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The death knell rings for the Jarvis Street bike lanes

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 12, 2012

toronto jarvis parking meterWe all knew this day was coming; the Jarvis Street bike lanes are finished. Starting now, road crews are beginning the process of scratching out the painted curbside markings and carrying out preliminary work on a fifth, reversible vehicle lane. One thing we didn't see coming, though, is the arrival of on-street parking.

New solar-powered meters on the west side of the street between Queen and Bloor, installed last week, represent the final step back to a car-dominated Jarvis. It also sends a message to anyone involved in protesting the changes: on-street car parking is more important than bike lanes.

toronto jarvis parking meterRob Ford seems pretty happy work is getting underway. He told the Toronto Sun he "listened to the taxpayers and [did] what they wanted me to do."

The removal of the lanes coincides with a report about to be considered by the public works and infrastructure committee that recommends kicking the existing painted lanes on Wellesley Street up to a fully separated cycling path between Parliament and Queens Park, then up onto Hoskin Avenue.

Spacing said their goodbyes today with a clever and biting series of (Photoshopped) images that show several of the new parking meters bearing dedications to the councillors that voted to remove the lanes earlier this year (follow that link — it's worth it!).

toronto jarvis bike laneA protest at the removal is planned for later today but there's presently a few supporters sitting in the bike lane blocking the progress of a vehicle painting over the markings. For now, the vehicle seems to be simply driving around the parked protesters.

Here's how the story is unfolding on Twitter:

Photos: Chris Bateman/blogTO and Spacing.

Discussion

92 Comments

Hahaha / November 12, 2012 at 03:02 pm
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Thank you so much for these photos, my belly now aches from laughter.
MrPotato / November 12, 2012 at 03:06 pm
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We will never forget... http://yhoo.it/SXqWxb
Jamie / November 12, 2012 at 03:07 pm
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Criticize these people if you want, but at least they're out there supporting a cause they're passionate about. Removing these bike lines is a slap in the face of the biking community. I'm glad some people are pissed enough to do something about it.
Chris / November 12, 2012 at 03:16 pm
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Wait, so let me get this straight - the bike lanes are being removed because losing the middle lane slowed down commute times for those poor, hard done by folks in Leaside, Lawrence Park and North Toronto. So instead, they're going to ADD on street parking? Because, you know, everyone knows that street parking has NO impact whatsoever on travel times on major roads. Man, the public works committee's head's must be ready to explode trying to work out the logic of that decision. I had no idea that the historical lack of street parking on Jarvis was an issue. Imagine that!

Well, at least North Toronto has their precious lane back. No doubt they're jumping for joy.
mike in parkdale / November 12, 2012 at 03:17 pm
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very good editorial in the Star today from Christopher Hume:

"The decision to remove the bike lanes from Jarvis is wrong in principle, devastating in perception.

The practical consequences will be bad enough, especially in the years ahead, but the symbolism of such a regressive move is worse. These things are hard to measure, it’s true, but in the eyes of the world, it’s one more sign of a nation in decline, terrified of change, the new US."

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1286168--hume-toronto-diminishes-its-future-by-killing-jarvis-bike-lanes
Beth replying to a comment from Mark / November 12, 2012 at 03:17 pm
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"Steve Fisher, a 33-year-old arts and culture writer and member of the Cdn Forces reserves". Sounds like he has a constructive, non-worthless life to me.
Exaggerate Much? / November 12, 2012 at 03:19 pm
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Jeff Halperin, who wrote "This is our Tiananmen moment," has just made one of the most epically idiotic overstatements in history. Well done, moron! You have the nerve to compare a stupid bike lane with the decades-old oppression of human rights in China? Wow!
mike in parkdale / November 12, 2012 at 03:25 pm
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clearly, he was joking. relax.
Ford for life / November 12, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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Why are there sidewalks? We need more room for cars! Yonge Street needs to be 8 lanes wide! Bloor should be at least 6 lanes wide! We should travel everyone in cars! The tax payers demand roads! Roads and subways! Stop coaching your football team and build me some roads Ford!

