Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country
Toronto saw some amazing weather this past long weekend, and Han and I didn’t waste any time in getting out on our bikes. We took our dog Mojo out to Cherry beach using our bike chariot on Friday, and we rode to Chinatown on Sunday for a tasty dim sum feast.
This isn’t out of the ordinary for myself, but it is an accomplishment for Han because she doesn’t normally feel very comfortable riding on the streets in Toronto alongside traffic. We managed to find some quiet side streets however, which made the ride more pleasant for her.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to navigate across Toronto on side streets without being forced to take major detours – or ride the wrong way down one-way streets. Toronto was designed to keep automobile traffic away from residential streets (which is good) – but it unfortunately makes cycling on side-streets extremely inefficient since cyclists are generally bound to the same traffic restrictions as automobiles.
Cities that are more bicycle-friendly address this by providing contra-flow bike lanes on these one-way streets, or by building “bicycle boulevards” – streets that are designed to prevent automobiles from passing through, but provide direct cross-town routes for cyclists.
Cycle tracks on arterial roads would be even better – but as long as cyclists can be given safe, direct routes to where they need to go, that is all I can ask for.