Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Markham Bike Routes

This is the sight that greets cyclists after passing north of Steeles Avenue into the town of Markham. This is a residential through street called Henderson Avenue half way between 2 major arterials (Yonge and Bayview).

I managed to get a branch in the way, but you'll notice that there's a new green informational sign on the side of the road. This is Markham's solution to creating an instant bicycle network.

You might also notice some motorized vehicles in the above scene. Those things are pretty damn popular in Markham, so us cyclists still have to share our bike routes with them.

I mentioned before that I think bike route signs are a positive first step. The signs do have their limitations. They probably do more to assist cyclists than change the behavior of drivers.

Marked bike routes can help a person trying to figure out if a road is going to lead in a circle or to a cul-de-sac. I can admit that I've done circles in neighbourhoods in York Region even after looking at a map pre-ride.

At the very least, the town of Markham is covered in polite advertising for a mode of transport that many people don't even consider.

Markham is also in the process of installing full bike lanes in some places. This was taken near a school on Green Lane. Bikes only, please!

Darren J 10/31/2006 07:45:00 p.m.


Photo 1 looks like a parking lot. The branches add a nice framing effect to the photo ;)

I guess the paving job on Green lane is complete. Are the proposing to mark an actual bike lane there?
Wow. Good thing all those people moved out to the 'burbs to get away from the traffic in the city!

Reminds me of the scene in Edward Scissorhands where everyone pulls out of their utopian suburban home driveways at the same time to drive to work.

Signed routes are good step in the right direction in the burbs. It's often hard to find decent routes through the maze of twisty streets and cul-de-sacs without getting lost, if you're trying to avoid the busy arterials.
The bike signs are kind of a nice first step, but I hope they actually put a bike lane in there sometime.
It is SO nice to get back into Toronto at the end of the day, where there actually are bike lanes and other bikers. In Oshawa/Whitby I feel like a martian from another planet when I'm on the roads. Except for a couple (bad) bike racks here at UOIT, there aren't even any bike parking posts in Oshawa/Whitby.
I think most cyclists prefer to avoid the busy arterials in the suburbs. Imagine how anxious all those drivers are to hit 80 km/h after waiting 3 or 4 light cycles there.

I'm pretty sure the diamond lane sign means they'll be putting an actual bike lane in. I get the impression it will only run along the road near the school and park, possibly as a traffic calming attempt.

I know exactly what you mean, Tuco. I can't help but smile when I see another one of us passing me on the street.
I'm wondering how the bus is going to stop in the bike-only lane :)

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