Serving Toronto's most liveable community with the Annex Gleaner

NEWS: Cycle tracks coming to Davenport (Sept. 2022)

September 27th, 2022 · 1 Comment

Stretch between Dupont and Bedford to include buffers 

By Fox Oliver

The Bike Lane and Road Safety Upgrades on Davenport Road involve an upgrade plan which will take place over three phases, and the second phase is scheduled to begin this month. 

Phase one was completed in 2021 and saw the upgrade of pre-existing bike lanes into cycle tracks on Davenport Road between Yonge Street and Bay Street. Phase two of this project involves upgrading pre-existing bike lanes into cycle tracks between Bedford Road and Bay Street. In 2023, the third and final phase of the project will involve upgrading the bike lanes on Davenport Road into cycle tracks between Dupont Street and Bedford Road.

There are a few reasons why cycle tracks are a safer alternative to bike lanes. 

According to the City of Toronto’s webpage on cycling infrastructure, bicycle lanes are a “dedicated part of the roadway for the exclusive use of people cycling,” in which other road users “may not lawfully drive, stand, stop or park.” 

However, road safety advocate and environmental lawyer Albert Koehl points out that “a painted (bike) lane is only that; cars can choose to ignore them.” 

Although it is illegal, motor vehicles driving, idling, or parking in designated bike lanes is a very real danger in Toronto. The city’s background information on the Davenport Road Safety Upgrade project states that between 2016 and 2020 there were 27 reported collisions involving people walking or cycling on Davenport Road between Yonge Street and Dupont Street, including one fatality.

To combat this danger, the city has decided to install cycle tracks on this dangerous strip of roadway. The cycle tracks on Davenport will be separated from the road by buffers (a curb, bollards or planters), and there will also be raised areas for bus stops. The buffers create physical and visual barriers that prevent motor vehicles from entering the bike lanes. 

Cycle tracks will also make the public realm safer for pedestrians because buffers  also prevent cars from going onto the sidewalk. Additionally, if cyclists feel safe in their own lane, they are less likely to bike on the sidewalk and infringe on the space of those on foot. This reduces the risk of pedestrian-cyclist collisions.

Alison Stewart, senior advocacy manager at Cycle Toronto, believes that Toronto is headed in the right direction by improving cycling infrastructure. She says that many city councillors, including University-Rosedale councillor, Mike Layton, are strong advocates for an improved cycling network. Stewart says that ideally buffered lanes for bikes and outdoor patios will continue to be built following the pilot project currently in effect on Yonge Street. She adds that the recent revamping of Shaw Street to better accommodate bikes is one to emulate, and that you know the city is heading in the right direction “when you are seeing families with kids riding their bikes and walking to school (like you do on Shaw Street).” 

“Safer and more plentiful bike lanes are important for cyclists and pedestrians because currently motorized vehicles dominate 76 per cent of public road space in the city,” says Stewart. Improved biking infrastructure will also increase the number of cyclists in the city.  This increase in bikers comes with its own benefits, including reduced traffic and a more environmentally friendly city.


Tags: Annex · News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Christopher King // Sep 29, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Sadly, the City and it’s agencies did not consult 250 Davenport Rd, a TCHC high-rise, during this process, and removed the community’s TTC bus stop.
    Additionally, the placement of the Davenport & Bedford BikeShare infrastructure is an issue, as it is presenting an obstacle to WheelTrans, EMS and Toronto Fire Service vehicles from accessing the front parking lot.
    We are hoping to open a conversation with all involved parties in the hopes of making some partial changes to the work that was done to ensure that everyone can benefit from these improvements.