This is the first of three blog posts I will make about cycling in, or near, the Dixie Road corridor, and the various cycling facilities, or lack thereof.
- Dixie Road Cycling Facilities North of Bovaird Drive
- Bramalea GO Station to Clark Boulevard (Bramalea City Centre) along Dixie Road
- Clark Boulevard to Bovaird (Chinguacousy Trail)
Last Fall I took a ride along the Chinguacousy trail from south of Bovaird to Countryside Drive and took pictures.
Overall, north of Peter Robertson, it is a trail with good bones that, with some tweaks, could be an excellent trail for recreation or commuting.
The Chinguacousy Trail comes from the south to the southeast corner and continues diagonally opposite on the northwest corner. There is no signage on the southeast to indicate how one should continue. This is a simple fix and the city has some signage on McVean at Ebenezer, where the trail crosses to the opposite side of the road, which could be used here.
One could also choose to travel east or west along the Bovaird Trail, on the south side of Bovaird, rather than continuing north parallel to Dixie Road. The Dixie and Bovaird intersection was recently reconstructed for the new Zum route on Bovaird and the Chinguacousy Trail connects to the eastbound Bovaird Trail with a ribbon of asphalt inside the sidewalk to keep pedestrians and cyclists separate. Initially there was only the narrow sidewalk, but I pointed out that it was a poor design for a potentially busy spot and an opportunity to connect two major trails. The Region listened and added the asphalt ribbon.
They also relocated a badly placed fire hydrant.
The reason I specify that the trail has good bones from Peter Robertson, but not between Bovaird and Peter Robertson is because it is so indirect between those two streets. There is construction for a short way north of Bovaird due to the intersection improvements and as far as I can tell, there is no intention to have a multi-use path adjacent to the road, which means that instead of traveling along the red line for 600 metres, a cyclist would have to travel a hilly route along the yellow line for 1100 metres.
One has to cross both north and west and then travel along sidewalk to the trail that begins just before the bus shelter, then meander through the storm management pond park before emerging at Peter Robertson, where there is a centre median, which means there are four curbs to navigate, or a run down the sidewalk to the light at Dixie, to continue north.
Beginning at Peter Robertson, the path is wide, relatively straight and nicely isolated from Dixie Road with vegetation on both sides.
At the driveway to the soccer centre, once again there are curbs.
At Sandalwood the path runs straight into a bus shelter. Sandalwood also has a centre median meaning four curbs to negotiate or a run down the sidewalk to the light at Dixie.
The path north of Sandalwood is older, but the asphalt is still in reasonable shape. The path runs a little closer to Dixie, but is still nicely separated and relatively straight. As the path approaches Naperton, it is a newer path again and it becomes a more typical in-boulevard trail, rather than being in a narrow park.
The treatment at bus stops is good.
While the trail is wide and smooth, the intersection treatments concern me. They always put concrete sidewalks at the corners and generally put a depression leading only onto the ladder crosswalk where it continues to be illegal to cycle.
The trail ends at Countryside, however Dixie has not been reconstructed north of there yet, so I assume the intention would be to continue in the same fashion to Mayfield.