the Healthy Transportation Coalition and I spotted last summer and started making noise about to the city (and the ward councillor gave us credit for bringing it to his attention!).
I think it's probably also happening in part because Heron is being dug up and resurfaced just west of here, and in part because the area just beside Sandalwood Park - formerly row houses - has been bulldozed and is being redeveloped for mid-rise housing. (I'm willing to bet that the developer understands the increased curb appeal of cycletracks and appealing sidewalks.)
I wrote about this project when the public consultation happened back in April. And at the time I mentioned the misgivings that I still have: while it is amazing to hear the words "Heron Road" and "cycletrack" sharing a sentence, this particular build is only about 800 metres long, it doesn't connect to any other infrastructure (such as the bike lanes that already exist a few hundred metres to either end, on Alta Vista and Conroy) or even run as far as Saint Patrick High School, and it only runs on one side of the road. This is because on the other side of the road, and at other points on this side, the existing space where the track could run is punctuated by hydro poles, which would be expensive to move. So this lane is a great step, but it doesn't really solve Heron Gate's isolation problem.
However: I honestly did not believe construction would start this summer. I'm so used to four-year timelines. This is going in a scant five months after the consultation phase. And watching it go up I'm reminded of David Reevely's article about how it's actually cheaper to build roads with cycletracks than without. As long as they're rebuilding any road, cycle tracks should go in.
So now, the fun begins. Now we have to make a whole lot of noise to get this lane connected to other infrastructure, and expanded to the other side of the road. We have to convince the City to suck it up and move the damn hydro poles to make this stub of a bike lane into what it could be. This 800m project is low hanging fruit, yes. And the worst outcome would be this: no one rides on it because it doesn't really go anywhere, and people point to the lack of traffic to excuse doing nothing more. Once this lane is open for bike traffic, we need to start writing to the City, to the project manager, Jamie MacDonald, and to Councillor Cloutier, to explain why it needs to be connected to the network.