No public befoulment

No park befoulments allowed in Markham.

Markham sets down the rules about park befoulment.

Oh, Markham. I can’t even count the ways I love this sign. Start with the peculiar wording (“It is prohibited to allow”), work in an odd euphemism (“befoul”), continue with a parenthetical plea for cooperation, and wrap it up by citing a long-obsoleted by-law. And if that wasn’t enough, you top it all off with “Markham” written in that¬†3D¬†typeface straight out of the ’80s. That’s a whole lot of awesome packed into a simple “stoop and scoop” sign.

Bike lane on Steeles

A bike lane appears on Steeles Ave. East

One of Toronto’s odder bits of cycling infrastructure sits in the very northeastern corner of the city. With farms lining both sides of the relatively sleepy four-lane Steeles Avenue, the pavement widens and a bike lane takes up residence on the shoulder. Starting just west of Beare Road in Scarborough, the lane runs less than a kilometre east to the Scarborough-Pickering boundary before ending as abruptly as it began.

I didn’t even realize until I consulted the bike map after I got home that this little stub of a lane was even connected to any part of the bikeway network. It seems that there’s a signed route running down Beare Road from Steeles that I didn’t notice when I passed. I wonder how many people actually ride in this lane. I suppose there may be a few commuters and some weekend riders out to explore this underappreciated corner of the city, but the lane would make much more sense if it extended a few kilometres west.

Toronto’s Bike Plan (PDF, page 5) indicates that this abbreviated lane will meet up with the Steeles bike lanes at Markham Road in the future, eventually extending as far as Pharmacy. Markham proposes (PDF) two bike lanes that would connect to this section from the north. I can’t find anything about proposed bike lanes in Pickering.

I’m happy to see bike lanes on any stretch of road and these ones do provide a somewhat tenuous cycling link to Whittamore’s Farm, but they seem quite out of place at the moment.