● Questions about the planned bike lane on McArthur Ave in Vanier.

Earlier this month, the city announced plans to install a new painted bike lane on McArthur Avenue in Vanier. This sounds good because there’s a real need for some sort of east-west cycling corridor in this part of town. However, some cyclists have raised questions about the decision to move the corridor from Donald Street to McArthur Avenue .

Originally, the city was going to provide a bicycle corridor by painting sharrows on Donald Street (a parallel street just south of McArthur Avenue). Sharrows don’t count as real cycling infrastructure, but Donald Street has much less traffic than McArthur Avenue.

By comparison, McArthur Avenue is much busier. Riding on a painted bike lane next to parked cars on such a street is not going to be very relaxing. Cyclist will have to protect themselves from being ‘doored‘, and will have to dodge cars pulling out of parking spots, or turning on or off this high traffic thoroughfare.

I don’t know which is the best option, but one solution would be to have a semi-protected bikes lane on McArthur Avenue where cyclists would travel between the curb and parked cars (a design apparently favoured by the city). However, this isn’t possible because provincial rules require that vehicles be parked next to the curb. It’s reported that Toronto has chosen to disregard this rule when designing some of its bike lanes.

Using parked cars as a buffer between cyclists and motorists is common in many jurisdictions. I find it amazing that it is not allowed in a province that claims to be promoting cycling. Is someone asleep at the switch in Queen’s Park?


1 Comment on ● Questions about the planned bike lane on McArthur Ave in Vanier.

  1. mcAuthor street, yikes! there’s all sorts of traffic on mcAuthor… I’d keep donald street or one of the other back streets.
    When I used to work near Orleans and bike from Barrhaven and later Mooneys bay, I used to take:
    river bike pathway, super in the morning and evening except in bug season.
    Then jump onto Presland or Prince Albert to avoid the traffic. Both roads are closed to throughway traffic so they are fairly quite roads. I’d then take Olgivie to St Joseph which can get painful around the shopping malls for you’ll get cut off sometimes… But, when I wanted a less stressful ride I’d cross over st laurent to behind the shopping mall to cummings to la cite to the NRC then cut over to blair and take the back roads till I got to st joseph…
    would really be nice if they built a bike path along the queensway some how… I used to take tremblant as well, until they built the railway stores, then it got busy and people would cut me off…

    Definitely the east needs an easy way to get to/from the downtown core. There is no easy way, sure one can bike along the river but it turns to gravel which is fine (as it floods) and Innis is just a mess especially crossing over the 417 bridge, nearly got hit there 1000 times…

    Too bad the city concerns itself first with vehicles then comes bike paths and such… dependent we are on 3000lbs to haul our carcuses around (even myself now for the winter, I used to bike in the winter, but this year has been brutal for biking… so I wimped out and joined the masses). very dependent we are… empires built on transportation… makes the economy rock and roll eh!

Leave a comment