, these upgrades might need to be limited to improved road markings and paint, rather than a fully separated lane with bollards, planters, or hard curbs.

So let's take a closer look and see what's possible with the current roadway space on Dundas, using the City's online GIS map, and Streetmix. Keep in mind that this is just an initial look at possibilities, and some of these ideas may not be feasible upon further study.

The current bike lanes on Dundas run for about 3.3 km, from Broadview Avenue to Kingston Road. Dundas Street is classified as a Minor Arterial street, and it is consistently 14 metres wide for basically this entire length. There are basically three different road configurations for the bike lanes.

The first of these is where there is parking on one side of the street, such as from Broadview to the railway tracks near Logan.

This is how these sections look like today:

The bike lanes here are quite wide, as are the travel lanes. As such, it should actually be pretty easy to make space for bike lanes buffered by paint, bollards, or even planters or hard curbs. Here's one possibility:

As we head east along Dundas, we have a few sections that have no parking, and either a painted buffer or a left turn lane in the middle of the street. Again we can fairly change the current arrangement...
...to accommodate separated bike lanes:

The tricky part is where there is parking on both sides of the street, which is most of Dundas east of Pape - a distance of 2.5 km, the vast majority of the route. Basically, each section of the roadway here - bike lanes, parking lanes, and travel lanes - is already at or close to the City's recommended widths:


Of course, if some of the on street parking was removed, there could be space for a configuration like the one above with parking on one side of the street. This is happening on Bloor, and on Woodbine and it's great that it is. But until parking studies are done, maybe there's a path of less resistance that would make parked cars, bicycles, and their people all happy on Dundas East.

Because the space is so tight, the easiest thing to do would be to just add some painted buffer space. We can just bring the traffic lanes down to recommended width to do that:

We could also move the buffer next to the parked cars instead, to avoid "dooring" - although this is less of an issue on Dundas East as it is on other commercial streets, since it has almost exclusively longer-term residential parking.

So far, we could fairly easily have some properly separated lanes for almost 1 km from Broadview to Logan or Carlaw, to connect to north-south routes, and then have painted buffers added to the bike lanes for the remaining 2.5 km to Kingston Road. Add some new paint and bike boxes at the intersections, and that might be ok. But maybe, just maybe, we could do better.

If we squeeze everything down to absolute minimum widths, we can fit the bike lanes in behind the parked cars, so that people on bikes are protected by parked cars, instead of the parked cars being protected by people on bikes:

My sense is that City staff don't like to squeeze things in so tight, so this might be a stretch to achieve. But it may be worth pushing for, as it keeps parking, while helping protect cyclists. We know that any kind of protected bike lane is better than a painted one for bike safety, and bike lanes adjacent to parked cars are the least safe type of bike lane.

So far, we've only looked at uni-directional bike lanes on either side of the street - of the kind Toronto has installed so far. In other Canadian cities, however, there are many bi-directional bike lanes, such as these on Cannon Street in Hamilton:

Bi-directional lanes may not be ideal for Dundas Street East, with its relatively short blocks. But since it would only need one buffer zone, it does allow some breathing room in the space of the roadway, such as this example:

There might be a need for additional intersection treatments, including potentially turn restrictions and dedicated bike signals with bi-directional bike lanes. But it does show that separated bike lanes are at least theoretically possible within the current width of Dundas Street East.

I'll save the issue of improving the sharrows on Dundas west of Broadview for another post - a tricky but worthwhile project. But for now...

What do you think? 
Are painted buffers fine for part of the route?
Should there be separated lanes the entire length of Dundas? Uni-directional or bi-directional?
Take out the parking?

Let us know in the comments, or by sending us an email or coming out to an upcoming meeting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Woodbine Bike Lanes Approved - First Ever Protected Bike Lane for East End!

City Council met last week and we're thrilled to report that the Woodbine Bike lanes were unanimously approved! Not much in Toronto's cycling world happens unanimously, so this is special!


