Monday, June 12, 2017

Joint Letter Requesting Cycling Safety on Bayview

Our cycling advocate friends to the west and north of us recently sent a joint letter to several councillors and the mayor.  They requested for safety improvements on Bayview.  When you look at the map, it's quite striking how fragmented and incomplete the infrastructure is now. Please consider writing to the below councillors today in support of this.

To: Councillors John Burnside, Mary Fragedakis, Pam McConnell, Jaye Robinson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
CC: Councillors Josh Matlow, Christin Carmichael-Greb, Mayor John Tory

June 5, 2017

In light of the horrific and entirely preventable death of a 5-year-old on Lakeshore Blvd last week, we request the rapid installation of safety barriers onBayview Avenue between Pottery Rd and Moore Ave, and the initiation of a safety study - emphasizing cyclist safety - of Bayview Avenue over its entire route from Moore Ave to River St.
Bayview has been identified as a priority cycling corridor for over 20 years.  Bayview is the only on-street cycling connection from Midtown, North Toronto and Leaside to the Lower Don Trail system, the Don Valley Brickworks, and downtown either via Rosedale and the Sherbourne bike lane or via River St. This route is used by thousands of young and old people who ride bikes, from experienced riders to families out on a leisurely ride. This route is also used by speeding motorists as though it were a major expressway, despite Bayview being designated as a city road.  Evidence strongly shows that motorist speed is directly linked to collision frequency and severity, therefore this higher-speed corridor presents a high risk to cyclists. 
City Council in 2005 endorsed the Don Valley Corridor Transportation Master Plan, which recommended a full Environmental Assessment for Bayview. Unfortunately, this study was never completed. 
In 2016 the City reconstructed the roadway between Rosedale Road and Moore Avenue which included (1) installation of a guardrail on the east side ofBayview, between Rosedale Valley Road and Pottery Road and (2) widening of the paved shoulder from Pottery Road to Moore Avenue, so that it is in effect a bike lane.  Unfortunately, no guardrail was installed north of Pottery Rd, and simply widening the shoulder is an inadequate safety measure. 
Also in 2016 Councillor Fragedakis tabled a motion, approved by Council (2016.MM18.10) for a functional study of Bayview including cycling safety.  Unfortunately we learned earlier this month that City staff aren't even preparing to start this study.
This is unacceptable.  We don't need to wait for tragedies like this to happen before we install basic safety features such as guardrails on bike routes next to high-speed roadways.
Therefore we recommend to:
  1. Designate Bayview Avenue from Pottery Rd to Moore Ave as a cycle track, in accordance with the City’s 2016 Cycling Plan.
  2. Separate the new bikeway from the roadway using appropriate technology such as guardrails or Jersey barriers.
  3. Service the new bikeway to cycle track standards (regular sweeping, pothole repair, snow clearing, etc).
  4. Request Transportation Services to report how additional safety measures on Bayview Avenue between River St and Moore Ave can be addressed, including extending the bikeway south from Rosedale Valley Rd, widening the paved shoulder further, and closing the gap southbound between Moore Ave and Nesbitt Ave.
  5. Fully engage with the cycling community as a stakeholder during the City study.

On behalf of the users of Bayview Avenue,
John Taranu & Tom Worrall
Cycle Toronto Midtown
Ward 16 & 22 Advocacy Group
Alex Korobchevsky & Georgina Wilcock
Cycle Toronto Ward 25 Advocacy Group
Geoff Kettel & Louis Fliss
Cycle 26
Ward 26 Advocacy Group
Peter Rogers
Cycle Toronto Ward 28 Advocacy Group
Tom Flaherty
Ward 29 Bikes
Ward 29 Advocacy Group
Alison Stewart & Chris Hoyle
Cycle Toronto Yonge Working Group


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