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Twitter reaction to the death of the Jarvis bike lane

Posted by Chris Bateman / October 3, 2012

toronto jarvis bike laneIt had been hanging in there for a while, cheered on by its supporters, but yesterday city council struck the final nail in the coffin for the Jarvis Street bike lane, voting 24-19 to paint over the kerbside track before the end of the fall.

The markings on the side of the north-south street were painted roughly two years ago at a cost of $86,000; the cost of removal is estimated to be $300,000 when construction of a fifth centre lane capable of handling traffic in both directions is factored in.

This morning on CBC Radio's Metro Morning mayor Rob Ford disputed the two minutes the removal of the lane will save motorists, suggesting it would be closer to seven when the new street layout is complete. Numbers aside, other members of council didn't mince words when the final vote came in.

"You're not going to remove cyclists by removing bicycle lanes. They're still going to be there, they just are going to be riding very unsafely," remarked councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam, whose ward includes Jarvis Street. Trinity-Spadina councillor Mike Layton warned council about the consequences of its decision

"Every time someone dies as a result of a bike accident on Jarvis you'll need to explain to those families why it was so necessary for us to remove these lanes," he said during the debate.

The Twitter reaction to the decision was, as expected, large and mostly against the removal. Here's some of the best tweets from yesterday and this morning. Add your two cents in the comments' section. Is the cost of removing the lane a waste or are cyclists just as well served by the new Sherbourne Street separated lanes just to the east? Is this a net gain for commuters in Toronto or are we moving backwards?

Photo: "R.I.P Jarvis Bike Lane" by Martinho in the blogTO Flickr pool.



Mark / October 3, 2012 at 11:14 am
Ding Dong the witch is dead. Finally sanity returns to Toronto and we can make commuting better for the majority not the miniscule minority.
Jer / October 3, 2012 at 11:24 am
I think the problem started when those bikes lanes were "rushed" in by Miller and gang without any proper studies/thought on the matter just because they wanted to get it done. Rob Ford was running on the idea that he would NOT put those bike lanes in but then Miller and gang wanted to get rid of a reason for people to vote for Ford it seemed.

At this point, I think it is a waste to put back the centre lane/etc but I think a full study should have been done initially including looking at the revenue the city would have lost getting rid of all of the parking meters along both sides of Jarvis.
iSkyscraper / October 3, 2012 at 11:57 am
From a newspaper article:

Residents of Toronto Centre and Rosedale who use Jarvis to get to and from work “constantly email me saying ‘Rob, we have to get rid of these bike lanes,’” Ford said.

Yeah, sure Robbie. Prove it. And please see a psychiatrist to deal with all these imaginary voices constantly calling your cell phone.

And I usually refrain from personal insults, but Mark, your comment reflect very poorly on your intelligence and education if you honestly believe in retrograde and anti-urban traffic planning. I feel very sorry for you that you live in a big city in 2012 and not 1962.
Jerry / October 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm
it seems silly to measure traffic patterns when much of the section of Jarvis with the bike lanes is under construction.
Nick replying to a comment from Jer / October 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm
@Jer and @Mark, the bike lanes on Jarvis were the 2nd option of two preferred ones after removal of the 5th lane.

The interests of 15,000 car drivers should not trump those of the 65,000 people who live in that ward. In addition, the lanes were removed because they were dangerous to traffic as both cars used it in the wrong direction to pass other cars, and pedestrians unfamiliar with it use it as a refuge while crossing midblock and looked the wrong way.

From the MOE submission: "Since the bike lanes were installed, the total number of all reported collisions per year along Jarvis Street has decreased by 23 percent - this includes drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. This is despite the fact that cycling on Jarvis Street has increased by 300 percent and the number of motor vehicles has remained the same".

