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Today was the official opening of the Jenna Morrison Memorial Footpath in Dufferin Grove. This wonderful new facility is in memory of Jenna Morrison who was tragically killed while riding her bike in 2011 at Dundas St W. and Sterling Rd. The size of the crowd was perhaps a pale reflection of the large number of lives that she touched.
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The footpath itself was inspired by a reflexology footpath that Ms. Morrison encountered while visiting her mother in Korea many years ago. It is laid out in the shape of an infinity sign, a never-ending loop.
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Councillor Bailao introduces the family, and talks about Ms. Morrison. She prefaced her remarks with a few comments about how pedestrians, cyclists and motorists must share the road, and that we need more “complete roads” [sic] in Toronto. She played an important role in facilitating this project.
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Jenna’s husband Florian, and son Lucas.
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Her mother recounting their memories of Korea and how the idea of the footpath came about.
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The ribbon cutting.
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Now shoes off for the family to walk the path.
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Her initials at the crossing.
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Son and mother.
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Family and friends.
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Oliva Chow introduced a private member’s bill about mandatory truck side guards when she was an MP. Given the nature of the accident, Jenna’s death may have been prevented by side guards. DSC03808 Ironically, the US appears to be moving first in this direction.

Everyone was then invited to walk.
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It was hard not to feel that Jenna’s spirit was with us this afternoon.
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Update: Star coverage. Sun coverage.

July Critical Mass

A warm and sunny last Friday of the month; perfect for a ride around downtown, don’t you think? About sixty or so people agreed with me.
start

At the start, I’m liking this Yuba Mundo with a kid safety rail, and Totoro along for the ride.
yuba

Geoffrey tells us all how the evening is going to proceed.
geoffrey

Here we go, down Bloor St.
bloor

At St. George and College, with Abigail and Adelaide leading the way.
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Going down Beverley St. with the Yuba Mundo family.
beverley

Most bystanders gave the thumbs up or took pictures.
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Mr. Tallbike provided the music.
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Of course we wanted to check out some of the freshly striped downtown bike lanes. Here is Adelaide on Adelaide.
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You can see some temporary sharrows skirting a construction site. They have filled in only some of the streetcar tracks.
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Turning south on Simcoe and taking the lane(s). The new contraflow lane is visible to the left.
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Some people can turn corking into art.
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One cyclist had a spill and got a nasty cut on her chin. Fortunately Amanda had first aid stuff on her bat belt.
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Mr. Tall Bike led us into a dead end in the depths of Liberty Village.
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Sorry about the last two photos, but I inadvertently turned on an art filter.

At this point I split off and rode home, but I heard that the plan was to drop by Dufferin Grove to get a preview of the Jenna Morrison Memorial Footpath.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Update: the mass at Dufferin Grove.

Sunday at the bike park

The bike park made an ideal destination for a short family bike ride. Here is Lucy on her Xtracycle mounted throne.
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This park truly has something for all ability levels. Daughter #2 warms up here.
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Riding the logs.
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Working the bumps.
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bumps1

Mom joins in on the fun.
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I’d be doing better if my toe clips weren’t pointed downwards.
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Getting some air on the ramps.
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I towed the folder down to the bike park with the Xtracycle. (Photo by Janet J. Wilson)
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The Sunnyside Bike Park had a soft opening today.

If you see this at the gate on Ellis, no worries: just ride around on the grass to the right, and you’ll see that there is a gap in the new permanent wooden fence.
gate
sign

There have been a few finishing touches since the volunteer work day a few weeks ago. There are now signs indicating the difficulty of various features
difficulty ranging from easy
skiils0
to more difficult.
advanced

It was great to see the first riders officially roaming the park.

The jump area
crew
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jump4

jump3

jump2

The wall feature.
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The BMX tracks.
dirt

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pump2 I found the black pump track to be a bit tricky on my pink commuter, but it was OK as long as I didn’t try to pedal around the corners.

The bike park is all ages.
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skills

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Some of the dirt ramps are already showing some signs of erosion.erosion

There will be a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday to start hammering out how this track can be supported and maintained by the community. It will take all of us to pull together to make this park a fun place for everyone.

Also, the Ward13 group of Cycle Toronto is working to get the city to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety at the crossings between Windermere, Ellis and Colborne Lodge, and Lakeshore Drive and the Queensway. The need for better crossings at Ellis and Lakeshore is particularly acute, given the proximity to the bike park. Here is a sketch of what we want at this intersection.
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If you support these types of changes for better safety for both pedestrians and cyclists, here is an online petition.

