Torontonians Against the proposed Mount Pleasant Bike Lane sign now

June, 2008. My name is Brian Hickey and I have lived at 260 Keewatin Ave., just east of Mount Pleasant, for over twenty years. I am writing this petition in response to the proposed (City of Toronto) bike lanes on Mount Pleasant Road, from Lawrence Ave. East, south to Broadway Ave.

For reference, let it be known that I ride mybicyclein North Toronto on an almost daily basis, weather permitting, and often venture as far away as the Beach and Ontario Place. Obviously I am probicycleas a method of transportation, where and when it makes sense.

Toronto Bike Plan, Lawrence Park Phase
Proposed Bike Lane (Route 2) - Mount Pleasant Road, Lawrence Ave. to Broadway Ave.

We, the undersigned, are strongly againstthis proposal for the following reasons.

1. This bike lane, in large part, will never be used.

Looking south from Lawrence, Mount Pleasant Road is a steep uphill from Lawrence to approximately Dinnick Crescent. At this point Mount Pleasant flattens out for a few feet then becomes a steep downhill until Glengowan Rd. After Glengowan it becomes a steep uphill again until Blythwood Rd. Subsequently it is basically a gentle downhilluntilBroadway Ave. In twenty years of living in thisneighbourhood, I have never seen anyone ride abicycleon Mount Pleasant between Lawrence and Blythwood, in either direction. It just doesn't happen. The hills are too steep. Way too steep. People who wish tobicyclesouth to Blythwood or north to Lawrence invariably use Yonge St, which has a gentle slope. I challenge the city to countbicyclistson thisstretchof roadway.Additionally, bike traffic on Mount Pleasant from Broadway to St. Clair Ave East is extremely minimal, even at the busiest of times. And no riders go south from St. Clair on Mount Pleasant due to the giant Rosedale hill.

2. Reducing the traffic from two lanes to one will create more congestion.

Present traffic volume running north and south between Lawrence and Broadway on Mount Pleasant is, whileunderstandablyheavy in rush hour, perfectly acceptable for a major artery in a big city. Bike lane advocatessuggest that traffic would be reduced by 30\% if a lane was removed. This may be true, but to what advantage? Both Yonge St. and Bayview will have heavier traffic as a result and the single lane traffic on Mount Pleasant (70\% of the former two lane volume) will spend most of its time sitting still. And we all know that traffic sitting still, idling, is the worst possible scenario for the environment. The objective should be to move any inevitable traffic through the area efficiently. Creating an unnecessary choke point will not serve any logical purpose.

3. Left turns from side streets without traffic signals unto a single lane Mount Pleasant will become a nightmare.

Currently, turning left into traffic on Mount Pleasant from an east/west side street between Lawrence and Broadway is challenging at times, but eminently doable. Traffic flow is such that, given a little patience, spaces appear, and safe left turns may be made, even in rush hour. If one traffic lane is lost, there will not be any spaces, and the only way to make a left turn will be to stick your nose out and block traffic in one direction until you can squeeze into a space in the other direction. Not only is this practice illegal, but it frays tempers. Nevertheless, it will be the only way to make a left turn when traffic is medium to heavy, and people will do it, causing even greater traffic disruption.

4. Left turns from Mount Pleasant unto side streets will be hugely disruptive, holding up all the traffic behind the turner.

This is just as bad if not worse than the side street scenario, especially when traffic is heavy in both directions. A single left turner can and will hold up all traffic progress while they negotiate their left turn.In heavy traffic this could take several minutes. The end result will be more cars standing still, more often, a situation no one wants.

5. New high density buildings will exacerbate the problems.

There are several high density buildings either planned or currently under construction in the Lawrence-Eglinton-Yonge-Mount Pleasant rectangle. These will bring even more cars. Cars that will need to move around, into, and out of the area, efficiently. A single lane Mount Pleasant will not contribute to this goal.

6. Fewer parking spaces on Mount Pleasant will have several negative consequences.

First, businesses like Sherwood Market, Broadway Cleaners etc on Mount Pleasant will suffer. A large part of their trade depends on easy, on street parking for their customers. Second, people who live on Mount Pleasant use it as a place to park. With the exception of "rush hours" one may park on Mount Pleasant at all other times, including overnight. This is necessary and convenient not only for residents, but also for people who are visiting the neighbourhood. Restricting this access would drive more cars into the side streets, which are already packed. Losing parking spaces on Mount Pleasant is a bad idea.

7. Winter and Other Factors

Toronto is not Amsterdam. It is not flat and it doesn't have mild winters. At best, bike lanes are viable for six months of the year, so let's not put them where they don't make sense or negatively impact on essential traffic flow and snow removal. The idea should be to keep traffic moving, not to create larger, longer traffic jams with even more cars idling.

In summary, we believe that

This proposal (Lawrence Park Phase, Route 2) is not well thought out, caters to an insignificant number of people (if any), inconveniences a large group, burns unnecessary fossil fuel, has negative ecological benefits, is a likely source of significant road rage, impacts negatively on local businesses and should be scrapped immediately by the City of Toronto.

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Johnnie MaysBy:
AnimalsIn:
Petition target:
The City of Toronto, Municipal Councillors, Mayor Miller and the administrators of the Toronto Bike Plan.

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