See also Site Map
Hello, There's growing discussion in the Brockton neighbourhood about the Railpath bikeway, Toronto's Bike Plan and Metrolinx's mandate to plan for active sustainable transportation. The West Toronto Railpath south of Dundas provides a fantastic opportunity to knit together Toronto's bikeway network and engage the community in a meaningful way. I'm wondering out loud if a joint community working group may be of some value to the planning processes underway by the City and Metrolinx?
Click on map to enlarge it
Attached is a quick map showing some key opportunities. Strategic investment in the Railpath bridges could create:
- linkages with proposed bicycle lanes along College, Argyle and High Park and with minor bicycle routes along Brock, Sorauren, Dundas and Lansdowne
- access to the Railpath at Dundas, Lansdowne-Sorauren and Brock so that the Railpath can become a bicycle highway through the city and allow for both local and regional cycling.
- easier access to amenities such as community centres, a major grocery store and schools which will help to reduce automobile trips. In particular, the bridge (or bridge/tunnel combination?) connecting Lansdowne, the Railpath and Sorauren would greatly improve pedestrian and cyclist safety crossing Lansdowne to the grocery store while providing a much more convenient option to get to the summer farmer's market, recreation and new community centre at Sorauren Park.
The bridges provide a huge opportunity BUT also a huge technical (and financial) challenge. I would suggest that the overwhelming energy and creative talent in the neighbourhood could generate some practical and fresh design ideas to help make the big moves happen.
Would there be any interest among Metrolinx and the City to create such a working group?
(*note: full disclosure, I would have a potential conflict of interest participating in such a process since I work for the City... but as a resident of this neighbourhood I just wanted to make sure that the great ideas I've heard at the recent open houses are filtering up)
Having an integration between the Railpath and the city street grid is very important, as this will ensure its greater use, convenience and safety. Your map clearly shows these great opportunities. However even more important for the safety and usability of the Railpath would be the electrification of the rail line from the start, especially considering the massively increased volume of rail traffic once the GO expansion and the Union-Pearson link is complete. I welcome the possibility of a working group to give input to Metrolinx, and electrification would have to be at the top of the agenda. I'm hard pressed to imagine spending much time in the existing corridor with diesel trains going past every seven minutes.