Last week I went to Lee Valley to buy a new shovel. The wooden stem was broken and even though the shovel itself is made of heavy duty metal, the stem could not be replaced. So far for buying quality products.
Luckily Lee Valley gives lifelong warranty, but as the shovel was about 10 years old, it had become 14 dollars more expensive, so I paid extra for the shovel. Still it was painful to hand over the otherwise perfectly fine old tool.
Richmond Road bike tracks
The next stop was National Capital Freenet on Richmond Road to drop of some older but still functioning computer stuff as well as some e-waste. On my way there, I noticed a brand new eastbound bike track on Richmond, between Forest St and the bridge over the parkway at Lincoln Fields.
The Lincoln Fields Shopping Mall had wide entrance and exit lanes. The new lanes have a near 90 degree angle, forcing traffic to slow down considerably. The mall is pretty much dead currently but I assume the land is quite valuable and redevelopment into mixed-use should will add a lot of value as well as bring a ton of money in property tax. It is close to good bus transport, the light rail will be close and access to bike paths is great. And not everyone wants to live in the Byward Market or Hintonbrug. The land use in the area is pretty bad. On the other side, figuring out demand is probably iffy. Low rise would probably require pretty expensive housing, and high rise might take to long too fill before building.
The Ford dealer across the street is using the mall parking lot for his display of trucks.
The track meanders in front of one bus stop and behind another bus stop and even has its own bicycle signals. The bicycle signal is small and quite far away: you can easily miss it. When I looked closer I noticed that the signals is still mostly wrapped in plastic. I am betting someone forgot to take it off.
Lights at stop line
If you think about it, it is odd that bike signals are smaller, as if cyclists have a sharper vision. Smaller lights are justified when they are closer, but they are just as far away as lights over the road’s car lanes. It would make a case for having a signal at the actual stop line at eye level such as in European countries, rather than across the street.
Here is an example of a Dutch traffic light. The light is on the ‘waiting’ side of the intersection rather than across and includes a count down counter to show how long you have to wait as well as it acknowledges you pressed the button or at least that you were registered some kind of a sensor. (‘Wacht’ = ‘wait’, the white LED’s count down.)
No changes for west bound bike traffic
The westbound lane on that part of Richmond hasn’t changed; it is in the dooring zone of west bound traffic.
The photo above shows an orange arrow pointing to a patch. When I returned to check something out, I noticed that the last 3-4 meters where repaved as you can see below:
The path stops rather abruptly and eases back on to an on-road bike lane before you connect to the NCC MUP that is west of the SJAM Parkway.
If you come from the NCC SJAM bike path and you want to go westbound on Richmond, you must cross fairly heavy traffic: it is often hard to cross and not very safe anyway (photo above). Therefore, I suspect people will cycle westbound on the eastbound lane and use it as a bi-directional lane to the first traffic light. It is too tempting and too nice not to do it. I’d do it too. Wouldn’t you know that when I returned last Saturday, two cyclists were cycling on the path west bound against traffic. I don’t blame them.
Alternatively, you cycle underneath the bridge and find your way through the neighbourhood north of Richmond behind the strip mall back to Richmond Road.
So really a great improvement in this 1960’s asphalt ridden area. The fresh green space makes a big difference.
I wonder though why it only starts at Forest St and I am surprised why it is not continued to the NCC pathway. We are talking only 50 extra meters.