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NEWS: Bike lane refresh for Davenport (Mar. 2021)

March 26th, 2021 · No Comments

Updates would mirror protected bike lanes on Danforth

By Luca Tatulli

In 2015, a young cyclist named Adam Excell was killed in a hit and run at the corner of Avenue and Davenport roads. Between 2016 and 2020, there were 27 more collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians on Davenport. Now Magazine placed this bike lane on its list of the city’s worst. However, the City of Toronto is hoping upgrades can improve the safety of the area. They outlined their plans during a consultation meeting on Feb. 4.

Their proposal would involve turning existing bike lanes on Dupont and Bay streets into protected lanes or cycle tracks located next to roadways but separated by physical barriers. New pavement markings will replace fading ones. The proposed upgrades would mirror the protected bike lanes on Danforth Avenue. 

The upgrades would also see bus-bike platforms installed at the major intersections of Davenport Road. The platforms would create a space for cyclists and passengers boarding and disembarking buses. 

The platforms would be separated by a yellow line. Pedestrians would wait outside the line and could only cross when getting on or off buses. 

Cyclists would also have to yield to pedestrians.  

If approved, the proposed upgrades will be installed by this summer. The city says the projected cost for the upgrades is between $150,000 to $200,000. 

 “With the passage of time, the bike lane is clearly deficient along Davenport. Number one, in many places, it’s too narrow, it’s got parked cars overlapping onto it,” says Albert Koehl  co-founder of Bells on Bloor. “In other places, the bike lane has faded, you can’t even see it anymore and also importantly, it’s not a protected bike lane.”

Koehl supports the proposal and says he foresees limited opposition to the project.

“I’m not expecting to see much opposition, in part because it’s an upgrade as opposed to a new lane,” said Koehl. “But more importantly, because of the trend that we’re seeing across the city towards more support for walking, cycling and transit.”

However, some local residents are already voicing concern.

“I’m not concerned with the bike lanes I just think this is a poor choice of a route for that simply because it is a pretty major connecting roadway,” said Frank Marra, the moderator of the Toronto Car People Facebook group and an employee for an architectural firm in the Annex.

The deadline for public feedback on the project upgrades ended on Feb.18. 

A report to city council and its Infrastructure and Environment Committee will be filed in March. If approved by city council, construction on the project would start by summer. 

Tags: Annex · News