Paved bike trail to enhance hydro corridor

Path will link Dufferin to Yonge

Cyclists, pump up your tires.

Construction of an asphalt trail along the Finch hydro corridor will start this summer. Three and half metres wide, it will let cyclists safely ride from Dufferin Avenue to Yonge Street.

The project is part of a larger plan that will see 30 km of trails built across the city, including the Gatineau hydro corridor and the CN Leaside rail corridor. The Finch and Gatineau corridors will link up, and the new trails will connect with already existing trails.

The project has an estimated completion date of March 2011, but most of the work is likely be done before the winter, said Daniel Egan, the city’s manager of cycling infrastructure and programs.

The electromagnetic radiation from the hydro towers will not be harmful to the health of those who use the trail, Egan said.

“The general rule with hydro corridors is you don’t want people living or working under the wires,” he said. “Active recreation uses are generally considered to be safe.”

Ward 23 councillor John Filion said he only has minor concerns over the health effects.

“The health benefits of cycling and getting exercise are probably greater than the risk posed by the hydro corridor,” Filion said.

There are seven soccer fields within the Finch hydro corridor but the new trail will not interfere with them because it will be placed on the side, said Ward 10 councillor Mike Feldman.

The construction process will not affect those living nearby, Egan said.

“We’re not building a road, we’re just building a trail,” he said. “It’s pretty minor.”

The $3.8 million project received municipal, provincial and federal funding.

Feldman said he sees the plan as a better alternative to putting bike trails along Finch Avenue and trying to integrate them with car roads.

“I would like to keep bikes off the main streets as much as possible,” Feldman said. “All it is, is accidents waiting to happen.”

About this article:

By: Alina Smirnova
Posted: Jun 15 2010 1:04 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto