Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What's Wrong with the Trail Closure at Booth Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard?

Below is a overview of the completely unacceptable detour protocols for cyclists in this Trail closure.

If automobile driver detours at construction sites were as badly conceived and executed as this detour for cyclists was, it would be lead story at all of Toronto's daily news outlets.

Allie Harris images post at Biking Toronto - Facebook Dec 1, 2017 11:21am.

Gerry Brown image of LSET closure sign
west of Booth looking east
Biking Toronto Facebook Dec 1 2017.
So they closed the trail. OK fine.

In Gerry Brown's photograph, the sign indicating the Trail is closed appears to be located about 50m west of the closure.

At the time in the construction phasing when the photographs by Allie Harris were taken, there appears to be no safe passage through the construction zone that would allow cyclists to 'dismount and walk' their bike's through. The only way through are two scofflaw ones: Carry your bike on your shoulder and dart into westbound curb lane of Lake Shore Boulevard and around; - or - Carry your bike on your shoulder and stride amoungst construction debris, uneven ground, open trenches, construction tape and cones.

If you're pulling a trailer with your kids in - you're going to have to back-track to the first available alternate route.

For westbound cyclists I assume there is a 'cyclists dismount and walk' sign at Logan. If so, this sign is paced at a point where there is a reasonable detour route immediately available (safe route - north on Logan to Dundas; westbound on Dundas to River; south on River to Bayview and take the Corktown Common Trail under the tunnel and then south to Lower Don Trail.

A shorter, quicker (and less-safe) route (for which a detour sign should have been placed at Carlaw) is to back-track to Carlaw (which is 300m east of the closure and 211m east of the assumed detour sign at Logan) and take Carlaw south to Commissioners St; west on Commissioners to Don Roadway and then north to Lake Shore Boulevard East Trail (LSET) at Lake Shore Blvd..

Westbound Detour Choices:
Westbound Trail Closed signs needed at Carlaw/LSET (south route) and at Logan/LSET (safe north route).

Eastbound Detour Choices:
Eastbound Trail Closed signs should have been located at the north reaches of Corktown Common Trail (1); at the tunnel/LDT (2), at the intersection of the north-south LDT and the east-west LDT (3), at Don Roadway and LDT (4), at Villiers (5) and at Commisioners (6) at Don Roadway.

For eastbound cyclists who come upon the Trail Closed sign at near the line of Bouchette St the nearest alternative route is 500m behind - they must turn around and pedal all the way back to Don Roadway and and take one of 3 possible routes: shortest detour, south on Don Roadway Trail to Commissioners St, east to Carlaw Ave and north back to LSET at LSB).

This south option is a dangerous route with sparse lane markings, no sidewalks and very wide, high speed lane configurations. So with kids, your likely going to have to back-track west and then north to a 'fork' in your options (this safe route is a 706m backtrack from the Trail Closed sign).

Safest route: through the tunnel at Corktown Common, then north towards Lower River St, to Dundas, east to Logan, and back down to the LSET

 - Or -

Don't take the tunnel and head north on the Lower Don Trail to the Queen Street bridge stairs (unload your kids out of the trailer and tell them to wait for you - now walk the bike, and then the trailer up the stairs), then travel east on Queen to Logan; and south to Logan on the other side of the closure.

The proper detour configurations for this week long closure should have been signage placed at key intersections which are potential beginning points of reasonable detour routes.

Back-tracking by drivers back on routes they have just traversed that are closed to through-traffic would not be considered acceptable construction detouring - why is it OK for closed cycling routes?

Michael Holloway
December 2, 2017

Text (edited for clarity) via a Dec 2, 2017comment on a December 1, 2017 post at Biking Toronto by Allie Harris (images not attributed were created for this article by the author) |

Michael Holloway
Ward 30 Bikes
December 6, 2017


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