End of sidewalks and bike lanes! More drive thrus!
jen / November 12, 2012 at 03:47 pm
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I'm a taxpayer and Ford didn't do what I asked him to do. I wanted to keep the lanes. He's disrespecting me!!! Jerk.
Alex / November 12, 2012 at 03:48 pm
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I guess everyone that uses Jarvis for biking will now just have to use the whole right lane. The taxpayers voted for bikes using the whole line on Jarvis, and the bike riders will just have to do what the taxpayers want.
Jonaton / November 12, 2012 at 03:50 pm
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I for one am glad that Ford is creating improvements that actually help Toronto as a whole and does not pander to the minor issues of special interest groups. Soon Toronto will be a lot closer to Mississauga, what I consider to be a far more successful society.
AV replying to a comment from Mark / November 12, 2012 at 03:51 pm
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Mark Towhey, God's living reminder to wrap it up.
Skyler / November 12, 2012 at 03:58 pm
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Even with the bike lanes, Jarvis is one of the fastest car routes heading in or out of downtown. The marginal difference their removal will make during rush hour is hardly worth it. Not to mention that the added parking will actually cause delays during the day. A little common sense would be nice.

And I agree that people who live in the burbs are more likely to have the same type of imbalanced view of city priorities.
Jeff / November 12, 2012 at 03:59 pm
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Cars should have done this when they were trying to install those bike lines to start with. I am sure the businesses will appreciate the on street parking returning (I didn't know that was part of the plan). What kind of revenue does the city get per parking meter in that area?
Skyler replying to a comment from Skyler / November 12, 2012 at 03:59 pm
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* as Mayor Ford does.
not mark / November 12, 2012 at 04:01 pm
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mark claims we have too many unemployable layabouts in this town despite the fact that he spends all of his time posting on comment boards. Is this your job Mark or are you a layabout?

also based on your use of the word town - do you even live in the city of toronto? cause if you dont live in toronto I really cannot comprehend why you spend all of your time on blog to comment boards.
misha replying to a comment from Mark / November 12, 2012 at 04:01 pm
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@Mark ....Says the dude taking time out of the working day to troll a post about a bike line. *cough*
Franco / November 12, 2012 at 04:01 pm
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Awesome! Rob Ford seems to listen to the tax payers whose opinions he agrees with and discards the needs of those he doesn't.
mee / November 12, 2012 at 04:05 pm
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the whiners will celebrate this win for not long.

Cyclists aren't going anywhere so now they will be in the lane of drivers. Also the speed limits are about to be lowered so now on top of having cyclists in their lane they will also be forced to drive slower. Such a stupid waste of tax dollars removing these lanes.
F@ck Bikelines / November 12, 2012 at 04:13 pm
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If you want to ride a bike go to France.
Keith / November 12, 2012 at 04:35 pm
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I just bike down the new Sherbourne Street bike lanes... they are dedicated (curb) and smooth as butter.
Not sure what all the griping is about. Yes the Jarvis lanes were sweet but they have simply been moved over one major city block.
DS / November 12, 2012 at 04:50 pm
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Effin hippies!! There's a perfectly usable bike lane on Sherbourne. Go display your flower power there and let the rest of us get home in time for dinner.
loosechange / November 12, 2012 at 04:52 pm
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I live in the Merchandise Building and have a clear view of Jarvis at the Dundas intersection. I did before the bike lanes, and after the bike lanes. There is not a congestion issue there - at all. Not one bit. It's a move done in spite. For those that consider it a minor issue blown out of proportion by folks who ride bikes - it was made a major issue by a dude that is motivated by winning arguments and not helping the city. Nothing is better because of the move to remove them. Nothing.
W. K. Lis / November 12, 2012 at 04:52 pm
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See http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2012/10/6538722/bloomberg-cyclists-and-riders-and-walkers-are-more-important-driver?city-bucket-headline where the New York mayor says: Cyclists and pedestrians and bus riders are as important, if not, I would argue, more important than automobile riders.

