Adelaide Street West from Bathurst to Parliament streets is going through a number of changes. The street has been ripped up, streetcar tracks replaced, and cycle tracks are being moved from one side of the street to the other. However, many people who use this thoroughfare say the changeover is wreaking havoc and putting lives
Adelaide Street West from Bathurst to Parliament streets is going through a number of changes. The street has been ripped up, streetcar tracks replaced, and cycle tracks are being moved from one side of the street to the other. However, many people who use this thoroughfare say the changeover is wreaking havoc and putting lives in danger.
“Not just confusing, dangerous,” cyclist Brandin O’Connor wrote on Twitter, posting photos of injuries he received and blames them on the construction in this area. He joins a chorus of other people speaking out about the project.
Will Adelaide St W ever be safe @Toronto311? Track moved to north side to accommodate cars always parking in old south lane (see my last Tweet). Not just confusing, dangerous. Midome Construction @LtdMidome left pylon ring debris in new bike lane causing crash @TO_Transport ????1/3 pic.twitter.com/rd8unmdEAF
— Brandin O’Connor (@BrandinOConnor) July 4, 2023
“As it stands now, there are currently no useable bike lanes on this roadway,” said cyclist Alex Baird.
That’s because the cycle tracks are being moved from the south side of Adelaide to the north side, all for safety. The old south track forced cyclists to merge with commercial vehicles trying to access truck elevators serving properties on the south end.
“We understand this and welcome this but they closed the south track before opening the north track and that means cyclists like me have to merge on to the roadway and battle traffic, putting us all in danger.” Baird said. “It’s confusing for cyclists and drivers.”
Adelaide Street in Toronto. CITYNEWS
The north track looks complete from Bathurst to York streets but cars are still allowed to park on it, rendering it unusable.
“They have not yet changed the parking rules on this street, meaning cars are blocking that new north side bike lane,” said cyclist Chris Pommer. “I don’t get it, why create a new lane we can’t use?”
The City is asking for patience.
“This north cycle track will be fully complete after the removal of the parking signs, relocation of the parking machines, the installation of the concrete low wall barriers and the new cycling signals are installed and activated. We anticipate this will be done by late July,” a City spokesperson told CityNews.
“We recommend that all people cycling on this portion of Adelaide use this partially completed cycle track on the north side of the street.”
But the above statement from the City confuses cyclists.
“How can we use it when vehicles are parked there?” Pommer asked.
Representatives from Cycle Toronto, a member supported charity that advocates for cyclists, say this project, and others across the city, are not planned out well.
“I think this is sort of a problem we’re seeing citywide,” said Micheal Longfield, executive director of Cycle Toronto.
“Adelaide happens to be a flashpoint for it. But there’s lots of construction going on in the city right now and lots of the projects are for really good reasons. But a lot of cycle tracks in these zones are not really usable by people.”
Longfield suggests the city first plan out detours for cyclists, to avoid conflict with drivers.
“We can’t dump them out onto Adelaide where a person on a 15- or 20-pound bicycle has to merge in a single file with someone in a 4,000-pound SUV. It’s just not reasonable,” he said.
While the north cycle track between Bathurst and York will be usable by late July, cyclists will encounter the same problem further east for much longer. The city has yet to start the relocation of the tracks from York to Parliament.
Cycle Toronto plans to meet with city leaders hoping to bring relief.
“I think there are many possible solutions that can be done. And right now it’s just kind of chaotic,” Longfield said.
If you have an issue, story or question you’d like us to report on, reach out here.