It's also the result of some serious outreach efforts from our friends at Ward 31 and Ward 32 advocacy groups, the efforts of the local councillors who really pushed hard for this, and city staff who organized a massive public outreach.

And it's not just a painted line!  Buffers and flexi posts!   Is this the best that cycling infrastructure can be?  No, not at all.  It's unlikely Scandinavian traffic engineers are going to get any best practice tips from this. BUT its moving in the right direction.  Buffers are better than single painted lanes.  And buffers turn into flexi posts, flexi posts turn into curbs or planters.   Curbs and planters turn into full fledged separated from vehicles paths like the waterfront trail.

You can read more here





































Stay tuned for the installation!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Carlaw + Dundas Public Realm Initiatives - visioning a network of 'people-safe' corridors that connect local destinations


By Michael Holloway - member, Ward 30 Bikes

This article is intended to initiate a discussion towards creating more people-centred public spaces along the flanks of the Carlaw Avenue Corridor between Queen and Gerrard via a very-local network of complete streets treatments and multi-use paths that together, become 'Invitations' to active transportation choices; routes that will - for walkers and cyclists - connect neighbourhood destinations and public amenities already in place along this dangerous corridor which is congested with motor vehicle traffic most of the day.

Below is Ward 30 Bikes representative, Michael Holloway's submission via the Online Survey posted for the 3rd round of the Carlaw + Dundas Public Realm Initiatives public consultation (as per the June 21, 2016 Open House at Morse Street School Gym - http://www.carlawdundas.ca/about-project). Michael Holloway attended all the events through this two-and-a-half year process.

Only the sections of the survey where Michael wrote in feedback are represented in this article. This edited presentation does not include all the Options, or the Images that supported unanswered Options that appeared on: the paper survey; the display boards at the Morse Street School event; or in the Online Survey (which is unfortunately now closed - http://fluidsurveys.com/s/CarlawDundas/)

_________________

Page 2 (16%)

Preliminary Jimmie Simpson Gateway Concept Design Options

 

Option 1 - Colgate Avenue Gateway

[no answer]

Option 2 - Colgate Avenue Gateway



Option 2 - What do you like? Why?

Like. Arc is welcoming.

Option 2 - What would you change? Why?

Ornamental Grasses - replace with naturally occurring vegetation in a bioswale - which pools temporarily, runoff from storm events in a wet/dry bowl feature planted with naturally occurring vegetation. Funnel the entrance feature and near-by sidewalk's run-off into this bioswale.

Perhaps copy at this entrance the existing stainless steel checker plate, 19″ high letter inlay in the sidewalks at the corner of Queen/Broadview? Perhaps with the words "Jimmy Simpson Park"

---

The Entrance feature is for active transportation modes - so it is an entrance way for pedestrians, cyclists, parents with strollers, skateboarders, elderly with mobility devices, the blind using their canes, and so on.

So:

1) Create a pedestrian and cyclist friendly Colgate Ave from Carlaw to Booth (I suggest wider sidewalks between Carlaw and Natalie Place; bike lanes along the entire stretch where possible, sharrows where not possible - safety treatments at transition pinch points (like where the roadway changes widths at Natalie Place); dedicated cycle crossing lanes beside the cross hatches of a new crosswalk across Colgate/Booth;

2) Create entrance features that assist active transportation modes - narrow the crossing area at Booth with bump-outs, add dual pedestrian crosswalk / mounted cyclists' crossing, add blind (and sighted) crosswalk signals;

3) Create pathways in the Park that allow egress for all active transportation modes, to and from the Park's amenities.
(Best practice might be to wait some time after the entrance way is completed and investigate where people travel in the Park via the new entrance - and then add appropriately placed Multi-use Trails at a later date);

4) And add elements along those routes which support the people using them at the amenities which they are using - like 11 Ring & Post bike lock-ups for the soccer field (ie. enough lock-ups for two full teams) placed along the west side of Booth north of Colgate connected to the entrance feature via a Multi-use Path; similarly at the skating rink, basketball pad, tennis pad, hockey pad - and especially - at the main entrance to the recreation centre.
(Existing are too few and badly placed - currently hidden under a tree with no lighting; rather, needs to be 'front and centre', well lit, and near the doors ... in order to keep 'eyes' on the lock-up area. Also, the existing bike lock-up amenity is of bad design and is broken and rusting).

