Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Weston Connection

When I first started riding in Toronto, I actually enjoyed traffic. There was some early levels of novelty that made zipping around like a video game and I loved it. Well that's worn off to say the least. I'm so sick of traffic that I'm finding myself subconsiously cobbling together a combo of side streets and bike paths to get from A to B using as few car trafficed roads as possible.

This new found tolerance for bike paths, (which I formerly found indirect and inconvenient to navigate) has led me to a few discoveries one of which I'll talk about now. Look at the Humber River Trail. Two large trails that run up to Steels meet and follow the Humber down. This NS link is continuous until about bloor st. except for a small gap just south of the 401.
The reason why is that the land along the Humber owned by the City is too eroded to put down a path. The Cycling Comittee looked into this issue, but the other land owner, the Weston Golf course would not release any land, and legally the City had to comply to their lease. It should be noted that there are several places where trails run up against golf courses. My bias is that because bikes are a transportation option, not just recreation, and so should get preferential treatment over the golf community's 'needs', but then again I suck at golf.
Well anyways, not like I could just leave the Weston issue at that, I went snooping around the area and discovered several footpaths. The main foot path comes quite close to connecting the two bits of paved trail, but alas, there was a section of 100 m where the erosion was very bad indeed.
In conclusion, I wish boardwalks/ pedestrian bridges wern't so expensive. That would save the day. That's all for now, happy riding. ;) cb


Anonymous said...

There had been a separated bike path along Weston Rd from Finch (?) to the 401, then bikelanes from south of 401 (no consideration for cyclists around the 401 ramps), down St Philips and down Royal York Rd as recently as 30 years ago. The bikelanes were lost to roadway widening and not replaced. We was robbed.
The Humber trail promised a viable replacement for this but never quite lived up to this. There are not enough accesses to the road system and many of these are all but impassable with a bicycle. The Eglinton crossing is an accident waiting to happen. I've had far too many close calls on Stephen Dr with motorists who insist cyclists have no right to roadspace. Resurfacing the shoulder and putting in bikelanes would be a decent start here. At Eglinton the trail really needs to be relocated and run under the bridge east of the Scarlett Rd intersection. The city COULD find space around their property at Weston and St Phillips but is evidently concerned sweaty spandex clad cyclists might upset the more leisurely of what by all appearances are members of a private club freeloading on the civic tax rolls.

Ultimately cyclists need BOTH the Humber trail (with improved connections and hazard reductions) and restoration of the Weston Rd separated bikeway/Royal York bikelanes. Lets not get fooled again.

Tino said...

Welcome to BLD, Cris!

laurence said...

i used to use the beltline trail that goes up the moore ravine (connecting mt pleasant cemetery and bloor) but it's been impossible to cycle along since they put grit down on the road. gr.

Anonymous said...


Stephen Dr. is supposed to get bike lanes from The Queensway up to Berry Rd. I thought it was supposed to happen this year...maybe already under construction? it was in Councillor Peter Milczyn's "E-Tobicoke Update" newsletter earlier this year.

This would provide a better connection between trail sections, mainly along the part of Stephen that currently just has that aweful semi-paved / crumbling shoulder. North of Berry, I guess they couldn't take away road parking spaces to put in the bike lane there.

"Before" photos are here.