So f**k rationality, now we get a less safe situation for everyone involved at a cost of $300000 because Minnan-Wong thinks the 5th lane is cool.
Jerry / October 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm
the 5th lane was a disaster. they should use the extra space for proper left turn lanes. that would help traffic flow more than the extra lane, which bottle-knecked at the south end.
steve replying to a comment from Jer / October 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm
There was no 'rush' to put the lanes in. Consultations were made with the public, the Councillor were involved, an EA was conducted.
To remove them no one was consulted, it was suggestion from a Councillor in another ward and supported by Rob Ford. The removal was 'rushed' A purely spiteful political move.
KA / October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm
I think there are a lot of drivers in their 50s that remember their shorter commute times when they started working. It seems that taking out the middle lane of Jarvis hit a hard nerve with them. It is true there are very few "excape" routes out of Toronto (University/Avenue Rd being another). Toronto seems to have a hard time acting like a big city, as nbody would be crazy enough to bring a car into central New York City. I think if we were to do this over today we'd put an LRT down Jarvis to take presure off the Yonge Subway.
steve replying to a comment from Mark / October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Mark were do you get you numbers? The majority of the citizen in TO do not use the roads on a regular basis. I would say do your research, but you would rather pull shit out of your brain
Brian / October 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm
roads are made for cars, ride a bike and complain about getting hit by a car= a fuking idiot
TOGal replying to a comment from Mark / October 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm
Actually Mark it won't, it'll make it worse and more dangerous for everyone. Do you honestly think that removing the Jarvis bike lanes will stop cyclists from using Jarvis? Now they'll be using it with nothing in between them and the cars. Motorists using Jarvis will now have to drive even slower to make sure they don't hit anyone on a bike. Plus, you wasted 300K to take out something that only cost 86K to put in. Where's the gravy now?
Rich replying to a comment from Len / October 3, 2012 at 01:03 pm
I know my previous comment was deleted (with cause, no worries), i just want people to understand that Mark = Mark Towhey, Rob Ford's chief of staff.

Travis replying to a comment from Mark / October 3, 2012 at 01:07 pm
You are an idiot. You like wasting $$, don't you? Cyclists will now take up the whole lane and make the trip 20 minutes longer.
Mark / October 3, 2012 at 01:24 pm
I see the very small special interest group that calls them self bikers are whining again. Get over it, this is what the tax payers wanted and they got it.
Mr Kanyo replying to a comment from Brian / October 3, 2012 at 01:30 pm
Thanks for playing Brian but paved roads were originally lobbied for and created for cyclists.
Rich replying to a comment from Mark / October 3, 2012 at 01:35 pm
Can't believe my tax dollars pay for you to surf the web and act like a petulant little turd to others online all day. Gravy indeed
Mike e / October 3, 2012 at 02:14 pm
I've taken the new sherbourn line and let me tell you, if this becomes even a bit crowded, it's a death trap! No passing, the lane actually narrows at intersections. Just some brainless. Nincompoops asserting power over us cyclists. I'll be taking a lane On Jarvis, thanks.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Mark / October 3, 2012 at 02:44 pm
Mark, I don't bike. I drive. And I'm conservative. The difference between you and me is that I care about cities and you literally hate living in one. No one is buying what you are selling anymore, and Ford is widely seen across North America as the most inept, uneducated, hick mayor since Jerry Springer. (Who, actually, as a mayor of Cincinnati, was a lot better than Ford.)
Alex replying to a comment from Rich / October 3, 2012 at 02:44 pm
You really can't prove that. I can't believe the assumptions some people make.
Rich replying to a comment from Alex / October 3, 2012 at 03:15 pm
Except that Mark admitted to posting here under his real name in another thread, where coincidentally he was ALSO shitting on cycling infrastructure in Toronto. Keep up or don't play Alex.
Mark replying to a comment from Rich / October 3, 2012 at 03:40 pm
you type that in your mom's basement?
mark replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / October 3, 2012 at 04:30 pm
You are as 'conservative' as Karl Marx. Your claims to be 'conservative' is a fraud and no one believes it. You bitch about every conservative action taken by the mayor. You are simply a sniveling simpleton trying to elicit laurels from syncophants on a website. Fuck off with your false claims to being 'conservative'. Conservatives don't fuck over the majority to pander to minorities. Conservatives do what is best for the most, not the least.
Mark / October 3, 2012 at 04:32 pm
We are all Mark Towhey. We are unstoppable. You lefty whiners will never be rid of us. We are here to remind you your beliefs are crazy, your opinions asinine and your life worthless. Enjoy.
j-rock replying to a comment from Mark / October 3, 2012 at 04:38 pm
Why is it that Rob Ford, and "Ford Nation", use the term "taxpayer", only in reference to people who agree with them? I went to school, and got a good job which happens pay a very decent salary. I'm pretty sure that I pay more in taxes than the vast majority of Rob Ford's angry, blue collar, suburban base. But the mayor certainly doesn't speak for me.

