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Northern Light

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@DSC noted over in the John Tory thread that TO Inview had been updated (the City's infrastructure project mapping plan) to show projects that are planned for 2023 or to start in same.

There's some exciting, ambitious stuff there from the Cycling unit.......whether it all happens remains to be seen.

I'm not going to suggest the list below is comprehensive, but a few highlights.

Multi-use Trails/Paths

1) As I noted over in the Golf Course thread, the City is set to redesign Dentonia Golf Course to include a multi-use trail. They already have the project in TO Inview as 2023-2024
2) The Mid-Humber Gap is listed as 2023-2025
3) The N-S section (western leg- of the Finch Hydro Corridor from Beth Ridge to the West Humber Trail
4) Warden Hydro Corridor (entire length, from Meadoway to Maryvale (south of 401)

On Road

1) Bloor west to Royal York - 2023
2) Victoria Park Avenue from St. Clair to the Gatineau Trail (Meadoway); as well as Donside to Danforth
3) The return of Bike lanes/infra to Brimley
4) Some type of enhanced cycling facilities on Bay from Dundas to Wellesley
5) Bellamy from just north of Eglinton to Progress
* 6) Trail, but roadside along Ellesmere from Orton Park to Morningside
7) Warden Avenue from Lupin (just south of 401) to Finch Hydro Corridor
8) Steeles from Brimley to McCowan
9) Scarborough Golf Club Road, Lawrence to Kingston Rd.
10) Don Mills Road - York Mills to Graydon Hall , and another section just north of 401


Honestly if 1/2 of this gets done I'd be extremely pleased; if they get all of it, that's outstanding.

Not a finished cycling vision for the City but remarkable progress.
 
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leopetr

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Plans for 2023 completions make me nervous because that's after two elections -- provincial and municipal. I'd love to see more completions in the first half of 2022.
 

DSC

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Plans for 2023 completions make me nervous because that's after two elections -- provincial and municipal. I'd love to see more completions in the first half of 2022.
Once projects start moving ahead there is a momentum that generally makes them very hard to stop. That is undoubtedly part of the reason Mr Ford is pressing ahead very fast with his equivalent of "subways, subways, subways."
 

W. K. Lis

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PanAm Path

From link, dated June 2, 2017...

Construction and confusion on the Pan Am Path

panamtrail.jpg

Fair-weather pedal pushers of the city rejoice: Cycling season is finally upon us.

I’m relatively new to Toronto; having been here about a year and like many cyclists, now that the weather is warm again I’ve been trying to find a place for an extended ride.

Earlier this spring I discovered the Pan Am Path, the city’s arts-focused legacy of the 2015 Pan Am Games. Excellent, I thought. Let’s give that a try.

So last week (before the deluge of Rainmageddon 2017) I set out to ride the full 85-kilometre length of the Path for myself, imagining the cheeky ‘So-you-don’t-have-to’ headlines that might follow.

What I found is that you likely will want to, if you don’t mind dodging construction closures, confusing signage and ultimately getting lost somewhere in Scarborough for a while.

The Pan Am Path began as a way to create a lasting legacy of the 2015 Pan Am Games. A group of civic activists calling themselves The Friends of the Pan Am Path pitched the idea of showing off the city’s ravines and the neighbourhoods they wind through, stitching together the existing pieces of multi-use pathway into a cohesive whole.

The City of Toronto got on board, promising $1.9 million for the project to “act as a living legacy” of the 2015 Pan Am Games, according to the Friends of the Pan Am Path website.

Today the city is responsible for the infrastructure and the Friends of Pan Am Path are responsible for the artistic curation and programming.

Underpasses along the route are decorated by graffiti art and other installations by renowned Toronto artists. The summer of the Games, the Pan Am Path played host to a bicycle-bourn mobile concert series, which was repeated for the anniversary last September.

Devon Ostrom is one of the project’s curators. He said the original idea for the Path was to address some of the very headaches I ran into last week.
“It first started back in 2012 as a response to having these beautiful amazing experiences in the city’s ravines and then being dumped out onto a highway,” he said.

Having an entire end-to-end pathway that doesn’t require sleuthing around Scarborough’s residential streets is still very much the goal, Ostrom said, but it’s a work in progress.

Its original incarnation called for the path’s construction to be 95 per cent complete by 2017 but after riding the whole thing it seems that the finish line will prove elusive.

Last Wednesday I arrived at the Pan Am Path’s western terminus near the Claireville Reservoir to find that there isn’t any signage denoting the start of the legacy pathway. There is, however, a fair amount of construction going on nearby – something that would become a bit of a theme for my four-hour, 93-kilometre journey.

From the reservoir dam the path sweeps down into the Humber Arboretum, green and lush with buttery smooth asphalt. The section through the Arboretum is beautiful, but with a number of forks in the trail and not much clear Pan Am Path signage, it’s a good thing I had a smart phone in my pocket.

