Efficient bike routes

19 08 2010

Today, I ran across Ride the City, which is an interactive site on which you can, apparently, plot the best bicycle route from Point A to Point B, assuming that Points A and B are both somewhere in Toronto. Out of curiosity, I asked it to find the best route from Cambridge Avenue (where I live) to Dupont and Christie (where I work). I was given this route:

  • South on Cambridge Avenue
  • Right on Danforth
  • Left on Parliament
  • Right on Howard
  • Right on Sherbourne
  • Left on Bloor
  • Slight right on Church; continue on Davenport
  • Davenport all the way to Christie (except for a slight diversion onto Macpherson Avenue, which I interpret as a glitch in the system)
  • Christie down to Dupont

The part I don’t get is where I’m supposed to turn from Bloor to Parliament to Howard to Sherbourne and then back to Bloor again. That’s two left turns at busy street corners – and there is, in fact, a bike lane running from Parliament to Sherbourne on Bloor, so it’s all pointless.

I tried reversing the start and end points of the trip, and got the same route – except, this time, the jog via Howard Street is gone.

This route isn’t actually too bad, except for the part where you have to travel on Bloor to Church to Davenport. The bike lane doesn’t start on Davenport until you get to Bay, and the bit before that is tricky to travel on. But I might try this one.

The route I’ve been taking is a little longer, but it’s bike lanes just about all the way:

  • Cambridge to Danforth
  • Danforth to Sherbourne
  • Sherbourne to Wellesley
  • Wellesley through the U of T campus to Harbord
  • Harbord to Palmerston
  • Palmerston to Bloor
  • Side streets (picking the ones that are one way north) to Clinton and Dupont
  • Well, then I have to walk a block from there, as turning left is an impossibility. This route isn’t perfect.

You be the judge!

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