Hooray! Richmond, Adelaide, Simcoe cycle tracks will be permanent

Today, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee will meet for the first time this term.

On the agenda? Making the Richmond, Adelaide and Simcoe cycle tracks permanent (yes, they’re still technically a pilot after five years).

Earlier this month City staff recommended making the protected bike lanes on Richmond, Adelaide and Simcoe into permanent facilities. This recommendation includes moving the Adelaide cycle tracks to the north side of the street to address concerns about obstructions on the south side of Adelaide, particularly in front of First Canadian Place and Scotia Plaza, forcing people biking to merge with motor vehicle traffic.

 

Insights from the Staff Report:

  • Ridership along Richmond and Adelaide has skyrocketed: cycling volumes have increased by 1,194% along the busiest part of the route, west of University Ave.

  • Cyclists now represent about 1/3 of traffic mode share on Richmond and Adelaide during morning and afternoon peak times

  • Counts on parallel arterial streets suggests that the majority of this growth is people who weren’t cycling before, which speaks to the transformative impacts of protected cycling infrastructure

While we’re supportive of the proposed switch to the north side in principle, we have questions  about intersection design. Especially with a new design, it’s essential to ensure that the permanent design provides a continuous, safe corridor for people biking and walking. There’s potential for conflict given that there’s no other configuration like this in Toronto.

 

Here are our three recommendations to ensure the north side cycle track doesn’t create more misery for cyclists:

  • Implement dedicated left turn signal phasing for motor vehicles at all signalized intersections on Adelaide. Drivers won’t expect to interact with cyclists coming up on their left

  • Add green bike boxes at every intersection to give cyclists a queuing area to make right turns

  • Ensure high quality physical separation using concrete or planter boxes

We also urge the City to ensure that the design reduces conflict around parking garages on the north side of Adelaide. Looking ahead, we’re advocating for high quality separation using concrete curbs, jersey barriers, or planters, as well as applying green paint through intersections.

Here's our letter to Cycling Infrastructure & Programs re: the Adelaide cycle track switch from June, 2018, outlining our concerns in the areas of:

  • Parking
  • Drop-offs/loading
  • Right turns

By Sarah Bradley on Jan 16, 2019

  Richmond St, Adelaide St, Bike Plan, cycling infrastructure