Option 2 - How does the proposed concept meet your needs?

[no answer]

Option 3 - Booth Avenue and Queen Street Gateway



Option 3 - What do you like? Why?

Arc is welcoming.

Option 3 - What would you change? Why?

Existing feature has bad sight-lines at night - feels scary there - seating is hidden away in the shadows; the entire construct blocks a view into the Park behind it. Open it up, but at the same time provide a friendly space to hang out and active transportation amenities for those who travel to the Park via this entrance-way.

Option 3 - How does the proposed concept meet your needs?

[no answer]


Page 3 (50%)

Preliminary Boston Avenue Boulevard Improvements

What do you like? Why?

Like the walking path - but it ends at a parking lot. People using the space have created their own walking path - installing a regulation path won't help the underlying issues -> no sight-lines, dark, path doesn't connect Dundas to the residential buildings.

In my opinion, connecting the walking path to the residential buildings is the only way to create a sustainable public space here; otherwise this is a waste of money.

To make this connection, perpendicular private parking on the west side of Boston from the empty lineal space down to the south face of 245(R) Carlaw should be ended somehow - perhaps an accommodation with the landowners (if this is private land) to improve the back of their building (tattered old fence, rutted gravel driveway) at the same time as a sidewalk and a boulevard is constructed.

This could be done by swinging the parking to parallel along this section, which at the same time would make room for a connection between the winding path to the existing sidewalks to the south. Plus there are lots of empty parking spaces in the lot at the southeast corner of Dundas/Boston.


Bike Lanes

Also, Boston is a good candidate for a contraflow bicycle lane. A northbound contraflow on Boston would help residents of the nearby developments connect to Dundas - and via Heward - to Eastern.

Queen / Carlaw intersection centres a vibrant local community, Boston as a north-south bike route allows 8/80 cycling to the Dundas and Eastern Avenue Bikes lanes (which provide an 8/80 route to the lake front).

Carlaw is not a presently a cycling street. It is congested during peak hours (7 hours a day) with tense, hopped-up LSB commute drivers.

Oddly, the street it is considered a 'destination' by planning staff - yet there is no safe way to bicycle to any of the places along Carlaw between Queen and Dundas; thus connecting cyclists to area destinations - and nearby commuter routes - via Boston and via Logan/Colgate as I've stressed above) would be an ideal alternative to Carlaw.



Page 4 (66%)

Signature Marker Design Competition Shortlist Submissions

Submission #3: Pierre Poussin - "Brick Obelisk"

Best of the lot. But penile, and there's already too much of that at this corner.

How about something penile that has to do with Trains (as it is on the historical railway easement).

Perhaps a sculpture that evokes the classic railway signal post - made out of old rail tracks! (Classic railway signal posts:

Via Dr Elizabeth R. Tuttle Professor of Engineering, University of Denver - https://mysite.du.edu/~etuttle/rail/sigs1.gif


Or - a scale miniature of an old railroad station house - made of scale sized bricks?

.. An old railroad station house?

Via Esprit Co - http://edc.h-cdn.co/assets/cm/15/04/980x653/54c1a7c9c72a7_-_devera-edc-04-14-3-xln-xln.jpg





End




mh

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What's wrong with Street Car's "Riverside Square"?


By Ward 30 Bikes' member, Michael Holloway

Under a thread I started at 'City of Toronto Cycling' Facebook group about Big Box Retail and Big Parking Lot Retail in the context of a dense urban built form, friend Rob Zaichkowski - cycling advocate comrade with Cycle Toronto - asked me what I thought of the Riverside Square development ... here's my reply to Rob which I wrote in FB and then copied and pasted here.