From the Arboretum the path follows the river almost continuously until the waterfront. I say “almost” because significant portions of it are closed for construction.

The bridge where Highway 401 crosses the Humber is under construction, and the path runs beneath it. When I rode through, there were city signs saying the route is closed, pointing to a detour along Wilson Avenue.
The Ministry of Transportation later told me those signs are left over from a closure a year ago, and will be removed soon.

But farther along at Cruickshank Park I’m confronted by a blue steel fence and a snarling excavator hulking over the pathway like a dragon.

As the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s Moranne McDonnell explained to me, they are doing shoreline remediation work necessary to repair an area behind an apartment building on Scarlett Road that got washed out in a summer flood in July 2013.

“Basically we’re using big boulders and native plant material to rebuild the slope face,” she said.

McDonnell said that workers should be finished rebuilding the slope by the end of May, but parts of the trail could remain closed into June as crews replace paving and do other clean-up work.

Unsure how to get out of the ravine, I got off my bike and tiptoed towards the fence, hoping to slip around it. Eventually the excavator’s operator saw me, lifted his bucket back inside the fence and waved me forward.

A few more dekes around back-hoes and dump trucks, and I was back on the path headed south again. There was more fencing and heavy machinery as I pedaled towards King’s Mill Park. The trail itself becomes gravel for a while, but it’s still open.
After King’s Mill Park, I was spit out into the bike lane on Stephen Drive. The map says to pick up the pathway at South Humber Park, but there’s nothing in the way of signage to point the way. Again, it was my smart phone that rescued me.

After ducking under the Gardiner (and avoiding more construction), the path connects with the Martin Goodman Trail at Sheldon Lookout and along the waterfront towards downtown.

I’ve ridden this section many times and, as anyone who owns a pair of bib shorts can tell you, sometimes it’s gloriously empty and smooth. Other times, you’re constantly weaving and braking to avoid being clothes-lined by the leash on someone’s dog and all the other walkers who don’t seem to realize that there’s a pedestrian-only pathway mere metres away.

Such is life in a big city, I suppose.

Go west and you arrive in Mimico where the trail keeps mysteriously ending, leaving users on largely unmarked residential streets.

Headed east, you eventually reach the utter confusion of the Cherry Street intersection with Lake Shore Boulevard. Every time I reach this spot I’m never sure exactly what to do – cross at the three different sets of lights and head up towards the GO Train tracks (past another construction closure) or head south towards Cherry Beach.

Again, there’s no signage to help you.
After two hours in the saddle with nothing to eat but an energy bar and too much coffee I chose wrong, headed south and off the Pan Am Path proper. I’d assumed – mistakenly – that a city-wide trail meant in part to showcase Toronto’s green spaces would include the Leslie Street Spit.

After my accidental detour, I rejoined the Path at the mouth of the Don River. Riding up the Lower Don Trail you can get as far as the pedestrian overpass at Riverdale Park where you have to hike-a-bike up the stairs and over to Broadview Avenue to avoid more construction (which I wrote about earlier this month).

Out of respect for the city’s cycle-commuters – a much heartier bunch than I – I won’t belabour the problems with riding sandwiched into a few feet between streetcar tracks and a line of parked cars, waiting for an inattentive driver to open a door. All I will say is the detour up Broadview Ave. to Pottery Road is the city’s recommended route around the Lower Don closures and it doesn’t include a bike lane.

From Pottery Road it’s back down into the Don Valley for a short while until you reach Taylor Creek Park. Or do you continue on to Stan Wadlow Park? Despite 20 minutes of poking around I couldn’t find the trail. I cheated and zipped up Pharmacy Avenue, hoping to rejoin the Path at the Ashtonbee Reservoir and was met by more construction.

This is where I really got lost. The only map of the Pan Am Path I could find online doesn’t include granular, street-by-street detail. This is a problem when, like in Scarborough, the intended route jumps around on various residential streets

Even using the navigation apps on my phone I couldn’t figure out exactly where to go so I cheated once more and made straight for Thompson Memorial Park where I picked up the Path east along the hydro right-of-way.
Eventually, after a quick descent down Orton Park Road, the Path sweeps down through the serene Highland Creek ravine before arriving at the final, glorious 3.5-kilometre stretch along the lakeshore to Rouge Beach Park.

On the whole, it wasn’t a terrible four hours of pedaling. The art along the route is worth seeing if you can find your way to it, and at some points in the ravines you can almost forget you’re surrounded by six million people.

Last week Toronto passed its Ten Year Cycling Network plan, which will see $16 million invested per year towards 525 kilometres of cycling infrastructure. The vast majority of those kilometres will be on-street infrastructure aimed at improving cycling safety and getting cars off the road. Only 40 of those planned kilometres will go towards multi-use trails like the Pan Am Path.

