I had the pleasure this weekend of riding my bike from Etobicoke (Lakeshore & Kipling) along the Waterfront Trail to Yonge St. This trek is something I never would have considered before last week – but is now possible thanks to the opening of the Queens Quay bike path.
Queens Quay officially reopened on June 18th, to cheers from cyclists and pedestrians alike. If you haven’t been down there in a while you may not recognize it. It is completely transformed and looks like another city. Friday’s article in the Toronto Star said it seems “it all seems a little too European for Toronto”.
But that’s not a bad thing! I enjoy traveling to Europe and usually bike in every city I go to. I always compare the incredible priority of European bicycle paths to the way we have it in Toronto. Here, bikes are often seen as a nuisance, riders are simply not safe sharing the road with cars. In many European cities, bikes have their own lanes with their own signal along almost every street. They are considered a priority over vehicular traffic in many cases. Cities like Amsterdam, Vienna, and Bristol are fantastic examples of how to do it right. And now Toronto (at least one street in Toronto) joins the ranks of how to do it right.
Finally Toronto city planners have figured it out. The three years of construction have been well worth it. The path is simply beautiful, functional, and attractive. This is an excellent addition to the city that makes it a safer place to ride.
Now as the entire city begins to enjoy the new Queen Quay, we need to do two things: educate pedestrians to stay off the bike path and expand the path to travel north. Well done Toronto!