Woodbine Avenue in Toronto's Beaches-East York is by no means the worst street in the city. It lacks the crowding, poor road surface, and frequent obstructions due to construction that plague some of the city's most vital thoroughfares. But it's not without its problems.
The Woodbine bike lanes in Ward 19 have attracted a great deal of attention both for their unique design and uneven implementation. Residents frequently complain about the bikes lanes as under-utilized and causing serious traffic diversion onto side streets. Cyclists who'd like to use the lanes find them frustrating in their lack of connections to parks or cycling infrastructure, the lack of safety at the intersection with Kingston Road, and the disappearance of the bikes lanes south of Dixon Avenue. It's the position of 32 Spokes that solutions will be found for the frustrations arising from the Woodbine bike lanes. 32 Spokes is very interested in ensuring that the city's efforts to support safe multi-mode travel in our ward are a success.
32 Spokes, led by passionate advocate and sometime city Council candidate Adam Smith, put our heads together to come up with a list of recommendations on fixing Woodbine. That list is here.
Councillor Brad Bradford joined our group's January, 2019 meeting. He re-iterated his commitment to address a number of design and implementation issues on Woodbine. His office remains committed to addressing residents' concerns. 32 Spokes asks that anyone with concerns contact his office directly.
32 Spokes had a brainstorming meeting in November of 2019 to generate ideas that we might recommend to the city. We identified the root cause of the traffic diversion into side streets as being the increased commuter traffic passing through the area between the city center and areas to our east. We identified the explosive growth of the city, the addition of some 70,000 Uber/Lyft vehicles, and the increase in delivery vehicles due to online retail. The ideas we generated included:
Once upon a time, Woodbine Avenue was home to a horse racetrack. That's been gone for decades, but in its place Woodbine Avenue south of Queen Street curves around to meet Lake Shore Boulevard. In November of 2019, 32 Spokes was invited by local residents to join a meeting about the terrible toll that out-of-control drivers are having on that stretch of Woodbine Avenue. Four major accidents have occurred, resulting in destroyed cars and even damaged homes. Speeding, distracted driving, and larger vehicle sizes are trends on the streets of North America today, and are implicit in these incidents. It's so bad that three houses went for sale that November (not usually part of the house-hunting season) as a string of further, lesser accidents continued on a regular basis.
32 Spokes has taken an interest in this matter as it points to some of the same underlying issues that plague other parts of Woodbine Avenue: too many impatient drivers. We're hoping that some of the same solutions might play a part in alleviating the issue.