This is not what the "taxpayers" wanted. It's what our immature, petulant, anti-city mayor wanted. PLEASE stop dragging the "taxpayers" into it. Because over the past 2 years, I certainly haven't felt very respected.

I hope Olivia Chow, John Tory - someone, ANYONE for that matter, runs against this clown in 2014. This joke simply isn't funny anymore.
Qaf / October 3, 2012 at 04:42 pm
Perhaps if the city makes biking a more attractive transportation option, more people will choose to bike instead of drive when possible. If more drivers were able to bike, that would lighten the congestion currently faced by drivers.

Anyway regardless if you originally supported the Jarvis bikelanes or not, ripping them out is hardly beneficial to anyone considering the cost to do so.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from mark / October 3, 2012 at 05:06 pm
Touch a nerve, eh? Careful you don't burn up with all those flames you are sporting.

Rob Ford is an embarrassment to conservatives everywhere. I'm pleased with the union peace, and with the garbage outsourcing experiment -- both are well in line with best practices with other cities and whether credible to the recession or Ford they are worthy goals. The problem is the other 98% of actions, or non-actions as it were. John Tory would have been a vastly superior, less clownish mayor, and deep down you know it.

Again, I'm very sorry that you live in a city when you hate cities, where the majority of residents are labeled a minority in your mind simply because their views are not yours. I guess you view a 42% approval rating as a majority too, right?
Tommy / October 3, 2012 at 05:26 pm
So I guess that crying Eglinton-Lawrence mother who whined to Karen Stintz that the bike lanes cause her to miss family dinners will be happy now. Who knew that 2 minutes was the difference between making or missing dinner - her family must eat like hogs.
I know replying to a comment from Tommy / October 3, 2012 at 09:42 pm
She could have used her brain and left two minutes earlier, problem solved. Although, that's giving her FAR too much credit.
Ratpick / October 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Mark, you've kind of become a fixture here, haven't you? i think people are starting to like you, in the way people liked Archie Bunker, or Oscar the Grouch.
Splat / October 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm
Get ready for more pedestrians getting run over. After the 5th lane was removed, car->pedestrian collisions dropped 90%.

Now with Council putting faster car traffic in again, the first wealthy person to get hit by a car is going to sue the city... and probably win.
Torono / October 4, 2012 at 06:33 am
If people work together it works, problem is they don't. One guy is going one way, another is going in the opposite direction, catch my rift. Also add people who are late for work, in a hurry ,or people who think they're the only ones on the road going somewhere. Cylists dont make it easy on the driver either , cutting them off etc. etc. Montreal on the other hand has been liberal for over 50 years, so they don't have the same problem. They know their philosophy, and that's exactly the problem. Liberal, conservative, liberal, coservative, toronto cant make up their mind. if more people were on the same page, you would see a clearer image of what toronto is, and what they stand for.
Malton replying to a comment from Brian / October 4, 2012 at 07:43 am
Please read the rules of the road people. Bikes are vehicles and their proper place is on the road. Cyclists offer a courtesy to drivers and cycle to the side of the road to allow drivers to pass - however they are entitled BY LAW to drive their vehicle in the middle of the road for safety.
Could we educate car drivers please?
Other Cities: Montreal