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War of the wheels looms with cross-city bike lane plan

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Move certain to be seized on by critics who claim Toronto is waging a war on cars ...Read the full article

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  1. John Deriso from Edmonton, Canada writes: As much of a hippie "let's all walk" type as I am, I don't really think bike lanes should come at the expense of those who do drive.

    More bike lanes are always good. And I would love to see bicycle paths separate from the proper road, because cyclists are pretty darn easy to kill by drivers. I gave up my bike and just walk everyone because cycling in accord with existing laws is just too bloody dangerous.
  2. Darren In TO from Canada writes: Jarvis is a bad idea, while I'm on the fence for the Bloor/Danforth bike lane.

    IM off to ride my bike in right now, and even I know that we have enough bike lanes right now. Why Jarvis when we can change Church or Victoria instead
  3. pete . from t-dot, Canada writes: We need more segregated bike lanes if we want more families, mothers, children, and average people to cycle. Just look at cities like Copenhagen, places in Holland, NYC, and Montreal! Just painting a line beside traffic will help the spandex crowd, but the average person will still feel safer biking on the sidewalk (illegally) on roads like University Ave.
  4. Avid Reader from Leslieville, Canada writes: The day of the automobile is over. But Toronto bicycle paths are useless, with cars parked on them every 100 feet. I once pointed out the "No Stopping" sign on College Street to some Toronto Police drinking coffee in their cruiser blocking the bike lane west of Spadina. They responded with a threat: "Are you a liberal? We shoot liberals!"
  5. Edward Carson from Brampton, Canada writes: Avid Reader - you're a liar. No cop would say that in a threatening manner...joking maybe but not threatening especially given the extreme left leaning of the mayor.

    Bike lanes are fine but make the riders get bike plates and a license to cover the costs. I don't go for this 'I pay with my property tax' nonsense. So do auto drivers and they also pay through licensing fees.
    On top of that it will give us citizens a means to call the police on the consistent violators who run stop signs or stop lights, the ones who don't veer to the left to go around a right turning car, and the ones who make illegal turns.
  6. John Gilks from Toronto, Canada writes: The comment about the police doesn't surprise me. They are among the worst offenders blocking bike lanes. last year the RCMP left a trailer of crowd control barriers parked in the bike lane outside the Chinese consulate for several months!

    If the city were serious about an east west route they would do something about Queens Quay West. The city's handed over a key section of the city's premier bicycle trail to property developers and replaced it with a death trap for cyclists.
  7. Darcy McGee from United States writes: Sigh. I miss the Don Valley bike path. I spend many an hour of my misspent youth traveling from Scarborough to Downtown on that that thing. The Martin Goodman trail was lovely as well.

    Try for dedicated bike lanes, not just painted lines. It makes a big difference. Here in Vancouver we have painted lines...cars just ignore them. Not all cars mind you...but many.
  8. Avid Reader from Leslieville, Canada writes: Edward Carson from Brampton, Canada writes: Avid Reader - you're a liar. No cop would say that in a threatening manner...joking maybe but not threatening>>>> I really wish I was making it up! It was definitely a serious attempt to intimidate me (and it did), simply because I pointed out to them that parking there was illegal and a hazard to cyclists! I was initially flabbergasted, hoping that they weren't real cops, but uniformed actors from some nearby film shoot. I took down the number on the police cruiser, with the intention of filing a complaint, but eventually decided that nothing would come of it. They always protect their own. This was more than around 10 years ago, before the 'left-leaning mayor' not to mention the soft-spoken police chief, but I doubt that the nasty personalities of our cops have changed any. You may not believe me up in Brampton (and as a white middle-aged university-educated professional, I wouldn't have believed it either), but I am sure there are a lot of young men in baggy pants who do believe me (if they read the Globe and Mail), because it happens to them every day.
  9. GlobeMail Fan from United States writes: Toronto needs east-west, north-south routes for cyclists. They are long overdue. Bloor street is ideal since it has subway service and
    lots of off-street parking according to a recent study. If the city is serious about reducing smog and lowering its ever increasing carbon emissions the time is now for a Bike Lane on Bloor.
  10. Brent Baumgartner from Suzhou, China writes: If you ride on Bloor, you do it at your own risk; it's a very dangerous cycling street, and worse in winter when there's snow and slush on it. But there are work arounds on side streets you mostly can take that are nice rides. Besides, there are other pressing issues that need addressing for cycling in Toronto other than the lost cause topic of a Bloor bike path; it's not going to happen! The cars are staying. So move on and worry about parking, for example. It is getting impossible downtown to find a place to park anymore because of so many bikes around and the many "carcasses" taking up space after being stripped for parts and abandoned, even with Toronto's multitude of bike racks. Or that bike theft is rampant. No bike can sit unlocked for a second and not get lifted, it's pathetic. Or that you can't take your bike on the subway, street cars and most buses. How are you supposed to get across town without doing a daily marathon?