Here's an image of Rob asking the question (reply printed below):

Join Facebook, then join the group, "City of Toronto Cycling" and then use this link to view the thread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/140997182582942/permalink/1394759757206672/?comment_id=1402865453062769&reply_comment_id=1405168686165779&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R8%22%7D


Rob Zaichkowski - Right off the top, their name sucks! Plus sighting Sue Ann Levy in their messaging has not done them any favours with the community (Sun Newspaper attack dog, going after Councillor Fletcher).

But I think they are doing it for the right reasons - not NIMBYism. (I'm trying to help them message better; but OMB hearing was today ... so we'll see what happens there.)

The type of businesses visioned to set up in this development base their market on the ease of driving to it ... but although this site over-looks the DVP and has a 400 series highway bridge to the south of it (Eastern Avenue Diversion) none of those major arteries are able to funnel traffic directly to the site. There is no way to get to this car sales campus except via Queen! It should be feed from Eastern - but somehow that wasn't visioned or suggested in a consultation process that was accompanied by Street Car scrambling to find new partners, and partner with existing land owners, in what appears to be - after these machinations were revealed - a badly planned proposal.

(Ward 30 Bikes was shut out of the stakeholder group because (I think) I published some vitriol on our site about it[1] being the leading edge of the same kind of condo-ization of the east waterfront that happened on the west waterfront - lots of high-rise building and no community planning (parks schools, mass transit) - and it is turning out to be just that - except we have a Councillor who won't stand for that usually - not sure what happened in that regard in this particular development).

This is an odd one - the first iteration was a mix of medium and high rise residential with some retail on Queen - and keep the existing Auto dealership. Then in the coarse of the public consultation process it very quickly morphed from one thing to another and then finally into a 5 Auto Dealership Auto Mall with multi-story showrooms featuring light polluting glass walls shining into the valley (live showroom billboards where hedonists imagine the city watching them kick the tires of the latest models 50 metres above the DVP) - plus the mid and high-rise residential.

Having studied it in it's final iteration, there is not enough road capacity at the Queen St Bridge and East Don Roadway (first street east of the valley) to not completely snarl traffic there with the addition of high density and the proposed car-centric retail.

East Don Roadway is visioned to be the street that feeds delivery, servicing and customers to 5 different car brand showrooms in a 'Auto Mall'. A new street, following the line of existing Munro - envisioned as a woonerf - will complete the car consumer drive-thru experience).

Ward 30 Bikes has long been talking about a north-south bike route from LSB/Don Roadway to The Danforth. Our vision uses mainly local residential streets and East Riverdale Park ... but there are three key points along the route that need a work-around - one of them was(is) this parcel of land.

In the first iteration of this neighbourhood sized development proposal, we were looking at a Street Car Developments proposal to run a bike path next to the valley that would have come up to where East Don Roadway dead-ends now at the south-west corner of the site.

But in a later iteration Street Car decided to use East Don Roadway as the delivery, servicing and customer entrance ... and that destroyed the idea of a bike route through there.

So with the eastern, river-valley-edge route gone to a servicing roadway for the site, we shifted our attention to the proposed woonerf north-south through the centre of the site.

This woonerf is supposed to be a tip of the hat to sustainable planning - but it is not that - it is a 'green label' with no practical use. Rather than a way of moving non-car trips from the new residential to their street car stops at Carrol Ave or Broadview (or by bike up to the Dundas Bike Lanes) - this woonerf is the main 'lobby' or 'branded space' of the Auto Mall; it will be full of cars from far, far away - plus thousands of residents trying to make their way from the new towers at the south edge of the project, to the Queen Street streetcar stops. The woonerf will be a parking lot with no curbs - a dangerous place for kids and older people, and Definitely Not a bike route.

