A Better Cycling Route to the Lake

The City From Tommy Thompson Park (The Leslie Spit)

The City From Tommy Thompson Park (The Leslie Spit)

It’s easy to forget that Riverdale is close to the lake. Riverside and Leslieville are even closer, yet obstacles like Lakeshore Boulevard and the Port Lands can make our neighbourhoods feel disconnected from the wonderful gems like Cherry Beach and Tommy Thompson Park.

Connecting Greater Riverdale to the Lake Presentation at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre.  Feb. 9, 2015

Connecting Greater Riverdale to the Lake Presentation at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre. Feb. 9, 2015

A group of students from Ryerson’s School of Urban and Regional Planning have set out to change that. They have put together a detailed report (pdf) called Connecting Greater Riverdale to the Lake. The report takes a detailed look at the current transportation infrastructure in Ward 30 and suggests five potential “quick start” projects that could provide safe cycling routes that connect the Danforth in the north to lake in the south. The authors of the report presented their findings at a community meeting on February 9th at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre.

The proposed routes

The proposed routes. Source: Connecting Greater Riverdale to the Lake

A quick start project is meant to be affordable and achievable in a relatively short time frame. After evaluating the five potential routes the group concluded that the Jones-Rushbrook-Leslie route (the green route on the map above) is the best candidate for a quick start project for a variety of reasons including how centrally located Jones is and the fact that Jones already has bike lanes. The authors of the report estimate that the cycling route along with a corresponding wayfinding strategy could be implemented for under $100,000.

Route evaluation matrix

Route evaluation matrix Source: Connecting Greater Riverdale to the Lake

The route isn’t without it’s challenges: including a short jog on Queen from Jones to Rushbrooke where there isn’t room for a bike lane and a tricky intersection where Rushbrooke, Eastern Avenue and Mosley Street meet. The group came up with clever solutions to overcome these obstacles like a cyclist refuge island (similar to the one where the Lower Don Trail intersects Pottery Road) at the Rushbrooke/Eastern/Mosley intersection.

The  Rushbrooke/Eastern/Mosley intersection proposal

The Rushbrooke/Eastern/Mosley intersection proposal Source: Connecting Greater Riverdale to the Lake

The community members at the presentation seemed to like all of the proposed routes and wanted them constructed. Some people thought that the difficulties at the south end of the proposed Jones-Rushbrook-Leslie route were a “compromise” and that bike lanes should have been built on Leslie – especially since the street is being reconstructed for the new streetcar tracks to the Leslie Barns. A lot of people at the meeting also seemed to like the Logan and Carlaw route to the lake. Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns, and Ravi Joshi from Councillor Paula Fletcher’s office were in attendance at the meeting.

Which of the proposed routes do you think is best? What will it take to get a better cycling route to the lake? Let us know in the comments!