Richmond-Adelaide + Peter and Simcoe Streets

2014 Pilot Project

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As part of the Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Tracks project, Transportation Services received Council approval (view decision and report) to install several pilot and permanent bikeways in 2014. These bikeways will begin to provide connections in the downtown core, and will demonstrate the feasibility, impacts and value of cycle tracks in the city.

Below is a map of the approved 2014 bikeway installations, followed by a short description of each bikeway.

map of pilot cycle tracks, describe below


Pilot Project

The pilot project was installed in 2014 (Peter Street deferred to 2015), and will form a part of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study currently being undertaken. Transportation Services will maintain the operation of the pilot project until a City Council decision is made on the recommendations of the EA.  We anticipate that the EA will be completed in 2015. The corridors included in the pilot project installation are described below.


Richmond Street West, from Bathurst Street to University Avenue:

  • A westbound uni-directional cycle track on the right hand (north) side of the street from east of University Avenue to Bathurst Street.
  • Between Spadina Avenue and University Avenue the cycle track was established by converting the right hand side curb lane to the cycle track.  The remaining three traffic lanes are available for general purpose traffic, with off-peak parking provided in some sections in the south curb lane.
  • Between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue the cycle track was established by converting the right hand side curb lane to the cycle track.  The remaining traffic lane widths were adjusted to provide two general purpose traffic lanes, with full time parking provided along the south curb.  That means that the two general purpose traffic lanes will be available at all times.
  • The parking and loading supply were not reduced. However, "no stopping" regulations were introduced adjacent the cycle track. All curbside activity is now to be located along the south side of the street.

 Three travel lanes and one cycle track at right

Example of the three traffic lane configuration on Adelaide Street and on Richmond Street east of Peter Street.


Adelaide Street West, from Bathurst Street to Adelaide Street:

  • An eastbound uni-directional cycle track on the right hand (south) side of the street from Bathurst Street to Simcoe Street.
  • The cycle track was established by converting the right had side curb lane to the cycle track. The remaining three traffic lanes are available for general purpose traffic.
  • The previous parking regulations on the north side of the street remain.
  • On the south side of the street, adjacent to the cycle track, "no stopping" regulations are applied.


Simcoe Street:

  • A northbound contra-flow cycle track on the east side of the street between Front Street West and Queen Street West.
  • A southbound cycle track on the west side of the street between Richmond Street West and King Street West, and between Wellington Street West and Front Street West.  "Sharrows" in a shared general purpose traffic lane are provided between Queen Street West and Richmond Street West, and between King Street and Wellington Street West, in both cases to accommodate loading and pick-up/drop-off activity.
  • One-way southbound motor vehicle traffic operation is maintained between Queen Street West and Wellington Street West.  Following recommendations from the Downtown Transportation Operations Study, Simcoe Street was converted to two-way operation between Front Street West and Wellington Street West.
  • The existing number of pay-and-display parking spaces has been maintained, in addition to the taxi stand and passenger loading area north of Nelson Street.
  • Modifications were made to the traffic signals to add bicycle signals for the northbound bicycle traffic.


Peter Street (Deferred to 2015 due to extent of condo construction staging):

  • Bicycle lanes will be introduced on both sides (north and south bound) from King Street West to Queen Street West.
  • 10 of 18 on street pay-and-display parking spaces will need to be eliminated.
  • While the long term recommendation is to install physically separated cycle tracks (and a wider sidewalk), the ongoing condo construction and related road occupations do not make this possible in the short term.

Permanent Installations

Low impact projects of significant benefit to the cycling network.


Richmond Street West:

  • Westbound contra-flow bicycle lane on the north side from Bathurst Street to Niagara Street. This allows cyclists to legally travel in both directions, while maintaining one-way operation for motorists.
  • On-street parking located permanently on south side of the street, with a net gain of approximately six spaces.

Further details at Richmond Street (west of Bathurst Street)


Bathurst Street:

  • Southbound only bicycle lane between Richmond Street and Adelaide Street, to allow eastbound cyclists to connect from Richmond Street (west of Bathurst Street) to Adelaide Street.
  • Required the removal of approximately 7 on-street pay-and-display parking spaces.