The organization is planning to launch its summer programming schedule June 15, and it’ll include a whack of group walks, rides and tours. There will also be 15 new large-scale murals commissioned to add to the artwork already in place.

The next section of the Pan Am Path to see construction will extend the route from the upper reaches of the Lower Don Trail to the hydro right-of-way. That work will commence in 2018, along with three new pedestrian bridges in the Highland Creek and Morningside Park areas, according to the city.

Even so, the next time I set out to ride the whole thing, I’m definitely bringing a better map.
 

Northern Light

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cyclo

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What is really needed are bike lanes along North-South arterial roads that cross under or above the 401... Along Bathurst in the West, Yonge, Birchmount/Midland in the East. The 401 is a major barrier for those coming from the north. That IMHO is what is sorely lacking.
 

Northern Light

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What is really needed are bike lanes along North-South arterial roads that cross under or above the 401... Along Bathurst in the West, Yonge, Birchmount/Midland in the East. The 401 is a major barrier for those coming from the north. That IMHO is what is sorely lacking.

It is needed.

But its very complicated, due to the interface with the MTO (provincial ministry of Transportation)

Based on Inview, the City is proposing 2 cycling crossings of 401 through this year and next.

One on Wendell Avenue in the west end; and one on Warden in the east end.

They proposed cycletracks/bike lanes on Don Mills on both sides of the the highway, but not on the bridge itself which is odd in that its one of the few crossings w/o the MTO complication, operationally. Though perhaps the City feels it would have widen the bridge here, I don't know.

They also propose cycling facilities on Brimley but ending at Progress in the north for now.

*****

I'm not unsympathetic to City staff on this one....

Most of the Councillors here aren't overly bike friendly, the bridges/underpasses are hostile and will require re-design in many cases at considerable time and expense, plus
having to deal with the MTO.

FWIW, Yonge Street has been a City priority at the 401 for sometime now; and has been delayed repeatedly by the MTO.
 
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Northern Light

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Still waiting for this (since 2014)...


To the best of my knowledge, while this idea is quite interesting, it is not what I understood was being looked at here.

My understanding was that they were looking at ways to eliminate the slip-lane points of entry and egress to the highway (having them all meet traffic lights at Yonge); and though some combination of narrower lanes and road dieting, adding cycle tracks and streetscaped sidewalks on both sides of Yonge continuously.

I don't know if this every reached the point of a concrete plan, if it did, I have not seen it.

But I have had discussions that have led me to conclude the above.
 

H4F33Z

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To the best of my knowledge, while this idea is quite interesting, it is not what I understood was being looked at here.

My understanding was that they were looking at ways to eliminate the slip-lane points of entry and egress to the highway (having them all meet traffic lights at Yonge); and though some combination of narrower lanes and road dieting, adding cycle tracks and streetscaped sidewalks on both sides of Yonge continuously.

I don't know if this every reached the point of a concrete plan, if it did, I have not seen it.

But I have had discussions that have led me to conclude the above.
That won't solve the problem of the extreme grade difference. It's big of a hill that can really discourage cyclists' travel. There are only a handful of hills in the city I'll walk my bike up.

Yonge Blvd avoiding the valley is actually a good idea.
 

Northern Light

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That won't solve the problem of the extreme grade difference. It's big of a hill that can really discourage cyclists' travel. There are only a handful of hills in the city I'll walk my bike up.

Yonge Blvd avoiding the valley is actually a good idea.

The Yonge Street issue (on the road itself) needs to be addressed either way, for the benefit of pedestrians accessing local homes/condos/businesses/TTC etc.

That said, I understand the notion that the grade for cycling through traffic from north of 401 to south of Hog's Hollow (or the reverse) is very arduous and a plan that mitigates that is also useful.

I'm not certain, what the N-S demand models show, in terms of prioritizing that additional investment vs say a safe crossing of Bathurst or Bayview, or an added crossing at the southern extent of Willowdale Avenue.

Eventually they should all get done, of course, but time and money being finite, some level of prioritization is required.
 

Admiral Beez

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What is really needed are bike lanes along North-South arterial roads that cross under or above the 401... The 401 is a major barrier for those coming from the north. That IMHO is what is sorely lacking.
Would many be cycling downtown from above the 401? Unless Yonge St. has protected lanes all the way down it would be too dangerous for my liking.
 

DSC

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Would many be cycling downtown from above the 401? Unless Yonge St. has protected lanes all the way down it would be too dangerous for my liking.
I agree that few people would commute by bike from north of 401 to downtown but I suspect there are quite a few who live north of 401 who would cycle to Eglinton & Yonge area. Bike tracks are like transit routes, not everybody (in fact very few) take a trip on the whole route. That said, Yonge DOES need lanes 'all the way' - even if not many will use all of them all the time.
 

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