As measured, the total roadway space required for everything in the video is 56 feet. The current right of way along local roads such as Weston Road, Jane and Lawrence Avenue is at their narrowest, 27 metres or 88.6 feet. Unless I’m mistaken, this would allow the modifications shown in the video with a minimum of 16.3 feet feet for sidewalks on either side. Check out various rights of way on every major street in the city here. According to the video, traffic volume doesn’t suffer and cyclists are then able to operate in safety.
Cruickshank Park has undergone two recent periods of construction. The first, in 2013 was to extend the Pan Am Path from the north end of the park to Mallaby Park at Weston Road and St Phillips.
The most recent was to do extensive erosion control work on the Etobicoke side. The Humber River was beginning to chew at a Scarlett Road co-op apartment’s playground and would have eventually threatened the whole site. Access for the work was through the Lawrence parking lot and this meant that for all but the most determined, the Pan Am Path northwards to Mallaby was closed.
A staging area and bridge to the affected bank on the far side were constructed to expedite access.
Toronto and Region Conservation Area Project manager, Courtney Rennie tells me that, “I anticipate opening the trail as early as next week, including removal of the temporary fast fencing around the project limits. There may be intermittent closures of the trail for terraseeding and restoration plantings, however that will only be for a few hours at a time while staff are on site.”
A 62-year-old man was charged with an improper right turn, and faces a $500 fine.
That improper turn killed Gary Sim, 70, of Mount Dennis, who was riding his bike on Jane Street. Sim died in hospital on July 2.
Is there a pro-car bias baked into the legal system? Heather Sim, the victim’s daughter, says so.
“If I was walking down the street swinging a lead pipe and hit someone, I’d be (facing an) assault charge … You just not paying attention and hitting people (with your car) doesn’t mean it’s anything more than a Highway Traffic Act charge,” she said.
Even the police think this is wrong. The Star says we could have a vulnerable road-user law, which would increase penalties for motorists who kill pedestrians or cyclists.
The province has been looking into this possibility for more than a year.
There will be a ghost ride tonight in honour of Gary Sim, who was killed riding his bike in the Mount Dennis area. The ride starts at Bloor and Spadina at 6 pm, and will end at Jane Park Plaza between 7:30 and 8.
The ghost bike movement honours cyclists who were killed by placing memorial white bikes where they were struck.
Gary Sim, 70, was an avid bicyclist and bike advocate, and a lifelong Mount Dennis resident. He was struck by a van making a right turn into a driveway on June 30. He died of his injuries.
Another pedestrian has been struck and seriously injured in Mount Dennis.
An 86-year-old man was trying to cross Weston south of Eglinton when he was struck by a 2009 Hyundai heading southbound. He was sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The police are asking for witnesses to the accident to come forward.
This is the third time that a pedestrian has been seriously injured at that intersection in the past 10 years.
Your correspondent does not know what happened in this case. The police report implies that the pedestrian was jaywalking, which, I hasten to add, we all do. However, that intersection is just plain dangerous because it is “skewed”—the roads do not meet at 90º.
Crossing times are longer because the intersection is wider.
Older people sometimes have limited head and neck mobility, and may find craning difficult.
Drivers can take obtuse-angle turns at higher speeds.
Transport Canada recommends correcting skewed intersections so that the roads meet at 90º.
The Star has the sad story of a cyclist killed in the Mount Dennis area last week. A motorist struck 70-year-old Gary Sim while he rode near Alliance and Jane. He later died in hospital.
The police recently released a 10-year data set on cyclist and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries, which your correspondent has mapped for Ward 11. The results are telling.
Four pedestrians and one cyclist have been struck at Weston and Lawrence.
19 pedestrians and four cyclists have been struck on Weston Road.
Ten more pedestrians and four cyclists have been hit along Jane.
These data are certainly very conservative, and only report deaths and serious injuries.
Many of these accidents—I use the word loosely—happen because we have very poor cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
There is no way, for instance, to get to the Junction, and the bike paths from there to downtown, without riding on the hilly, fast, four-lane Jane expressway. Riding on Weston terrifies even me, a gigantic, fast, fit and ferocious cyclist.
The West Toronto Railpath is exceptional. It’s fast and safe, and good enough for downtown. Why isn’t it good enough for Weston?
Metrolinx could make this happen. They’re working on electrification, which will entail widening and moving tracks (again). Instead of wasting billions on hydrogen powered trains, they could build paths for potato-powered people.