Toronto

Cyclists concerned about Richmond Street lane reduction

Drivers are expected to share the road with cyclists until Nov. 30 as Richmond Street shrinks to one lane while the TTC does track work and the city replaces watermains and repairs roads and sidewalks.

Disruption to last until Nov. 30 as TTC and city work on tracks, roads and sidewalks

Cyclists offer safety tips for riding on Richmond Street with lane reduction

6 years ago
Duration 0:45
Richmond Street is reduced to one lane of westbound traffic between Church and York streets and these cyclists offer a few tips for staying safe when you ride without a bike lane.

Drivers and cyclists will find Richmond Street slower than usual starting today.

The one-way westbound street has been reduced to one lane of traffic between Church and York streets until Nov. 30 while the TTC does track work and the city replaces watermains and repairs roads and sidewalks.

That means cyclists will now share the north lane with cars, something that worries those who bike along Richmond every day.

"It's not very safe, there's not much room for cyclists and people don't really keep an eye out," said Kim Parra, a cyclist who commutes down the street weekly. 
Richmond Street has been reduced to one lane of traffic between Church and York streets until Nov. 30 while the city and TTC complete road and track work. (CBC)

Taking detours

Betty Huang, a courier who frequently uses the street's bike lane, said that the closure makes it difficult to bypass cars and other cyclists.

"It sucks because it's hard for cyclists to move around on this street, so we have to take detours," she said.

Aside from her own safety, Huang said she's also worried about the safety of pedestrians as some cyclists resort to taking the sidewalk.

The city says there may also be periodic work in the north lane and during those times cyclists should use an alternative route, like Queen, King or Wellington streets instead.

If you don't have bicycle lanes, look for a less busy street.- Liane MacGregor, cyclist

Extra time tacked on the commute isn't as much of a worry for cyclist Liane MacGregor, who said she's more concerned about drivers sharing the roadway.

"I'm not going to fight with the cars … we have just as much right of way as the cars do," she said.

MacGregor also said that there is a lot that cyclists can do to make sure their commute is a safe one, such as wearing their helmet correctly and planning routes ahead of time.

"If you don't have bicycle lanes, look for a less busy street," she said. "Don't be afraid to get on the sidewalk and walk for a few blocks to get past an area that you don't feel safe in."

There may be occasional work done in the north lane and the city suggests cyclists take an alternate route when that happens. (CBC)

Construction will take place around the clock with the noisiest work ending by 11 p.m. There will also be some lane restrictions on weekends.

Traffic signals will be adjusted on alternate routes to help with traffic flow, and signs have been posted to help those travelling through the construction zone.

Access to businesses will be maintained throughout the construction period.

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