Today, as things worked out, it was convenient for me to do a one way ride from the Bayview / York Mills area to High Park. I was curious to see how a bike route suggested by Google Maps would do. I tweaked the route almost immediately, as it had me going south on Bayview past Sunnybrook Hospital, and I wanted to avoid the Bayview Lawrence intersection, so I directed the route across York Mills to Yonge St. Google then routed me one block north to avoid going along York Mills itself, which is fine since I don’t enjoy biking on roads with high speed traffic.
Even on a nice multiple use trail such as the Beltline, I’m reminded of the general mediocrity of this type of infrastructure in Toronto. Here is a panoramic view from Google street view of where the Beltline crosses Bathurst. Note the lack of any signage on the road, and even ramps on the sidewalk.
One other incident worth mentioning: I was on St. Clair, making a left turn onto Caledonia Park. I tried to trip the sensor (it has the triple dots, and I also waved my front wheel across the front of the induction loop which usually does the trick) but no dice. I ended up having to back my bike around a van so that it could move forward to trigger the light.
I bike to work year around, but I am blessed in having a route that is from High Park to downtown, where there isn’t a lot of high speed traffic. I never feel quite as safe on the rare occasions when I venture farther from downtown. My hat’s off to people who bike commute from further afield. I did enjoy the ride, even through I had to stop repeatedly to consult the map that I printed from Google. I liked riding through the wide variety of neighbourhoods. I am constantly surprised how sudden the transition can be in socioeconomic level, say from two blocks north of Eglinton to two blocks south. However, I’m mindful of the two times along the way when I recognized two intersections where cyclists have died. I’ve been on too many memorial rides.
Once back home, the family went out to a local set of tennis courts that have just been paved. This has become a local magnet for kids learning how to ride.
A more peaceful end to an afternoon on the bike.