This will likely get built and we'll try to make the woonerf a part of a safe north-south route - but i expect the fix will kill the Auto Mall as a business - so we loose. With that we'll likely redirect our sights to Broadview Ave - the last remaining place to get a north-south grid line in the precinct to serve all the new population density.

I expect that once this is built, Queen will be dysfunctional between Queen/Broadview and the valley - much like King West - Spadina to Bathurst is now.

---


[1] Ward 30 Bikes - August 7, 2014 | Masters of Industry: South Riverdale to be the new West-of-Spadina High-rise Tower Goldmine | http://ward30bikes.blogspot.ca/2014/08/masters-of-industry-south-riverdale-to.html



mh

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bike to Thrill of the Grill this weekend!

Thrill of the Grill is on this weekend and in addition to the delicious BBQ festival, this year Ward 30 Bikes and Ward 29 Bikes are jointly running a Bike Fun Zone!




We'll be there from  12pm-4pm this Saturday where the Bike Zone will have::

* Slowest Bike Races
* Bike Decorating thanks to lovely sponsors: FRESH Florals, Leaf & Bloom Florists, and Midoco
* Safety Check and Mini Tune Ups
* Lots of sidewalk chalk fun

And coming by bike you can enjoy the lovely FREE Bike Valet located at the east end of the festival!  Let's just say it... it is SO exciting to have bike valet on the Danforth!!

Bike Directions:
The Danforth will be closed to cars from Broadview to Jackman for Thrill.

If you're coming from the west you can either ride slowly along the Danforth (it's closed to cars, but it is open to walking and biking) or you can detour up Broadview to Erindale to Jackman.

From the east you can ride through Greektown until you see the road closure where the lovely Orange Cycle Toronto Bike Valet tents will be waiting.

Bike Share!
Freshly installed, there are now 3 bike share stations within stumbling distance to Thrill of the Grill!





See you there!




Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bike Share has made it to Ward 30

Bike Share has made it to the east side!
Looking good in Riverdale Park East
At the end of June bike share expansion was rolled out across the east side, there are docking stations now along Broadview, the Danforth and Queen Street East.



Green P lot Ellerbeck just north of Danforth behind the Shoppers Drug Mart

Gough St and Danforth, Greektown gets Bike Share!


So exciting!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FIX! - Lower Don Recreation Trail / Carlaw, Morse, Logan, Booth


By Ward 30 Bikes member,
Michael Holloway

Two recent collisions at LSB/Logan intersection got people writing letters to Councillors - and in their social media networks.

Google Map image mark-up of LDRT between Don Roadway and Leslie Street with dangerous intersections indicated at Carlaw, Morse, Logan and Booth.


On April 5, 2016, Ward 30 resident Paul Farnan came upon an accident as EMS was taking away the body (injured cyclist - he survived) and posted about it in Facebook at "City of Toronto Cycling" (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153993290071147&set=gm.1310963815586267&type=3):


The discussion after Paul's "City of Toronto Cycling" share was extremely well populated - including a post by the guy who got hit (bruised ribs) - here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/140997182582942/permalink/1310963815586267/?comment_id=1311040918911890&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D


Discussion Group Formed


Then on April 12, 2016 Doug Wedel (from Ward 13?), shared Paul Farnan's City of Toronto post to a new group he set up called, "FIX the MGT Logan/Morse/Booth Safety Analysis and Solutions Study".

The conversation is ongoing at this group.

On May 15, 2016, Ward 30 Bikes member Gerry Brown posted a short video showing what was happening at Lake Shore Blvd/Logan that was causing the collisions - noting that drivers were preoccupied with the continuance of their lives, as they try to merge onto LSB westbound from the local street - apparently in the video he took - never looking west to see if there were cyclists coming eastbound on the Lower Don Recreation Trail (LDRT).

Gerry Brown May 15
"A short video that pretty much sums up the problem. Although you can't see it in the video, the driver's head is turned left the entire time, looking for Lakeshore traffic and 100% unaware of any eastbound cyclists on the MGT."

