Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Cyclopiste de Preston (v): Young to Carling
From the turning circle where Young meets the Otrain cut, there is a convenient bridge over the train. Note the lack of curb dip on this end for cyclists (there is one at the other end of the bridge). A similar but wider and more friendly overpass is planned for Hickory Street, a few blocks south near the Otrain station at Carling Avenue.
Looking south, the stonedust path passes between the backyards of houses and the Otrain cut. The path needs to be widened and re-covered with stone dust which is worn down to the mud in some spots. There also needs to be a curb dip to access the path. Throughout its length, the current path lacks dips.
In the two pictures below (taken summer 2009) cyclists arrive at Beech Street and hesitate, looking for a sidewalk dip to cross the street. They decide to go east, riding on the sidewalk, to the first driveway dip a number of yards away. They then faced an awkward and dangerous sharp turn onto the street (having to similtaneously look over the shoulder for overtaking traffic on the road). But once onto the street, they discovered there is no matching curb dip on the other side of the road, and had to cycle some distance the wrong way on the road before giving up, dismounting, and lifting the bike over the curb, to ride on the sidewalk back to the continuation of the path. Is this an official city cycling route?
The last portion of the path is lit and paved, from Sidney street to Carling Avenue, by the Otrain station and Dow Honda:
Once at Carling, the continuation of the path is visible on the south side, this time illuminated by the NCC:
Crossing Carling is a bit of a problem. The city advises cyclists to dismount, walk their bike a few hundred yards east along the sidewalk to the intersection of Preston, walk across the crosswalk, and then walk the bike back west along the far sidewalk to the resumption point of the path. Of course, I just dismount, walk my bike straight across, and wait in the wide median for a break in the other direction to cross the far lanes. A curb dip would make it even easier. The City claims it cannot put traffic lights here as it is too close to Preston. An underpass is a more expensive option that might be feasible if the Otrain is double tracked for the LRT and needs a wider underpass.