A ride-along with a Torontoist reporter proves the pilot project still has some kinks to work out.
In May, Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the installation of a Bloor Street bike lanes pilot project, much to the joy of Toronto cyclists. The street is an active artery for more than 3,000 cyclists daily, and the fight for a safer ride from Shaw Street to Avenue Road has been 40 years in the making.
The bike lanes are under construction, and while the flexipost bollards haven’t been installed yet, cyclists can test-ride the newly painted lines. Some commuters, however, are not yet accustomed to sharing the road.
Torontoist‘s Corbin Smith took his bike out for a spin yesterday, and found that—to little surprise—being a cyclist isn’t easy in Toronto, even with new bike lanes.
Smith rode from just west of Shaw past Avenue Road, where the the pilot project begins and ends. He ended his commute around Church Street.
At first, it was smooth sailing: the streets were fairly empty, and he had the lanes to himself on the west end.
Traffic picked up around Bathurst Street, and by Spadina, a few other cyclists joined Smith in the lanes.
And then the inevitable happens: near Avenue Road, a motorist merges into the bike lane ahead of Smith.
At a red light, Smith confronts the driver, who suggests there’s not enough signage to denote the new lanes. It’s a good point, one that will perhaps be addressed in the near future by the City. Smith agrees. “Thanks for being reasonable,” he tells the driver and his passenger.
The rest of the commute was trouble-free. But later in the day, Smith also comes across a car parked in the lanes.
While the project is in its infancy, Torontoist‘s ride-along proves there’s still much to be desired on the Bloor bike lanes—and motorists have plenty to learn when it comes to sharing the road.
Watch Smith’s full ride below.