(Watch the video in Facebook (account, 'Join' public group) - https://www.facebook.com/groups/856664931127019/permalink/875079175952261/ )



Lots of discussion there until just over a month later - another collision in the same spot!




Not sure how this victim fared - please comment if you know if they're OK - or what.
 
At that point Ward 30 Bikes sent the letter we had been drafting, into Councillor Paula Fletcher's Office (as did several other citizens also, apparently).

On June 11th the Councillor's Office sent emails to all concerned announcing she had set up a Site Visit for Wednesday June 22, 2016.

Public Analysis of the Intersection


Using this 'what the eyes of the drivers are doing' approach, a couple of people from the discussion group went out on their own and did 'traffic counts' - counting for example, how many drivers didn't look west before turning, and doing a survey of drivers using Logan southbound.

I followed those counts up with a proper Traffic Turning Count - recording what drivers did with their vehicles at the intersection - rather than what they did or did not see. (I always assume humans are social and empathic - and are not trying to kill cyclists. That understanding leads me to the understanding that the infrastructure configuration is at fault - not the way people are using it. The result is no victim blaming - and progress in traffic engineering and philosophy).

Here's my Traffic Turning Count graphic (the best way to read a traffic count):


Full size: https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-k9YzsWH5xQ8/V3Kb5wvkA8I/AAAAAAAAHkQ/RPxuakXFFTMPQqJOA9aJ7mHRyEGV1PntACLcB/s1600/LDRT-Logan-LSB%2BIntersection%2BTraffic%2BCount%2BJune%2B20%2B2016%2BGoogle%2BEarth%2BView.jpg

I used a legal framework to count actions and results.

From my comment under my count graphic published at the 'FIX' group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/856664931127019/permalink/897437317049780/):

  • Did the driver stop at the Stop Line?
  • Did they slow or stop on the path? (Thus blocking it, which is illegal - cyclists have right of way here.)
  • What happened when the two modes came in conflict (driver blocking the path at the same time as a cyclist was approaching the intersection).
  • What was the quality of the conflict? (Almost a collision? Was the cyclists able to see the danger before it happened and break or steer around?)
  • The rest is just counting numbers and noting where they went (go straight, turn).

Also under the graphic - my conclusions (my additions here for clarity, inside square brackets):

So this quantifies the degree [and quality] of the problem:
  • Of the 135 motor vehicles who tuned the corner onto westbound LSB, 79 of them blocked the Trail to one degree or another. (That's 59% !)
  • Of those 79 blockages of the Trail, 26 cyclists either had to steer around the vehicle or brake (remember cyclists have right of way here).
  • Of those 26 incidents, 5 were near collisions [one or the other - or both - road users had to apply emergency braking to avoid a collision] where my stomach jumped into my mouth and my adrenaline surged as I thought I was about to watch someone get hit.

Conducting this count was not a pleasant experience - for the rest of the day I was in a degree of shock from my experience of all the near misses.

The Site Visit


Then the day came for the site visit.

These are my report back notes about the site visit that I posted the day of at Ward 30 Bikes (group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/148229472024000/permalink/573888786124731/?comment_id=574293146084295&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R1%22%7D):

Sylvia (Ward 30 Bikes' Co-chair) asked:
How did the meeting with city staff go this morning?

I replied:
More, Better, Bigger signage on LSB and on the local streets approaching LSB; plus green paint on the Trail across all the intersections (Carlaw, Morse, Logan, Booth) plus paint on the Trail warning cyclists that they are approaching an intersection.

Transportation/Planning will get back to the Councillors' Office concerning planning progress in 2 weeks.

Also asked for signage for eastbound LSB approaching Carlaw warning drivers to watch for cyclists eastbound across the Carlaw intersection.

We need to monitor the effectiveness of these treatments after they are completed, and then I expect it's onto something more expensive and invasive.