"The streets are there to transport people," he said. "They're not there necessarily for cars, they're to transport people, and there's lots of different ways of transporting people," he said. "In fact, one of the original ways was walking."
Chris P / November 12, 2012 at 05:03 pm
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Only in Toronto does a city add bike lanes only to remove them. Ford talks about taxpayers? What about the tens of thousands downtown? Unbelievable.
McRib replying to a comment from Keith / November 12, 2012 at 05:07 pm
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no, they haven't been moved over one block, Sherbourne had lanes before this.

they are in fact removing the lanes completely. gone.
jd replying to a comment from Keith / November 12, 2012 at 05:11 pm
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Right. And the DVP is just a few blocks over. Why the need to make Jarvis into a highway through the city?

The point is. When Rob Ford says he "listened to the taxpayers". I wanna know who he is talking about. I live just off Jarvis and I have not heard anyone in my area say they wanted to get rid of the bike lanes. I drive and ride and I think this was a huge mistake.
Ataxpayer / November 12, 2012 at 05:22 pm
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bike lanes on Sherbourne, use them and quit your whining hipsters.
steve / November 12, 2012 at 05:22 pm
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There seems to be a misconception that the Jarvis bike lanes were moved to Sherbourne. There have been bike lanes on Sherbourne for many years. The removal of the Jarvis lanes amount to a net loose of biking infrastructure.
I live at the corner of Gerrard and Jarvis and the only difference to car traffic I noticed was the lack of carnage while the lanes were in place. Even when the corner was down to one lane each way for several months due to construction traffic moved smoothly.
mezimeen / November 12, 2012 at 05:29 pm
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Seriously BlogTo? My comment was removed? This guys handle is "F@ck Bikelanes" and my comment is taken down because I told him to drive into an imaginary brick wall? Give me a f@ckin break!!
Keith replying to a comment from McRib / November 12, 2012 at 05:52 pm
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The NEW Sherbourne bike lanes were just completed... NOT GONE
tylerstreet / November 12, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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Removing bike lanes is stepping backwards on progress, at a time when global warming is heating the planet. Toronto should be ashamed that it's not only not leading the pack at encouraging alternative forms of transport, but that it's a regressive fat stepchild making way for more cars.

SHAME ON TORONTO CITY COUNCIL. They will inevitably be on the wrong side of history.
Keith replying to a comment from jd / November 12, 2012 at 06:02 pm
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I'm in agreement with you about HRH Bob Ford...

Jarvis has been a major thoroughfare for cars coming into the city core from Gardner/Lakeshore and cars coming into the city core down Mt. Pleasant for as long as I have lived here (1982).
The recent bike lanes were an addition not because the traffic flow on Jarvis began to decline but because our great city councilors keeps testing things out until they get it right or wrong or somewhere in between.

Traffic on Jarvis has been, is and will always be mainly vehicular traffic. That's reality.
Me replying to a comment from Hahaha / November 12, 2012 at 06:14 pm
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No kidding. No wonder no one listens to or takes these people serious.
Antony / November 12, 2012 at 06:15 pm
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Jarvis car traffic was narrowed to 4 lanes because that's what the community wanted, after $900,000 of community consultation and environmental assessment.

The only reason the extra 3m of roadway was used for bike lanes rather than wider sidewalks is because paint was cheaper than moving the curb line.

Returning Jarvis to its ignorant 1960s highway planning roots over the objections of the local councillor and every residents & business association is a stupid, asshole move that will benefit no-one, in the end.
Chris / November 12, 2012 at 07:08 pm
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The sidewalks should be removed while they are at it. Pedestrians don't pay for the road so why do we have sidewalks on it!?!
steve replying to a comment from Chris / November 12, 2012 at 07:18 pm
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How do you figure pedestrians do not pay for roads?
Jay / November 12, 2012 at 08:39 pm
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@ Antony - what's ignorant is assuming the only people who use or have the right to use Jarvis and determine how it's used are only the people who live in the local area. Infrastructure is used by everyone in the city. It's a shared resource. It's one thing to push for certain things in your neighbourhood like limiting height if a condo. But infrastructure needs to be thought of on a larger scale to support all kinds of transportation. It's not just cars. Good need to be delivered into the core and we need roads to transport the goods. All the new condos means more goods need to be broight in. That increases traffic too. The reality is Jarvis had nothing to do with giving bike lanes and everything to do with buying votes from the special interest groups pushing for the bike lanes. It was a small minded and short sighted decision for the start.
Josh / November 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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Only in Toronto do we move backwards instead of forwards...I've been out in Vancouver for 2 months now and their bike infrastructure is amazing. I'm not comparing the two, I'm just saying that a removal of a bike lane is absolute lunacy.
Gabe replying to a comment from jd / November 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm
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Not a highway just the way it was a few years ago. As a 39 year old cyclist and a non car driver - no license I don't see what the big deal is. Get in the way of the law and the police and what do you think is gonna happen?

