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Scene: Contra-Flow Bike Lanes on Shaw Street

Biking against traffic is now legal—at least, on this one street.

20131122 Contra flow bicycle lanes on Shaw Street 1865  Photo by Corbin Smith
20131122 Contra flow bicycle lanes on Shaw Street 1924  Photo by Corbin Smith

WHERE: Shaw Street, between Dupont Street and Dundas Street West

WHEN: Friday, November 22

WHAT: For Shaw Street, a contra-flow bike lane (that is, a bike lane that runs against motor-vehicle traffic, head-on) has been in the works for years. City council originally approved the project in 2008 and 2009, but questions about whether this particular type of lane is permissible under provincial traffic law prevented it from being installed at the time. Now that the Ministry of Transportation has said, definitively, that it doesn’t care, the City has finally gone ahead and painted the line. Installation began in October, and now cyclists are starting to discover this brand-new, slightly scary (the cars drive right at you!) north/south thoroughfare.