The Councillor said she will not stand for closing any of these streets to LSB because of the negative impact on the South of Eastern Employment District (Don River, Eastern, Coxwell, LSB).

And then in the next comment later that day, I added:

Also: Paula wants Carlaw/LSB signal timing returned to the condition that marked the period before the Leslie St reconstruction (during which Carlaw acted as an alternate route into the neighbourhood from LSB, and at which time parking between 4pm and 6pm was prohibited in order to free up an extra northbound lane during the Leslie closure);

.. and she noted during the meeting, that the roadway be returned to the condition that marked the functioning of the street during the period when the raised expressway ran through here (Carlaw as a minor arterial with relatively low traffic volumes).

To this end she successfully got the prohibition of on-street parking on the east side of Carlaw between LSB and Eastern between 4pm and 6pm rescinded (T&EY CC: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.TE15.45).

Now she's adding, that the signal timing should be returned to the way it was before the Leslie St reconstruction as well.

And - just posted this today - as I had forgotten that we discussed this on the site visit too:
Forgot to mention that during the site meeting I brought up the condition of the rubber inserts that fill the flangeway gaps in the railway line that crosses the LDRT on an angle just to the west of Carlaw.

This Toronto Port Authority property.

Two years ago someone broke their shoulder here and a newspaper article made it a talking point * - Transportation asked Toronto Port Authority to make this crossing safe - they didn't have any flangeway inserts in stock so they lifted some old ones from an unused rail line and stuck them in at Carlaw.

Hoping the Port Authority have new flangeway inserts now, and can replace these now extremely worn ones as soon as possible.

I should also note here that I have been following this story for a few years now. Back in 2014 when the flangeway accidents happened, I was also aware of the dangerous condition at (especially) Logan/LDRT - and I published several articles with video of the intersection's deficiencies. See those articles here in Ward 30 Bikes at the Label "LDRT" (http://ward30bikes.blogspot.ca/search/label/LDRT).

So now we wait for news from the Councillor's Office for a progress report on the planning towards the improvements.

___________


* Global News - August 24, 2014 | Several cyclists hurt near dangerous part of road on Lakeshore By Cindy Pom | http://globalnews.ca/news/1526352/several-cyclists-hurt-near-dangerous-part-of-road-on-lakeshore/



mh

Friday, June 24, 2016

Danforth East public meeting on Monday - help make bike lanes on the Danforth a reality!

There's a public meeting coming up next week for the section of the Danforth east of us. Not Ward30, but very close to us.  Below is Cycle Toronto's action alert, if you can make it out to the public meeting please do!



City Council recently reinstated the Danforth Corridor Study to determine the feasibility of bike lanes on the Danforth. This Monday, planners at the City are hosting a community meeting for a separate Danforth Avenue Planning Study, and we need you to remind them how important bike lanes are to the vitality, economy, and growth of the Danforth. This meeting is especially important as the study area intersects with Woodbine Ave, which is also being considered for future bike lanes.

The consultation will take place Monday, June 27th, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, at the Hope United Church (2550 Danforth Ave).

If you live, work, or play along the Danforth, this meeting is an essential opportunity to share your comments and concerns about cycling infrastructure with City staff. We urge you to go and have your voice heard.

Learn more about the project on the City's website.

Cycle Toronto is your voice at City Hall. We fought for bike lanes on Richmond, Adelaide, and Bloor, and the Danforth is next. Support our work by joining our more than 3,000 members or donate now.

We hope we can count on you. 

Jared Kolb
Cycle Toronto

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bike Month Begins - City Shares Awesome Staff Profiles

Today marks the start of Bike Month!

Mayor Tory rode a Bike Share to City Hall to celebrate Bike to Work Day and officially kick of Bike Month.  Our Mayor and our Chief Planner!




How was the turnout?  Check out Yonge Street!!






Meanwhile the City of Toronto's Planning department unleashed a series of tweet profiling staff who ride to work and why it's amazing.  Cool!










Hope you all have a great Bike Month!