There’s a good chance I’ll be dead before the city builds bike lanes right. Still, they’re making some small amount of progress.
Toronto is considering a new bike plan that would, among many other things, build several new lanes in and around Weston. There’s much to love: finally, we’ll get a bike lane on Wilson and join the separated parts of the Humber River Trail.
Unfortunately, the plans include a few really bad ideas, including a bike lane up Jane Street.
I can speak of this with some authority; I ride that route every day. Jane Street is a death trap, and it can’t be fixed. There are narrow bridges, highway on- and off-ramps, many driveways, and much traffic in a rush. No amount of paint will fix that.
But there’s a much better alternative. In fact, there are two. Both Torbarrie and Bartor are quiet streets that run parallel to Jane. They’re wide and direct and connect with bike paths. Truly, there is no reason to prefer Jane.
The proposal also misses a potential connection. The Humber River Path is an excellent direct route to Humber College. (It’s also a lovely ride.) Presently, the path takes a meandering U-shaped detour soon after it crosses under the 401. Putting a bike path along the boulevard on Albion would directly connect Toronto to north Etobicoke. It is probably only 500m of paint, and a real lost opportunity.
The city will consider five plans at the Public Works meeting on the 16th. Were the councillors to vote for the most expensive plan (which is $25 million a year for 10 years), Weston would start seeing improvements in 2019. If they vote for the cheapest plan ($8 million), it will take until 2022.