Further details at Richmond Street (west of Bathurst Street)


Beverley Connections:

  • Westbound contra-flow bicycle lane on the north side of Phoebe Street, from Beverley Street to Soho Street.
  • Westbound contra-flow bicycle lanes on the north side of Stephanie Street, from John Street to Beverley Street.
  • Painting of northbound and southbound shared lane pavement markings (sharrows) on Soho Street to connect Phoebe Street to Queen Street West.
  • Traffic signal modifications to the Peter-Queen Street signal, to incorporate Soho Street into the existing traffic signal, which will function as a combined signalized intersection (no changes to roadway alignment are proposed). 
  • No proposed permanent changes to pedestrian or motor vehicle movements, parking, or access. With the exception of the introduction of northbound and southbound "right-turn on red" restrictions.

Further details at Soho – Phoebe – Stephanie Cycling Connections


Questions and Answers about the Pilot Projects

Q1. What will the cycle track separation look like? Will there be curbs, planters or green lanes?

For the pilot project Transportation Services is installing a painted buffer, ranging from 0.5 to 1.0 metre wide, to separate the cycle tracks from the adjacent traffic lanes. Parking and loading activity will be accommodated on the opposite side of the street.

Transportation will be monitoring the effectiveness of the painted buffer as a separation device and will install "flexi-post" bollards in locations where greater "separation" may be required to reduce illegal parking in the cycle tracks. With white flexi-posts positioned every six to 12 meters.

As a temporary installation, we are not planning at this time to install any curbs, planters, green lanes or other more long term investments in the cycle track designs. In the long term, upgrades such as these are being considered, and upon evaluation of the pilot project, if permanent cycle tracks are endorsed by Council, upgrades such as these may be recommended.


Q2. Why not continue the cycle tracks further east to connect to the Sherbourne Street cycle tracks? [UPDATED]

In 2014 there was major capital construction work planned on both Richmond and Adelaide streets east of the proposed pilot segments.  In 2015 Transportation Services is proposing to extend the Richmond Street, and Adelaide Street cycle tracks eastward, from their current eastern limits to Parliament Street. Learn more about proposed extension


Q3. What will the cycle tracks look like at intersections and bus stops?

Each intersection will be designed to meet the needs of vehicle turning volumes and bikeway connections.  A variety of painted markings and signs will be used, including “mixing zones”, “yield to cyclists” bike boxes, two-stage cyclist left turns, and more.

TTC stops along Richmond Street and Adelaide Street will remain accessible.  That means breaks will be provided in the cycle tracks to allow buses to serve stops at the street curb.  Long term considerations for the cycle tracks include raised cycle tracks at bus stop locations, similar to those on Sherbourne Street.

Along Simcoe Street buses will serve Roy Thompson Hall from the shared southbound curb lanes, adjacent to the curb.


Q4. Won't these cycle tracks make traffic worse in the downtown?

There are many factors that affect traffic flow and the level of traffic congestion experienced by drivers.  The number of available traffic lanes is just one.  Other factors include curbside activity such as illegal parking or stopping activities, traffic signal timing, capital work, and development related road occupancies.

The implementation of the pilot project will also be coordinated with measures recommended by the Downtown Transportation Operations Study, to better manage and use the available road space such as improved traffic signal coordination and enhanced enforcement of illegal activities.

One of the reasons that Transportation Services is recommending the testing of the preliminary study recommendations as a pilot project, is to better understand the relationship among these factors affecting road capacity on these streets, to measure and evaluate any impacts to traffic, including travel times along study corridors, and make adjustments before any final recommendations are made to Council on the Study.

We also anticipate an adjustment period of one to two weeks following the installation of the project.  During this time traffic may seem more hectic as motorists and cyclists adjust to the new road configuration.   We appreciate everyone's patience during that time.


Q5. Will these cycle tracks be cleared of snow and debris?

Yes. Transportation Services now sweeps and ploughs the existing cycle tracks along Sherbourne Street. Similar maintenance practices will be extended to any new cycle tracks installed as part of this pilot project.


Q6. What will happen to the pilot cycle tracks where the curb lane is occupied by construction?

Generally, construction closures of the cycle track will be avoided whenever possible. However, if the cycle track is closed, cyclists may be required to merge into the adjacent traffic lanes in order to travel around a construction zone. Depending on the duration of the closure, "sharrows" (shared lane markings) may be used to provide additional guidance to cyclists and motorists in such circumstances.

Further details about these projects, public consultation, study materials, and bikeways in Toronto can be found on the project web page:

What do you think about the new cycle tracks?

Fill-in a short online survey

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