May 20, 1998
To:Toronto City Cycling Committee and Metro Cycling and Pedestrian Committee
From:Virginia M. West, Commissioner
Subject:Cherry Street Bridge - Enhanced Safety for Cyclists, Skaters and Pedestrians
To explain the measures taken by Works and Emergency Services, Transportation Division to make the Cherry Street
bridge over the Keating Channel safer for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians.
It is recommended that this report be received for information.
At their joint meeting on March 25, 1998 the Toronto City Cycling Committee and the Metropolitan Cycling and
Pedestrian Committee requested that Planning Department staff report on the possible hazards that the new surface of the
Cherry Street bridge over the Keating Channel may present to cyclists using the roadway.
The Cherry Street bridge over the Keating Channel was renovated over the past winter. This renovation included
narrowing the roadway portion of the bridge to two traffic lanes, one in each direction, and widening the space devoted to
pedestrians and cyclists. Prior to the renovation there was a 1.8 metre wide sidewalk on the west side of the bridge and no
sidewalk on the east side. As a result of the narrowing of the roadway portion of the bridge a 2.0 metre wide sidewalk has
been provided on the east side and a 3.6 metre wide shared pedestrian/bicycle/skater space has been provided on the west
side. Before the renovation the trail was discontinuous across the bridge. Cyclists crossing the bridge had the option of
riding on the roadway or walking their bicycles on the sidewalk. The wide west side pedestrian/bicycle/skater space ensures
that the Waterfront Martin Goodman Trail can be continued across the bridge.
The traditional steel grate surface used on the roadway portion of the bridge is particularly slippery for cyclists and skaters
when it is wet. A new material - fiberglass reinforced plastic grating with a non-slip surface - has been used for the
sidewalk and trail areas of the bridge to enhance safety for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians. A metre wide rubber strip has
been installed adjacent to the hand rail for skaters who do not feel comfortable on the grating.
The east side sidewalk and the west side shared pedestrian/bicycle/skater space are protected from motor vehicular traffic
by heavy duty railings. Steel construction rumble strips perpendicular to the railing have been fastened to the roadway in
order to discourage motorists from driving too close to the railing and potentially striking the railing. These rumble strips
are approximately 5 cm high and 79 cm wide. The rumble strips blended in with the steel grid bridge decking and were not
very visible to cyclists and drivers. To make them more visible every fourth rumble strip has been painted with yellow
The rumble strips have reduced the useable width of the two traffic lanes across the bridge. As a result, cyclists using the
roadway have to share a narrower lane with motor vehicular traffic. However, most of the bicycle traffic over the bridge is
on the Waterfront Martin Goodman Trail and will benefit from a safer condition across the bridge. In order to facilitate the
trail access to the bridge the Waterfront Martin Goodman Trail will be widened on the north and south approaches to the
bridge this summer.
Safety for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians has been significantly improved across the Cherry Street bridge over the
Keating Channel through provision of a new sidewalk on the east side and a new 3.6 metre wide shared
pedestrian/bicycle/skater facility on the west side. The rumble strips on the roadway portion of the bridge deck have been
painted yellow and are now very visible to cyclists using the roadway.
Director, Program Services