Pages Navigation Menu

East York people, places, events & insights

Mini-sized bike lanes now on O’Connor Bridge

New 'edge-line' bike lane on south side of bridge looking east -STAFF

New ‘edge-line’ bike lane on south side of bridge looking east -STAFF

The City of Toronto has now installed mini-sized bicycle lanes along the edge of both sides of the four-lane road on the O’Connor Drive bridge spanning Taylor Creek Park.

The so-called “edge-line” lanes, somewhat narrower than traditional bike lanes but still able to accommodate two-wheeled traffic going single file, debuted on Friday September 16, when solid line markings appeared.

The day before the lanes were observed as being designated by dotted lines that had been painted at some time previous, following a July announcement by Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis, who represents the area, that the lanes would be installed this summer.

“Local cyclists have long called for a safer way to cross the O’Connor bridge,” Ms Davis noted in July.

“The bridge is not wide enough for full bike lanes but narrower lanes and ‘edge-lines’ will provide cyclists with a buffer between the sidewalk and vehicles,” Davis wrote in her online newsletter.  The solution was arrived at following examinations of a number of options by city staff and consultation with local cyclists, she reported.

The lanes extend from the beginning of the bridge structure at Woodbine on the west and continue to Glenwood Crescent a little past the bridge on the east.

Beginning of 'edge-line' bike lane on north side of bridge at Glenwood Crescent, looking west -STAFF

Beginning of ‘edge-line’ bike lane on north side of bridge at Glenwood Crescent, looking west -STAFF

A reporter riding both directions in the two lanes on an electric bicycle the day of their debut, September 16, found the experience much improved over the harrowing nature of previous trips across the structure.

For much of the day, except when traffic is backed up at rush hour, vehicles tend to roar across the span and had previously seemed insouciant about the need to provide breathing room for cyclists.  That led to many cyclists, including the reporter, often opting to use the sidewalk portion of the bridge crossing, creating a potentially menacing and dangerous situation for pedestrians and pedallers alike.

City official Jacquelyn Hayward reviews bike lane proposal with Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis and attendee at June 22 meeting.  -GARY W-P

City official Jacquelyn Hayward reviews bike lane proposal with Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis and attendee at June 22 meeting. -GARY W-P

With the new lanes in place drivers seemed more disposed to grant cyclists their own space —with the exception of the operator of a city garbage truck, which for some reason blared its horn at a cyclist and, despite still having plenty of room in its newly narrowed lane, seemed to delight in coming very close to the two-wheeler, even briefly crossing over the solid line after passing the cycle rider.

One infrastructure issue is the presence of several cracks and indents in the pavement along the lanes, creating a potentially distressing situation for cyclists forced to engage the ruts and holes due to the lack of manoeuvering room.  Presumably that problem can easily be addressed.

The new edge-line lanes will eventually connect with bike lanes proposed for the length of Woodbine Avenue, as reported in our August 2016 issue and in June.

– By Gary Webb-Proctor

Hey Listen Up!
advertisement