Weston is a “red zone” for bikes—but that isn’t changing

The city says that Weston and Mount Dennis are “red zones” when it comes to cycling and social equity—but it isn’t doing much about it.

The city says that Weston Road would make an excellent bike route (red in the map below). But according to Spacing Magazine, it’s not going to happen. It’s not part of the city’s 2021–2023 implementation plan.

Jane St (orange) would make another good route, but it will only be studied —though, as I reported earlier, the city had been planning extensive bus-only lanes. As far as I know, the orange route along the railway tracks is only a dream.


Planners did say that there will be

Weston neighbourhood connections extending from Silverthorn Ave and Trethewey Dr.. and will connect to the Mid-Humber trail and
closure of the gap.

However, in the city’s recent briefing slides, these connections are only to be studied.

Mount Dennis is in particularly bad shape, with less than one percent of the street (measured by the kilometer) having a bike route. However, Mount Dennis looks to be getting only a path along Eglinton, to connect to the new station.

Transportation Services will be reporting on their new bike plan for 2021–2023 later this fall, and will bring it to City Council.

Free ride Wednesdays

BikeShare is offering free rides every Wednesday in July.

You are welcome to borrow a bike for a free trip of up to 30 minutes—and once you drop it off at another station, you can start again.

Bikeshare has one location at Weston Lions Park and another at Scarlett and Eglinton—plus about a zillion throughout the city.

Three proposals for Humber Gap

City staff have come up with three proposals to close the Humber Gap—the missing part of the recreational trail between Cruickshank Park and Crawford–Jones Memorial Park.

The Humber Gap is a royal pain. It divides the wonderful, long path that runs to Lake Ontario (and beyond) from 30 km of trails to the north—and “is a discontinuity in the future Loop Trail, a 65 km off road, multi-use ring that will connect multiple ravines, neighbourhoods and trail systems throughout Toronto.”

But boy, is it a tough problem to solve. There is a railway, a river, a bridge, an arterial road, landowners, and an expensive private golf course. There are no simple solutions.

City staff have come up with three complicated ones.

The first would impinge on the private landowners and golf course, but create a lovely, entirely off-road path with two boardwalks crossing the river.

From the city presentation

Bike and foot traffic would no longer have to climb up the stairs and fend with the dangerous traffic squeezed close by the railway bridge. But, as staff note, it would impinge on the golf course and a land trust.

The second option is much worse from the point of view of a trail user. Instead of crossing and re-crossing the river, there would be a cantilevered trail and a boardwalk on the east side of the river, and there would be no conflict with the golf course. The path would run alongside the trail on Metrolinx property into the ravine

From the city

However, trail users would still be forced up and out of the valley, and under the extremely unpleasant, narrow, railway bridge. It would also be expensive.

The third option is the worst for trail users and a pain for drivers. (It’s my money for what we’ll get, too.) It is roughly what we have now, but with a proper bike lane on Weston Road instead of weakling sharrows.

From the city

The bike path would impinge on the sidewalk under the bridge and could force narrower lanes there, too, where traffic is, honestly, already pretty awful. Further along, Weston could lose a lane of traffic.

This plan is, however, cheap.

Mid-Humber Gap meeting

There’s been a lot of exciting news in Weston lately, and here’s one project I’m particularly thrilled about: The Mid-Humber Gap multi-use recreational trail project.

As a cyclist, in a community with rich cycling history (Weston was the home of CCM Bicycles), and with growing cycling enthusiasm among neighbours, this project can’t come soon enough. And this project isn’t just for cyclists… it’s for everyone who walks, jogs, wheels their way along the banks of the Humber River.

The first public consultation event will be held virtually on June 10th from 6:30-8:30pm, registration required. Participants should visit the project web page or this link to register.

Fixing the gap ought to create a seamless journey from the current north end staircase of the trail (near Weston & St Phillips) to Jane Crawford Memorial Park (about 1 block west of the Real Canadian Superstore). And it could be a lasting legacy to this community and everyone who lives near the Humber River trails. It will make our green spaces more accessible and provide affordable transportation options for generations.

Humber gap closing… very slowly

If you’re a cyclist, you know the “Humber Gap”, the missing stretch of the Humber River trail that would join the gorgeous trails north of Weston to the many kilometers of trails that run down to Lake Ontario.

The gap is at the north end of Cruickshank Park, and it’s a pain.

In fact, it’s worse than a pain. It’s dangerous: trail users are forced onto a very busy stretch of Weston Road where, despite the sharrows, you’d have to be suicidal to take to two wheels.

Now the Toronto Region Conservation Authority is starting an environmental assessment that will take small steps to close the gap. A 2019 investigation found that it would be hard to do and would “require the construction of bridges, boardwalk structures, and securement of property.”

That feasibility study said that more needed to be known about the subsurface “to inform the placement and design of any proposed water crossings.” In addition, “Complete ecological, geotechnical, water resources and geomorphologic assessments were also recommended to inform and refine the proposed trail alignment concepts.”

The Humber River Gap. Map from the TRCA.

Thanks to C for the tip.

Micallef calls out cycling in Weston

Would you feel safe cycling on busy Weston Road?

Freelance journalist Sean Micallef has written a column about the sorry state of cycling in Weston. He says, ““Home of the Bicycle” is a slogan found all around Weston, yet it’s one of the worst places in Toronto to ride a bike.” The article is in the Toronto Star behind a paywall but may be accessed at this link in Toronto.com.

In essence Micallef says that cycling is scary in Weston and is an equity issue according to area resident Christina Hoang.

We’ve been saying this for years at Weston Web. It’s nice to see others joining in.