Bikers On Bloor Street

Submitted By joepdebruin
Words: 1219
Pages: 5

Bikers on Bloor Street

Table of contents
1. Introduction
2. Safety of bikers
2.1. Bike lanes
2.2. Criteria
3. Bike lanes on Bloor Street
3.1. Ban on parking
3.2. One-way street
3.3. Narrow sidewalks
4. Evaluation
4.1. Ban on parking
4.2. One-way street
4.3. Narrow sidewalks
5. Recommendation

1. Introduction

A recent study showed that 1,145 incidents involving cyclists occurred in the city of Toronto in 2010. For every 100,000 people there are 42 bike accidents per year [1]. This makes Toronto the most unsafe city for bikers in the country. Next to the high number of accidents one must realize that bike incidents also result more often in personal injuries. 14% of personal injuries involve bikers where only 5% of the vehicles are bikes [2].

The highest number of bike accidents take place on arterial roads in east-west direction of central Toronto [3]. In particular Bloor Street where bicycles account for between 14% and 17% of the vehicles [2]. Compared to the average of 5% in downtown Toronto this is very high. Therefore this report will focus on Bloor Street. This street has a total of 4 lanes in two different directions (two per direction). In the outer lanes there are a lot of parked cars so in reality only the inner lanes are available for driving vehicles. There are no bike lanes and the sidewalks are pretty wide because there are a lot of houses and businesses along the street.

2. Safety of bikers

Bike lanes
Bikers are unsafe on Bloor Street because they can easily be side-swiped by other vehicles. This is because bikers use the same lane as cars and busses. There are a lot of streets without bike lanes but because Bloor Street has significantly more bikers then other streets [3] there is also a higher risk for accidents. Also, because the outer lanes are full with parked cars, cyclists can drive into vehicle doors. In fact, this is the second most common cause for bike accidents (side-swiping is number one) [1].

The best solution to improve the safety of bikers is to create bike lanes separated from the cars and busses [4]. Unfortunately this creates a new problem. Where do you find the space? This report will focus on this question and that’s why we framed the following. The main engineering problem is that there is very little space for the safety of special bike lanes on Bloor Street. For bike lanes we will use a standard Ontario width of 1.5 meters [5].

The topic of this problem is about a transportation system and impacts the safety of people which is part of the human environment.

To asses possible mitigation strategies, we created four criteria which we ranked by importance with the first being the most important.
Safety of bikers
The level of safety of the bikers is the reason for this report and also the most important criterion for this problem. The level will be measured by the possible width of the bike lane and also the risk of biking into doors of parked cars.
Minimize extra traffic jam
To find the best mitigation strategy it is important to look at the existing traffic in the street. In this case there is no streetcar so we will only need to look at cars and busses.
Clearly the costs of the mitigation strategy is very important as it is in every civil engineering project.

Inconvenience for residents ,businesses and customers.
Besides the obvious criteria mentioned above, the inconvenience for the people who live, work and shop on Bloor Street or nearby should also be taken into account. The inconvenience can be split in short term and long term problems. Short term inconvenience can be seen as the problems the people will have during a possible construction period and long term problems will stay even after the construction period. Examples for the long term problems could be: less parking space, more traffic and smaller streets. Long term inconvenience will be considered more important.

3. Bike lanes on