Let’s make High Park and Martin Goodman Trail SAFER for everyone (pedestrians & cyclists)
Every week, many incidents occur on the High Park grounds and on Martin Goodman Trail. These are the results of cyclists and pedestrians not respecting the rules. We should not wait for a fatal accident to make changes.
I have received many testimonies since I shared my concerns regarding the cohabitation between pedestrians and cyclists. Below are some of them:
“I ride my bike daily and I'm pretty embarrassed by the behaviour of my fellow cyclists. I've had so many close calls with other bikes cus they refuse to stop at stop signs.”
”I wrote to the city 3 weeks ago because I was so fed up with speeding cyclists. No answer”
“The speed demons on High Park are simply a danger to themselves and more importantly to others. I came literal inches from hitting a stop sign running, came up from behind me cyclist last week.
I resent it when people place their lives on the line and involve me in doing so.”
“We stopped biking in high park with the fam a couple years ago after 2 very close calls on the High Park Velodrome (what we now call it). The speed limit should definitely be enforced.”
“There seems to be a lack of awareness that bike routes are for cyclists. They are often misunderstood as walking trails or carelessly crossed by pedestrians which is dangerous.”
“I have stopped bringing my 3 kids to High Park for this reason, which is so sad. […]. I detest the idiot speedsters and their swearing at me and my children when we dare try to share the space. I should have added, I don’t bring them there to BIKE anymore. Because apparently kids on bikes aren’t allowed in the bike lanes.”
« The cyclists are too many to practice their sports in High Park and Martin Goodman Trail. »
As you can see, the stories are all similar and have recurring issues.
Some cyclists go faster than 20 km/h, they do not stop at stop signs, they zigzag among pedestrians or ride on the sidewalks.
In the meantime, cyclists do not have the infrastructures they need to practice their sport, the bike lanes are too narrow or not clearly identified. Pedestrians do not pay attention to them. The increasing of cyclists in comparaison to the cycling infrastructures in Toronto can also explain these issues.
This saying, High Park or MGT should not be considered as a racetrack by cyclists or as a dangerous site for children by parents.
We cannot wait any longer to make High Park and Martin Goodman Trail safe and enjoyable places for all.
We ask John Tory, Mayor of Toronto and Gord Perks, Toronto City Councillor for Parkdale-High Park to take full responsibility and make the necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of everyone in these two areas.
We respectfully ask for:
- Offer more car free hours during the week in addition to the weekends.
- A safe space can be created with a better separation: cyclists who ride to exercise (fast lane), cyclists who like or learn to ride & runners (slow lane and larger than the fast lane) and pedestrians who enjoy walking (sidewalks).
- Paint the roads to get a better separation between the fast & slow lanes
- Add clear signs to ensure both cyclists and pedestrians are informed about the rules and respect them: Educational signs like « Pedestrians crossing », « Cautious slow down pedestrians traffic », « Bike route », « Watch for cyclists » and Electronic speed display signs like « Seton Rectangle SafePace ».
- Reserve a time slot for cyclists to train between 6.00 and 8.00 am at High Park. Casual cycling remains possible all day long.
- Get wider bike lanes on Martin Goodman Trail (Queensway part) with safe pedestrians crossings especially next to Sunnyside - Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool and Palais Royale.
- Build more and/or expand the existing infrastructures for cyclists. Possibly at Ontario place or Exhibition grounds.
- Enforce the rules.
As fellow citizens, you have a role to play.
You can help by signing this petition! The more signatures we get, the more impact we will have. We need to share our concerns with the city to change the situation for a better future together.