Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lanark cycling curiousities

pedestrian sidwalk link from Lanark to Latchford, no sidewalk dip

view west from Premier at midblock closing

view from Lanark toward Latchford

Photo 2 is looking west on Premier Avenue where it intersects Remic Avenue (these streets are just north of Scott, near the 30 storey Metropole condo, opposite the WestVillage townhouse complex). Both sides of the traffic calming closure are Premier Avenue, but the street is not open for cars to carry on to join Lanark Avenue just ahead. This prevents car commuters from short cutting through a residential neighborhood. It is open to cyclists and strollers on the south side with a narrow lane. It works just fine for cyclists.
A short half block north, photo 3, Lanark Avenue itself performs a tight turn that cuts it off from what appears at first glance to be its logical route, which is named Latchford. This turn and island separating the Lanark from Latchford was rebuilt in 2008-9.
I don't think it was well thought out. Cylists on Lanark have no curb break to take the few meters of pavement linking the two streets for pedestrians. This encourages cyclists to mount the concrete sidewalk some distance before the join, at a driveway curb dip. They then have to make a 90 degree turn onto the connecting sidewalk (engineer mentality at work ....). Cyclists coming south have it worse, since the alignments are even more awkward.
I wonder if this was deliberately designed to discourage cyclists from using these streets, or just unthoughtfully done. Doesn't anyone review the proposed street curb and sidewalk details for actual utility by pedestrians and cyclists? It could be easily rectified by replacing a few of the Lanark sidewalk squares with a dip to curb level just where the connecting sidewalk goes to Latchford.
I believe if the City is serious about encouraging cycling it will rush out in the next few weeks to fix this sidewalk oversight. There is no reason in this location for cyclists to be treated like cars (car commuters must have cut through here in the past to reach Island Park at Clearview) and every reason to give a slight advantage to cycling over car commuting when it is so cheap and obvious.

1 comment:

  1. That turn on Lanark has been that way for a very long time, but prior to the building of the townhouse infill several years back with its attendant landscaping it was possible for cyclists to easily make the shortcut.