    Toronto's better off to fix the things it can for cyclists and should keep trying to educate motorists and shop keepers on the benefits to them by giving room to cyclists rather then picking fights with other legal road users.
  11. Biking Toronto from Toronto, Canada writes: Anyone thinking that bikelanes along bloor-danforth would take space away from parking should re-read the article. What the city is thinking of doing is making parking permanent (currently, parking is prohibited during rush hours).

    This will not only help create space for cyclists, but give area businesses MORE parking for customers.

    It should be pointed out that most businesses on Bloor-Danforth have area residents (ie. non-drivers) as their core customers. Pedestrians, cyclists and transit users support local businesses far more than drivers do.
  12. Darren in TO from Toronto, Canada writes: John Gilks, that is just retarded. Why mess Queen's Quay when Lakeshore already has a bike lane in the east. Just continue on Lakeshore or beside Lakeshore near the CPR tracks.

    You sound like Miller with his logic behind screwing up with 6 blocks of Eastern Av.
  13. Edward Carson from Brampton, Canada writes: Avid - I work downtown and see all the nightmares of Toronto. However, it is a big public misconception that police are illegally parked if there is a sign saying no stopping. In your case, yes they were, but if responding to a call they can park anywhere regardless of signage.
  14. j j from Toronto, Canada writes: Wow I am stunned at this news. The recent takedown by the Bloor St Merchants Association (or whatever they call themselves) seemed like the end of any hope for this project in the near future.

    Cagers, this is the farthest thing from a "war" so don't get all phreaky on us. You are simply being asked to share a tiny bit of your pie. You've had it all to yourselves for 50 years, and it's been a good run. It never ceases to amaze me how churlish and selfish you are about sharing even the smallest piece of that pie.
  15. Vote NDP in the next federal/ provincial election from Toronto, Canada writes: We need more people riding bicycles and less people driving cars.
  16. Darren in TO from Toronto, Canada writes: Sigh...yet again, I have to make this clear to everyone;

    Not every street can offer everything to everyone. Until the left see this, then it will be a war of US vs THEM.

    In other words, we cant have streetcars on every street, and we cant have bike paths on every street, and we can have a car culture on every street. Each street is different. In the east, we have Lakeshote, parts of Gerrard, Shuter, and Dundas with bike lanes. Eastern was NOT needed, and it was overkill intended to screw over SmartCentre. Now cars spill over to Queen making the 501 more of a milk run then it was already.

    Why mess with Jarvis, when cyclists would prefer Church/Victoria? Beautify Victoris with a bike lane so it can be more then a back alley, and leave Jarvis for cars.
  17. Bernard Fitzpatrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Bikes take up far less space than cars.

    So, the greater the % of street devoted to cyclists, the greater number of people the street can serve.

    I think we can do better than 0%.
  18. Darren in TO from Toronto, Canada writes: Bernard Fitzpatrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Bikes take up far less space than cars.

    So, the greater the % of street devoted to cyclists, the greater number of people the street can serve.

    I think we can do better than 0%.

    ~~~~~~

    Well golly. ZERO % you say?? I guess the bike lane on Dundas, River, and Shuter that I used JUST THIS MORNING are part of that zero percent.
  19. Edward Carson from Brampton, Canada writes: Darren - your common sense approach has no business in Toronto. If you keep making posts like that Herr Miller will have you exiled. Just look at how quickly they went to shove bike lanes into the region by the Ontario Food Terminal and told the trucker to rethink the way the drive because of the cyclists.
  20. Avid Reader from not Brampton, Canada writes: Edward from Brampton: Yeah, they were responding to an urgent call, alright. A call for Second Cup coffee, parked on the bicycle path in front of the stoplight at College and Augusta! A really dumb place to park, in the middle of a T intersection, especially since there was a customer parking lot with empty spots at the side of the building. I spoke with them while they drank their coffee in their cruiser, and they didn't even try to claim that they had any justification for being there. I guess they knew they had Edward Carson in Brampton to defend them. Doesn't Brampton have any of its own newspapers, Edward?
  21. Edward Carson from Brampton, Canada writes: Avid I suggest you go and re-read my reply to you. In case you're too lazy here is the part you need to re-read:

    However, it is a big public misconception that police are illegally parked if there is a sign saying no stopping. In your case, yes they were...

