The Woodbine bike lanes are getting a connection to the Martin Goodman Trail south of Queen Street East nearly a year after they were installed.
On July 30, city council approved a plan to install two new traffic signals—one at Woodbine and Dixon Avenues, another at Queen, Lockwood Road and Sarah Ashbridge Avenue—needed for the extension which was approved with the original lanes.
The forthcoming extension continues south along Lockwood Road from the contra-flow bike lane on Dixon east of Woodbine.
The lane runs south of Queen on Sarah Ashbridge, then turns east on Boardwalk Drive before running south on Joseph Duggan Road.
City staff looked at several options for the extension, including continuing the bike lanes down Woodbine, before recommending the route that was approved.
Continuing the lanes along Woodbine faced a number of issues. It would have required removing on-street parking north of Queen.
“South of Queen Street, reconfiguration of traffic and bike lanes on Woodbine Avenue/Lake Shore Boulevard are not feasible to maintain transit and general traffic flow,” the city said in a statement.
Ward 32 councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon said safety was also a concern as Woodbine turns into Lake Shore Boulevard East.
“Ideally, I would have loved for it to go straight down Woodbine right to the Martin Goodman Trail… but that’s not feasible,” she said.
Since the bike lanes were installed last year, there has been a surge in cycling on Woodbine, newly released numbers from the city
From May 12 to 18 this year, city staff undertook cyclist counts at Woodbine and Cosburn Avenue and Gerrard Street East and found the average number of cyclists over a 12-hour period ranged from 220 to 230, up from 70 to 80 over the same period in 2016.
“The numbers have exceeded our predictions,” said McMahon, who was surprised to see such a rise in cycling.
In May, the city says motorists on Woodbine had “minimal” increases in travel times of under a minute during morning peak hours.
During the afternoon rush, travel times increased by up to 2.5 minutes, which the city considers a “moderate” increase.
“The sky’s not falling with the increase to travel time—it’s minimal,” McMahon added. The new signals will be installed in 2019.