March 18, 2017

Get Ajax Moving - Harwood Cycle Tracks

During my interview with Ajax Mayor Steve Parish last fall, he mentioned cycle tracks on Harwood Avenue South were among the town’s most recent installations. Today, I stopped by to get a first-hand encounter of the town’s first cycle track.
Harwood Avenue South at Lake Driveway
Cycling facilities were installed for 1.1 kilometres from Westney Road to Ajax Waterfront Park at Lake Driveway. Buffered bike lanes were used for 900 metres from Westney Road to Cumberland Lane. No parking is allowed, but no bollards or planters are present to prevent vehicles from parking in the bike lane. Maybe this could be a consideration as spring draws near?
Buffered bike lanes are used from Westney Road to Cumberland Lane
Green paint clearly marks conflict areas
At Harwood Avenue and Clover Ridge Drive, the intersection is raised with pavement yield markings to warn drivers to slow down. Green paint is used to mark the conflict area next to the right turning lane. While not ideal, green paint can be effective in alerting drivers to watch for cyclists.
Pavement raised intersection at Clover Ridge Drive
A raised cycle track is provided for the remaining 180 metres from Cumberland Lane to Lake Driveway. This unique design doubles as a sidewalk allowing two-way pedestrian travel and one way cyclist travel on each side. Parking bays are provided for additional protection, as well as rain gardens which improve streetscaping.
Parking bays are provided along the short cycle track
Cycle tracks double as sidewalks - good for suburban arterials
Overall, it is an excellent design which can put some of Toronto’s cycle tracks to shame, though they do have similar raised (and parking protected) cycle tracks on Sherbourne Street south of Front Street. Aside from the Highway 401 crossing, it’s only a matter of time when the entire stretch of Harwood Avenue gets cycling facilities.
A warning to drivers turning into the cycle track
Separate crossings for pedestrians and cyclists
Toronto should also seriously consider using Ajax’s design on some of their suburban arterials in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke in order to quickly build their Minimum Grid!

Copy and paste!
Rob Z

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