Ever wished you could visit your local shops, run some errands, or visit the grocery shop without worrying about gas money?
In an area like Scarborough, it can often seem like the only way to get around is by car (unless you're willing to wait for an extra 10, 20, even 30 mins for a bus). As more developments pop up in places like Kingston Rd., there is an opportunity to have these new and old spots have better, closer connections that empower communities to have more options to choose from.
Let's take a closer look at what cycling lanes and multi-use paths on Ellesmere Rd actually provides us ...
Build The Grid ~ Overview of new cycling infrastructure
The City of Toronto has gone back and forth on proposing cycling lanes on Ellesmere Road. Here's an article back from 2007 stating "Ellesmere Road will be among the first to benefit from the renewed push as a stretch between Brimley Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road will have bike lanes added when the city repaves it" (as of 2021, only 630 m have been built between Markham Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road).
If you look back at 2012 when city council approved their Bikeways Trails Plan, cycling lanes were also proposed on Ellesmere Road between Conlins Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road - as of 2021, no infrastructure has been built here as well.
When the City was developing its Ten-Year Cycling Network Plan in 2016, one of the presented scenarios looked at Ellesmere Road from McCowan to Conlins. While the city has done amazing work connecting other areas around the city and reintroducing other initiatives like the Meadoway, Ellesmere remains to be disconnected despite years of city council studying and proposing cycling lanes.
The DSBRT provides is an opportunity, with extra help from the province, to address the exact road the city has been trying to but hasn't prioritized for over a decade.
Where are these lanes going?
Reduce (carbon footprint) and Reuse (public land) approach. Multi-use paths and cycle tracks help to attract those travelling to do so in a more environmentally friendly way.
"Can't cyclists just share the road or stay on the sidewalk?"
It is in fact, illegal for cyclists to ride on sidewalks in the city of Toronto (not just Scarborough)!
When cyclists and drivers are forced to share the lane, especially on wider roads like Ellesmere, unfortunately, the risk of crashes increases. Community members going for a simple jog, rollerblading with friends, cycling, just trying to incorporate active transportation into their life should not have to worry about risking their life.
When a bicycle and car get into a collision, who do you think is at more risk of serious injury or worse? Unfortunately, you don't have to look far for examples - specifically of instances on Ellesmere Road.
Click 👉👉👉 (video on the right) to view a newscast reporting on a previous crash in the Highland Creek area at Ellesmere and Conlins, the exact location where present cycling lanes stop.
A female cyclist was rushed to a trauma centre with life-threatening injuries after she was struck by a vehicle in Scarborough's Highland Creek neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon, Toronto police say. (Source: CP24)