We owe thanks to David Juliusson of Long Branch for bringing our attention to a City of Toronto Public Works and Infrastructure Committee decision on March 1, 2016 concerning:
Waterfront Trail – Proposed Contra-flow Bicycle Lanes on Waterfront Drive and Feasibility of Closing Gap on Lake Shore Boulevard West, between Norris Crescent and First Street
Below are some key texts from the report:
This item was considered by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on March 1, 2016 and adopted without amendment. It will be considered by City Council on March 30, 2016.
Summary of Staff Report:
The Waterfront Trail stretches over 1,400 km along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, the Niagara, Detroit, and St. Lawrence Rivers. In Toronto, the Waterfront Trail exists mostly through a network of multi-use trails and residential streets. In a few areas, the trail runs along major arterial roads. The long-term goal is to relocate the Waterfront Trail from these arterial roads where possible, and provide a continuous route along dedicated cycling lanes, multi-use trails, and quiet streets.
This report seeks Council approval to install two cycling facilities along the Waterfront Trail in Ward 6 – a contra-flow bicycle lane on Waterfront Drive, from Marine Parade Drive to Palace Pier Court as well as a bi-directional cycle track on the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard West between Norris Crescent and First Street.
The proposed Waterfront Drive contra-flow bicycle lane responds to the Council request to consider provision of a parallel on-street route option for cyclists in tandem with trail improvements as a means of accommodating the increasing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists along the Waterfront Trail at Humber Bay Shores Park.
Second, a gap in the Waterfront Trail exists in Etobicoke between Norris Crescent and First Street where trail users must travel along busy Lake Shore Boulevard West. To close the gap and enhance the safety of the Waterfront Trail in Etobicoke, Council requested staff to study and report back on the implementation of cycling infrastructure along this stretch. The preferred alternative is a 1.4 km bi-directional cycle track on the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard West.
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Feb. 24, 2016 Biking Toronto overview of contra-flow bicycle lanes proposal
An excerpt from the above-noted Feb. 24, 2016 post reads:
Just two years ago, Sue Trainor was travelling westbound in the passing lane on Lake Shore Bldv W., near First St. In a tragic turn of events, her wheel got caught in the streetcar tracks, she lost control of her bicycle, and fell into oncoming traffic. She died at the scene.
Sue lost her life in a stretch of the Waterfront Trail where there is a significant gap in bike lanes. We are grateful for the recent efforts of Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes to fill in this gap, which has led to city staff proposing the addition of a bi-directional cycle track between Norris Cresc. and First St. This cycle track (pictured) would make it safer to explore the city by bike, easier for all Torontonians to enjoy the Waterfront Trail, and, most importantly, it would help prevent a tragedy from occurring ever again. Read the full staff report here.
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