Reporter takes a ride on new Woodbine bike lane

GoPro camera allows him to document trip, residents' reactions

This week I tried out the new Woodbine Avenue bike lane, cycling the full length from O’Connor Road in the north to Queen Street in the south.

I wanted to see if it was the smooth and safe ride local cyclists have been wanting and find out along the way how locals were receiving it.

I donned my GoPro camera to record the trip and headed down the lane.

The bike lane is separated from the road by a line of paint, and sometimes by plastic gradients. On the east side of the lane, parking spaces line its path. At some points, parked cars separate the bike lane from traffic.

The most dangerous intersection is at Kingston Road. The bike lane abruptly stops and merges with the road going both north and south. Cars are turning in the same lane as bikers.

Just south at the Queen Street bus stop is a huge pothole. It not only dips down, but also bellows up. Biker, beware!

Another cyclist I met at Danforth told me she feels safer now that there are bike lanes. “I love them,” she said. “I think there are probably just as many parking spots as there were before, and now they’re well-defined and everyone knows where they’re supposed to be.”

A pair in their car waiting for the light at Danforth also expressed positive thoughts on the bike lanes.

“It allows people to pick their mode of transportation,” one of them said.

“It’s a lot safer for people who choose to bike,” said the other.

Asked about whether bike lanes are a problem for drivers, one said, “No, unless somebody is being stupid and not paying attention to where their lane is.”

Another driver had the opposite feeling. “That’s going to be awful in the winter when they’re running plows up the street,” she said, adding that bike lanes are “absolutely” a hindrance to drivers.

A woman I met near Kingston Road also complained. “I haven’t seen any bikers. The neighbours are all complaining about the parking.”

A crossing guard at the same corner told me she thought a bike lane would be better on Coxwell Avenue than on Woodbine.

Don White, a regular biker, spent his day off work experiencing the Woodbine bike lane.

“I’m blown away. I am so happy,” he said. “It’s time; it’s 2017. I do not cycle unless there is a bike path.”