On Tuesday, a small group of us walked from Cannon Street at Mary Street to Cannon Street at Sherman Street while another group cycled on the well-used Cannon track itself. We were exploring ways that the track could be made even better for cyclists and pedestrian safety. Participants were invited to evaluate the most unsafe intersections (Cannon at Mary/Wentworth/Sherman) and participate in three activities (green paint, friendly streets & stronger arterial commuter routes).
At the intersection at Cannon at Mary, we observed the following: motorists on Mary rolling on out into the intersection, their heads turned right to the oncoming traffic along this one way street, oblivious to the bike riders coming down the track on the left, in the opposite direction. There was not even a clearly delineated line at the stop sign, to indicate to drivers where they need to stop. We wondered if there was a way that could draw attention to the fact that there is a bike lane right in front of them! Perhaps a better sign, a painted green line? A really “Dollarama budget” idea? Put planters strategically at the intersection.
Across the road, we observed that the Good Shepard property has opportunity for creating shade by planting trees. There is also space to plant pollinator habitat. There is a lot of parking space that is underused and this site could be a good one for depaving.
Some participants noted that the Dr. Davey Elementary School that is close by on Wilson and children crossing Cannon at Elgin to reach the school, don’t have a safe crossing (there is a crossing guard). Some pointed out that the cycle track offers a buffer for the kids against the traffic.
Ferguson N (a two way street) at Cannon has a nice green box and official bike lanes. (these are a lighter pink cobble stones (but they are faded). Someone mentioned how nice it would be to have shelter from the rain for cyclists, as well as washrooms. Someone pointed out that the braille at this corner could be hard on a cane.
At Cannon at Wellington (two way) the intersection felt unsafe. At the Shoppers on Cannon, people pointed out that the entrance to this site is far too wide, and could be narrowed as it very unsafe for cyclists going by on the track. It could use more trees, benches etc.
Cannon at West Avenue N is another way to get straight to the General Hospital by bike, as this street is quiet.
At this point we spoke with a local resident who had a few word to say: Why don’t you ask people instead of taking pictures? She mentioned that she liked our project since there are so many women who are “driving around on couches, fat as F$#&k!.” She enjoyed the “pretty flowers” and would like to see this type of beautification everywhere in the city.
At Victoria and Cannon, we wondered why a green cycling box was put here, over other locations? How was the decision arrived at? We stopped at “Hospital Alley” which is an alley that runs all the way from Main East to Barton at Victoria– a perfect, car free way to travel to get to the General Hospital IF it was made intentional, with signs, and proper crossover.
Some other observations/notes:
- One participant said there needed to be more wayfinding signs (ex RBG, downtown etc).
- Every agreed that at all the intersections, the sharrows were useless, not helpful at all and instead should be replaced by dotted green lines.
- Luckily, intersections like Emerald and Cannon are not long for crossing over since they are short.
- St. Brigid school (at Steven) has no flashing light.
- We ran into talented mural artist, Julianna, who was creating a vibrant art piece at Madison at Cannon.
- At Cannon at Sanford (Tim Hortons) and Birch and Cannon we thought more trees could be planted.
Do you use the Cannon Cycle Track? Please provide feedback through email (email@example.com).
Note: The ask for the campaign is to implement green paint on unsafe intersections on the Cannon Cycle Track. Stay tuned for a petition that is in the works!