The case of the missing bike posts

july 2013 047


When Preston Street was rebuilt just a few short years ago, there were two bike posts installed on the brick pavers shown above. They were installed at the expense of the Preston BIA, since this predates the city program of installing parking-meter-post-conversions.


One disappeared, then the other.

I have brought this to the attention of our cycling advocates at city hall, suggesting the sturdier ring posts the city now uses would be very appropriate here. No dice. And I know others have made the same suggestion too, including Councillor’s staff and the (now defunct) RCAC.

But those bike posts just don’t want to come back.

And Pubwells is popular with cyclists; there are always bikes parked at the corner. Perhaps it is even from the revenues from cyclists that the Pubwell’s folks have been able to afford those very nifty new signs that now appear on the front and sides of the building.

I wonder if it has anything to do with whomever parks on the city side boulevard in the above picture, a boulevard that pretty much uniquely amongst the Preston side streets escaped landscaping and instead was paved over in a conveniently car-sized area.  It certainly is easier to drive in and out of by using the curb cut on the sidewalk at the corner.

I now think this is an ideal candidate spot for a bike corral that might take up the whole boulevard space.

7 thoughts on “The case of the missing bike posts

  1. I don’t know if Mr Pubwell’s owns the building but I had suggested after the Preston Construction that he convert the space at the side from Parking to a Patio. He had said he would not put a patio on Preston Street as the city wanted too much rent. I guess he also didn’t like the idea of giving up the parking spot.

  2. “Mr Pubwell” did in fact apply for a front sidewalk patio permit. One of the reasons Preston got wider sidewalks was to encourage “complete streets” with patios and public uses. But. Residential neighbours objected, and the concept died. I don’t think he tried too hard; for example, he didn’t get his patrons — the beneficiaries of a patio — to support him or laud the idea. While the side of the building is large enough for a patio, it would require additional doors or fenestration, and runs into even more opposition since the patio would be on the “residential side street” to the side.

    Several times over the years I have pointed out the “street closure” pseudo-planters further west along Spruce could be replaced by closing off the first 60′ of Spruce at Preston. This would give us trees actually planted in the ground, eliminate one intersection, make a more continuous sidewalk for people, and allow lots of room for a patio under the trees. Of course, any change that affects residents driving habits was considered highly offensive and the idea dies again.

    When the 1010 Somerset site is eventually redeveloped, all the little dead ends like Oak and Laurel will have to be addressed. Do they stay dead ends? With high walls to keep the outsiders from using the streets to access Preston? Do they ‘open up’ to the new site? …. or should they be closed AT PRESTON and accessed only through the new development??

  3. I generally agree, but worry that closing off all the little side streets at Preston would encourage drivers to speed up.

  4. A bunch of us have stopped meeting at Pubwells because the owner got the bike rack removed so he could park his vehicle there. His loss, not ours, as there are lots of other places to go.

  5. Is it a legal parking spot? Could by-law be called to ticket him?

    And if it is legal, or at least semi-legal to the point by-law won’t get involved, then maybe some suburban commuter should park there first every morning.

  6. I’ve been a long time patron of Pubwells and as far as I know the parking spot on the blvd belongs to the person renting the apartment upstairs. Next time I’m in I’ll make sure to ask about the bike rack. Perhaps the owner of the building had it removed at the request of the tenant (note that the owner of Pubwells does not own the building).
    Also, regarding the patio, I know an application was made by the owner, but was denied by the city because it would obstruct the fire escape in front of the building. The fire escape could be moved to the back (or side), but the owner of Pubwells would need to convince the building owner to do this, which isn’t likely.

  7. We have a similar issue in my neighbourhood of Yonge & Eglinton in Toronto. The city put bike posts along the edge of the sidewalk along Eglinton. But the ones that stopped trucks from illegally using the plaza in front of the Yonge/Eglinton Centre as a loading dock kept disappearing. The city eventually gave up replacing them.

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