Dragging a bicycle down the stairs of a subway station often comes with an abundance of “tsks” and dirty looks from fellow passenges, and a wayward pivoting front wheel can catch on clothing or trip up the flow of human traffic. Plus, some riders can get royally peeved if something is impeding their way as they fly frantically down the stairs to beat the door chimes—waiting for the next train is, of course, unthinkable.
To better serve its two-wheeled ridership, the TTC plans to install prototype bicycle conduits in two station renovation projects, according to the Star. The tracks will be fitted beneath the stairway handrails, assumedly similar to the grooves on the stairs of Toronto’s bicycle-friendly bridges, which allow the wheels to remain inside a metal channel so that a bike can be guided easily down the stairs via the handlebars rather than carrying it awkwardly.
The plan is currently a pilot project, but is to become standard system-wide if they turn out to be as effective as hoped. An earlier pilot program that installed bicycle racks on the front of buses was successful, and the Commission hopes to have the entire fleet racked-up by 2010. Cycling and public transit in Toronto have always had a troubled relationship, but for many cyclists, it seems like the TTC might actually be back on track as The Better Way.
Photo by funinthegym from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.