Cyclists on Bloor Street rejoice
Cyclists are back in their safe space on Bloor Street, now that a bike lane that was barricaded for a condo project has been reopened.
On Aug. 14, I reported on a cycling lane on the south side of Bloor, just west of Parliament Street, which was closed for much of the summer to create extra room to apply the finishing touches to a new residential building.
The closing forced cyclists into the curb lane on eastbound Bloor, which is bumper-tobumper during rush hour and filled with fast-moving traffic the rest of the day.
It underscored how cycling lanes are the first to be sacrificed on the altar of development, despite alternatives that are inconvenient and expensive for developers but are routinely done in places like New York.
The city said the cycling lane would be open within a couple weeks of my column. I returned last week and found that the lane had been reopened but the sidewalk was still fenced off.
Pedestrians walking south from Bloor onto Parliament are forced into a temporary path separated from traffic by jersey barriers, which also attracts bike riders headed in the same direction.
Cyclists are now riding into a confined space, which they must share with uneasy pedestrians, because there’s no signage telling them otherwise.
On June 17, my column was about a pedestrian area surrounding a sidewalk on the east side of Kenneth Avenue, just north of Sheppard Avenue, where decorative brick had collapsed in four spots within 50 metres or so.
Pip Wedge told me that the collapsed sections of brick had been there for more than a year and the only thing the city had done was to place pylons and traffic barrels around the hazards.
The city told me it was working with other city departments to co-ordinate on repairs and would complete the work as soon as possible.
Apparently there was no hurry. I got a note on Sept. 5 from Wedge, saying the collapsed brick sections had been repaired but the pylons and traffic barrels were left behind and are littering the street.
My July 14 column was about a large pothole next to the curb on Blythwood Road, just west of the intersection at Bayview Avenue, that bike riders were hard-pressed to avoid when the curb lane was filled with traffic.
Dr. Urban Emmenegger, who rides his bike along Blythwood to work at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, on the other side of the intersection, emailed me to say it was a big problem for cyclists.
He sent me another note last week, saying the city finally filled the pothole, but only after he filed a service request with 311, long after my column. What’s broken in your neighbourhood?