    I admitted that in your scenario laid out that they were illegally parked. So your little diatribe is pointless and moronic. I would wait for an apology but I've been around Toronto enough to know you'll never see one.
  22. j j from Toronto, Canada writes: Darren I think the distinction here is that cagers are now at risk of being asked to share a road that really matters to them. Many of the existing bike lanes have been dropped onto lower-volume roads like River and Shuter, and often without any consideration for continuity or destination. In some cases such lanes are useful for cyclists... but what value does the River/Shuter combo deliver? Those streets are not busy at all to begin with, and then the route dead-ends at the Eaton centre. You should ask why your lane on Dundas E doesn't continue right through the core so you could also use it for a crosstown trip. So yes, here we are talking for the first time about long-distance continuity that will deliver countless bicycle destinations, and that objective is what will undoubtedly conflict with cagers' sense of ownership and entitlement.
  23. B H from Toronto, Canada writes: Toronto's most common style of 'bike lane' is very poor - I hope more bike lanes' aren't just more of the same.... A 'bike lane' that is separated by traffic by a painted line, that is in between the main lanes and the parking spots, that ends suddenly at every intersection, and that is too narrow for two bikes to pass in it can't really honestly be called a 'bike lane', let alone a bike PATH, and as has been pointed out, the vast majority of people will always feel unsafe riding in something like that. And every fedex truck in the city will continue to search it out as their favourite unloading spot as if it was painted there just for them. So we have cars driving through the 'bike path' every few minutes to get in and out of parking spots, cyclists forced to pass on the right at every intersection, bikes moving in and out of car traffic at every single fedex truck and every single car that pulled over in the bike path to use their cell phone and every single time they need to pass another bike... Make proper (safe, convenient) bike paths and everyone will be happier and healthier and get where they want to go faster and a huge segment of the population who would like to bike more but is scared of city streets will get out there. And car drivers will be less stressed without having to share the road with tiny fragile vehicles, too.
  24. B H from Toronto, Canada writes: Toronto's most common style of 'bike lane' is very poor - I hope more bike lanes' aren't just more of the same.... A 'bike lane' that is separated by traffic by a painted line, that is in between the main lanes and the parking spots, that ends suddenly at every intersection, and that is too narrow for two bikes to pass in it can't really honestly be called a 'bike lane', let alone a bike PATH, and as has been pointed out, the vast majority of people will always feel unsafe riding in something like that. And every fedex truck in the city will continue to search it out as their favourite unloading spot as if it was painted there just for them. So we have cars driving through the 'bike path' every few minutes to get in and out of parking spots, cyclists forced to pass on the right at every intersection, bikes moving in and out of car traffic at every single fedex truck and every single car that pulled over in the bike path to use their cell phone and every single time they need to pass another bike... Make real (safe, convenient) bike paths and everyone will be happier and healthier and get where they want to go faster and a huge segment of the population who would like to bike more but is scared of city streets will get out there. And car drivers will be less stressed without having to share the road with tiny fragile vehicles, too.
  25. Darren in TO from Toronto, Canada writes: j j from Toronto

    Thats because hardly anyone commutes crosstown. Dundas, River, Shuter work just fine for me and the other dozen or so people who I peddled past this morning from the Beach. You cant have it both ways. Bike paths can mimic transit patterns in the sense that they dont go East to West, and then North to South, yet are staggered. Woopdee friggen do, I had to make a left turn on River from Dundas. Im still alive to speak of it.

    As for the whole thing about Shuter ending at Eaton. Big deal?? Would you rather ride on Shuter, or along Queen with articulated streetcars rumbling by you a few inches away? Stop whining, and go down or up Victoria to connect with your next street somehow and contine on your merry way. Yeah its a bit tough to get to say Bay/ Dundas from Shuter. But lets face it; no is peddling in from the Beach to go to say Jane and Dundas. If you want to get to the core, there are currently excellent bike lanes available, and there exists better candidates for new bike lanes then Bloor Danforth. We could fit a bike lane down a back alley or a side street with hardly any effect to its traffic flow and parking, when compared to the effect of a bike lane down Danforth/Bloor.
  26. Darren in TO from Toronto, Canada writes: Anyways, one can summarise my views on this as being that I am for bikes and bike lanes and bike users. But Im against this belief from our current anarchist socialist city hall that bike lanes must be introduced at any cost

    We should introduce more bike lanes where the minimal impact to traffic/parking/streetcars will be.

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