By Michael Holloway @michaelholloway111
Monday, February 17, 2020
Winter Maintenance Efficacy Reports are a list of Toronto Transportation Services Winter Maintenance deficiencies (and/or successes) posted to Twitter tagged with “#bikeTO” and/or “@311Toronto” – bookmarked in 12 hour increment folders from end of a storm event; in this case starting at 2:00 a.m. on Monday, February 10, 2020.
A post by Twitter user, “Cars in Bike Lanes TO” taken on Monday morning February 10, 2020 at 8:40 a.m. – approximately six hours and forty minutes after end of snowfall – looking south on St George near Harbord Street appears to show the bike lane was not plowed, just salted – with mixed results.
Ward 14 Bikes is tracking the efficacy of City of Toronto Winter Maintenance Operations with regard to the timely clearing of snow from bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure on Toronto roadways using road user posts from Twitter.
The purpose of this project is to shine a light on, and effect change in, efficacy of Toronto Winter Operations with regard to cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure after a major winter weather event.
The Storm Type
This temporal link list of social media posts describes conditions in the aftermath of a February 09-10, 2020 snow event that started at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9th and ended on Monday, February 10th at 2:00 a.m..
Environment Canada | Pearson – Historical Weather screen captures: Daily Data Reports for February + Hourly Data Reports for February 09 and 10, 2020
Storm Type Service Levels
This type of storm is classified by the City of Toronto Transportation Services as a ‘Storm Type 2’ – according to Toronto City Council’s vote to approve “Confirmation of Levels of Service for Winter Maintenance of Bikeways, Windrow Opening, Sidewalks and AODA Compliance” – passed March 17, 2014 (https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/8b0f-Winter-Maintenance_Staff-Report_Spring2014.pdf).
The promise in this type of storm event is clear to bare pavement with in 6-8 hours in the Priority Bike Lane network, and 8-10 hours for all other bike lanes.
According to posts tracked for 72 hours after the storm, City of Toronto Transportation Winter Maintenance Operations met the service standard – with good results for cyclists.
No reports of unsatisfactory conditions in the Priority Bike Lane Network, or in the painted bike lane network were found by the author in Twitter Search after the 6-8 hours, or the 8-10 hours, stated level of service promise.
Bike lane plows had made passes on the Priority Bike Lane Network by morning commute time and the results we satisfactory – but with some ‘flotsam’ falling back into the lanes, riding was stressful as cyclists are never sure of the next chuck of snow is just slush which will slice through, or a chuck of ice that will throw one to the pavement.
Warm weather played an important role in the success of Toronto Winter Operations contractors and staff in this storm event, as the accumulation was such that significant windrows did not form between cycling infrastructure and car lanes – so salting was effective in clearing all the types of infrastructure.
Michael Holloway – February 17, 2020
Feb 09-10 Snow 8 HRS – 8.6cm
- +0 HRS
- Cars in Bike Lanes TO on Twitter: “@311Toronto @Ward14Bikes @JohnTory St George SB Bloor to Queen uncleared covered in ice chunks. The thing about “priority” bike lanes is we naively think they’ll be safe, so the cyclists go, then have to ride the car lane increasingly conflict with drivers #zerovision https://t.co/pKXSjeEzQ6″ / Twitter
- Lanrick Bennett Jr. on Twitter: “I know @311Toronto you’re probably inundated with call across TO, so I’m tagging #Tordan’s @PaulaFletcherTO to advocate for #Ward14 constituents & commuters across the #EastSide. If @TO_WinterOps is spending funds on cleaning Danforth Av we need the same for #BikeLanes #BikeTO https://t.co/o04YPyhSIl” / Twitter
- +12 HRS
- +24 HRS
- +36 HRS
- +48 HRS
- +60 HRS
- +72 HRS