Physically Separated Bike Lanes

The problem with bike lanes in Toronto is that they are nothing more than paint on the road. Although this paint may give the impression of an actual lane reserved for cyclists, it often ends up getting used for other purposes, like parking your car. Take, for example, this picture from a Toronto Star article about a newly painted bike lane in which sits a parked car.

For more photographic evidence of this phenomenon take a look at MyBikeLane.com.

More than an inconvenience-to-cyclists issue, bike lanes that are mere paint on the road do not provide a safe space for cyclists to ride. Unlike the picture above, many of the bike lanes in Toronto are on busy main streets where there are lots of cars going at fast speeds.  Anyone who has ridden on these lanes – take College St. for example – knows well the fight for space and the vigilance with which you have to ride.

What Toronto needs is physically separated bike lanes. Take a look at this great video on physically separated bike lanes, primarily set in NYC.

For more videos like this one, check out the excellent site I recently discovered: Streetfilms.


2 Responses to “Physically Separated Bike Lanes”

  1. 1 Babak Behnia
    December 8, 2010 at 2:29 am

    I agree with you completely. As a student in planning, we have talked about the importance of actual investment in alternative modes of transportation in urban areas, and in my opinion, separated bike lanes are integral to successful increase in bicycle usage in North American cities. I just posted a note on Vancouver’s new bike lanes (separated) and how some people are actually against it. I suggest you read my post.
    search word press for “bike lanes in North American Cities”.

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Bike lanes, cycling infrastructure, and land use planning law



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