Updates: blogTO has some great pictures here.

Toronto Star video here.

Last year, I scoped out the existing conditions where a new bikeway was due to be installed along Point Grey Rd and Cornwall Ave in Vancouver. The decision to put this is in was not without controversy, and post-installation, the arguments for and against are still continuing, with the main municipal opposition party promising to take the greenway out if they win a majority on the next city council.

With the greenway being somewhat less than two weeks old, it was a good opportunity to check it out. These photos were taken while travelling in the eastbound direction, whereas last year’s post was in the opposite sequence.

Here is a sign on 4th at Alma that has been tagged with an indication of one sentiment about the road closure.
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This is the west end of the new section, on Pt. Grey road and Alma, facing east.almaeast

Turning 180 degrees on this spot, you see an new bidirectional bike lane headed west towards Jericho Beach.almawest

You can compare this view with the photo below that I took last year.
at-alma

The westward bike lane continues until it ends at the parking lot for Jericho Beach, and the connection to the Seaside Trail.
tojerichoatjericho

The seaside trail is a mixed use gravel trail that goes all the way to Spanish Banks, and ends at the hill on NW Marine Dr that leads up to the UBC Campus.
seaside For you Michiganders out there, think really good chip seal with a great view of the beach and mountains.

Going back to Alma and heading east, here is the first of several islands that indicate the direction of flow of traffic. I didn’t keep track of which way you were supposed to drive along Pt. Grey, but it seemed to me that the direction reversed at least once, and that local residents were still able to drive in both directions in some sections. There were certainly places where there were cars parked pointed in both directions.pg1

Sharrows in this narrow section.
pg2pg3

Again, compare to last year.
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This year.
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Last year.
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Just short of MacDonald, we start seeing a major change to a protected bidirectional lane.
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Here is the intersection with MacDonald, looking back west.
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Compare this with last year.
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Or this Google Map view that hasn’t been updated.
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At Stephens St, the intersection is beautifully finished.
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Looking north.stephen2

View from across Pt. Grey, with cyclist push button.
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As I approach the intersection with Trafalgar, you can see that the concrete median has lowered sections to accommodate the driveways of the houses on the north side.
cw1

From this map, you can see that cyclists are expected to turn left, rather than to continue on straight on Cormwall Ave.
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Compare to this Google Map View.
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This short section of residential Pt. Grey is very quiet.
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At Kits Beach, bikes are routed onto what used to be a sidewalk on the north side of Cornwall Ave.
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This is rather unfortunate as there are many opportunities for pedestrian/bike conflict, especially with the heavy foot traffic to the pool and the beach.
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Just past this section, we are routed through a parking lot!
cw6 Perhaps the sections along Cornwall were the hardest to resolve to the satisfaction of all parties, but I don’t think that the current solutions are optimal.

More experienced cyclists will simply choose to use Cornwall Ave as they have in the past.
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On balance, the Greenway does do what it was intended. In conjunction with the extensive revisions at the south end of the Burrard St. bridge, there is now a safe, mostly protected bike route all the way from downtown to Kits and the beaches further west. It certainly seems to be attracting more families and tourists on bikes out this way.
family

It also certainly benefits the very fortunate residents of Pt. Grey Rd since it must be much easier for them to back their cars out from their driveways with the absence of traffic. I expect that those like Nelson Skalbania, David Suzuki and Chip Wilson will see their property values shoot up even further.

One hopes that there will be similar benefits from the West Toronto Railpath Extension, although the feel of that project is considerably grittier.

In the comments on an earlier post, Alexwarrior mentioned that I should check out the revised bike routes at the south end of the Burrard St. bridge. I also wanted to see the relatively new bike route along Comox St. as well, which provides a connector between the Hornby bike lanes and Stanley Park.

This section of the Vancouver bike map shows a whole maze of routes at the south end of the Burrard St. bridge. It was time to hop on the bike to see them for myself.
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Approaching the bridge from Kits along Cornwall, I see that there are new protected bike lanes just past the Cypress St. bike route.
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This is the north side of the same intersection, showing how bikes that are westbound can turn south on Cypress.
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Continuing east to the bridge, I see new green markings on Burrard St. Note also the bicycle green light.DSC03566

Standing just on the other side of Burrard, but looking north, you can see how bike traffic headed across the bridge merges with the green bike crossing in the previous picture.
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Headed north across the bridge, nothing much has changed from past years.
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This bike rental place at Hornby and Pacific is new. In the lower right hand corner of the image, you can see that the green bike markings are a little the worse for wear in spots.
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Not even one block north from the corner is another bike rental place, this one affliated with another bike shop that I had visited in the past.DSC03570
Could this clustering of bike related business have anything to do with the improved bicycle infrastructure???

