Preston Street and West Wellington were reconstructed several years ago with much improved pedestrian facilities and nice landscaping [every street should be similar]. However, neither included bike lanes or bike tracks (tracks were recently constructed on most of Churchill Avenue south of Byron). Instead, people who cycle were viewed as “recreational” , able to be diverted off the main street onto side streets (eg Armstrong) or the Trillium Pathway. That people who cycle might want to shop or eat was underrated, and still is by some BIA’s.
It may qualify as the shortest bike track in the City, maybe even in the world, as it is about 100 feet long.
There are sharrows leading from the centre lane of the [temporary] Preston Extension, across the intersection, to the track:
The sharrows were originally painted leading from the curb lane on the far side of the intersection, but that is a right turn lane, and the sharrows were erased and repainted.
The track on Preston was formerly a bulb out, and the slope onto the track and off it is a bit rough:
At the “exit” end of the track, the cyclist arrives at a bus bay, which is where the road surface is widest, allowing a “merge” back into typical ride-in-the-gutter scenario. The bus bay is not without some conflict potential of its own, but buses are 15 minutes apart and the professional OC Transpo drivers have excellent forward views of anyone one the track.
It remains to be seen if this is a temporary track, jerry-rigged out of the former bulb out, to compensate for a scarily-narrow southbound receiving lane on Preston [so scary, I rode on it only once, after that I used the sidewalk]. So maybe it will disappear in 2018 when Albert is narrowed back down to four lanes of traffic + bike facilities, or maybe it will be permanent, as this drawing of the post-2018 Albert-Preston intersection shows a short bike track on Preston to allow people who cycle on the Albert bike tracks to “transition” to mixed traffic again:
In looking at how people who cycle are supposed to merge back into Preston traffic, I think the current track got it right, compared to the ‘dump into the lane’ version proposed in the 2018 plan.
(note that the 2018 plan pre-dated the legal ability to construct cross rides, so only a cross walk is shown. Local activists will lobby for better crossings.)