This signage along Hornby is new. I seriously doubt that I can walk 1/3 as fast as I can bike.
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Here’s the intersection with the new bike along Comox. Note the attempt to mark a resting area for bikes from both directions on Hornby that want to turn west on Comox.
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There is a short bit of bidirectional bike lane that turns right at Burrard.
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This bit of the bike map shows the connection between these two bike routes, with the short segment shown in the previous photo, that jogs north before turning west.
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Here is where the bike lane turns left (west) across Burrard onto Comox.
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This I’ve never seen before: a wide bidirectional bike lane headed diagonally across a major intersection.
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After crossing Burrard, the bike lane continues west. This first section is a separated bidirectional lane.DSC03577

Here is a transition to a contraflow lane on a one way segment of the roadway.
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This narrower section just has sharrows, with car traffic in both directions.
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Crossing Denman, which is another busy street, there is another diagonal crossing.
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From this point further west, the bike lane is a quite street that connects to Stanley Park. This signage on Denman indicates the “Greenway”.
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Headed back towards downtown on Comox, here is another contraflow lane. Notice that the road markings include a buffer zone, unlike the ones in Toronto.
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At the end of this same block, bikes are separated from cars making a right turn onto a one way street by transitioning to a bidirectional lane.
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Looking back from roughly the same point, you can see sharrows that direct bikes to the bidirectional lane.
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Now I’m headed south on Burrard towards the bridge. The painted bike lane is between a bus lane and the car traffic (as indicated by the signage).
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Mixing it up with traffic, watching for merging buses: this is just like Toronto!
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A couple of blocks before the bridge, we have a short segment of protected bike lane.
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An attempt to separate pedestrians from bikes since the sidewalk here as been removed because of construction.
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Now approaching the bridge. Bright green outlines the bike lane across major driveways.
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Much better road markings at the intersection with Pacific.
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Compare it to this picture taken a couple of years ago.
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Crossing a right turn lane before the bridge.
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Southbound at the south end of the bridge, bikes are now physically separated from two lanes of car traffic turning right.
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Now you have the option of turning right into Kits, or continuing straight along Burrard.
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This signs show that this routing is relatively recent?
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If you turn right towards Kits, you get a short section of bidirectional that will connect to both the Cypress and the Seaside bikeways.
DSC03595 Note that this means this section of roadway has a bidirectional bike lane in addition to the separated bike lane on the other side, shown in the second photo of this post.

If you continue south on Burrard, the crossing is clearly marked in green, with separate phasing for the bike traffic light.
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After half a block, you can continue a short distance further south, or turn to the right towards the York bikeway.
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Going south, the bike lane ends at 1st St.
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If you turn right, here is another bidirectional bike lane.DSC03601

It connects with Cypress here, and continues further to the west as well.
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All in all, the city has done an amazing job with the south end of the Burrard St. bridge, giving cyclists numerous options to access the bridge within three of four small blocks. I cannot help comparing this to Toronto, where Sherbourne is offered up as an alternative to Jarvis, when these two parallel streets are about 300m apart.

Riding around Vancouver: always inspiring and a little depressing at the same time for this Toronto resident.

bikes vs. cars

Dropped by a Farmer’s Market in Seattle this weekend. DSC03509 Lots of tasty looking produce.
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This sign advertises a nice promotion: anyone biking to the market gets a $2 voucher.DSC03516

At one end of the market I met William the poet. He writes poems on the spot for any topic.
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I asked him to write something on “bikes versus cars” and this is what he came up with:

bikes vs cars

rolling circles
border the triangle
as Divinci (sic) decodes
the fabric of movement.
beyond walking capabilities
bicycles devour
the racket of cars
on the deep breath of near flight.
arrive fully
endorphined or
depleted under
the autobahn of
chance.

wG Seattle, WA 2014.

More fun to look at the original, with the variable kerning of his battered manual typewriter.
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Thanks for the inspiration, William!

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