Most cyclists can find a quieter back street to ride on if you take 10 mins to plan a route or know how to handle themselves on a any road regardless of whether there is a bike route or not. It takes about 10 mins to ride down Jarvis from top to bottom is it that big of a deal? Do you really feel safer because of a painted line? Wouldn't you rather be on another street beside one that all the trucks and sports cars are on. Don't follow the painted lines you Lemmings!!!

tulie replying to a comment from Josh / November 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm
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JUST BECAUSE TORONTO moves a bike lane from one street to another doesn't mean a move backward - where did you get that from. Maybe its progression a move for the best.
Andy replying to a comment from tylerstreet / November 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm
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They are moving them to Sherbourne NOT removing them entirely. Maybe that doesn't fit on you plans on your route BUT you know what Jarvis St. doesn't fit well with my route, I'd rather ride down Sherbourne!

Cyclist against Cyclist!!! Let's fight over who's route is best and who's this effects the most!!!!

Josh replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / November 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm
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YEah NYC thinks everyone is equally important!!!! SO do we it doesn't mean that either city has bike lanes on all streets. Planning is involved.

Bike lanes get removed in NYC too! I love it when people take a weekend trip to NYC or a week a in Europe and think biking is so great there, Lanes get removed and replanned all the time in cities thats how they evolve, thats what makes them great cities, dynamic, adaptable, flexible, planning for the present and the future, not just because its always been that way or thats they way its been. THINK. The city tried it were adapting 5 years from now you'll have an alternate route and none of this matter...

Bonjour! replying to a comment from mezimeen / November 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm
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France! France! France!
the lemur replying to a comment from Josh / November 12, 2012 at 11:57 pm
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Can you name a street in NYC that's had a bike lane removed? Or any other city that has done that?
the lemur replying to a comment from Andy / November 13, 2012 at 12:00 am
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I don't see how it constitutes 'moving' the lane to Sherbourne. Sherbourne already had a painted bike lane before the Jarvis lanes went in. When the motion was put forward to remove the Jarvis lanes, the wrangling at city hall resulted in a deal whereby the lanes on Jarvis would be removed once work had begun on converting the Sherbourne lanes to (mostly) separated lanes.
_n / November 13, 2012 at 12:54 am
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Toronto can't plan itself out of a paper bag. Removing bike lanes. What a joke. Wasting all that money to take them out. And for what? Nothing.
Sean / November 13, 2012 at 03:22 am
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If cyclists were serious about getting their own lanes, they would have coughed up the money by getting themselves licensed. But noooo. Finally, vehicle traffic will flow freely unless some idiot lies down on the road.
crc replying to a comment from Andy / November 13, 2012 at 05:41 am
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they're not moving them. the sherbourne st bike lanes were already there before jarvis. We can't have both? As previously mentioned, it's gonna be a slow ride uphill in the middle of the right lane on jarvis now. Hope the drivers got what they wanted.
dan derbridge / November 13, 2012 at 07:38 am
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I'm not a rob ford fan but am glad the 5th reversible lane is coming back. bike lanes on jarvis was a bad idea. The raised bike dividers on sherbourne is a good idea. Bike activists need to stop being assholes. Bike awareness is thriving just not fast enough for you. My advice? Learn the rules of the road - I might fight for you more but you keep acting like entitled douchebags.
steve replying to a comment from Jay / November 13, 2012 at 07:44 am
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You disqualified your point of view by using the term 'special interest group'

Its ignorant of you to think you can step into a neighborhood and say I need more for were I live so i am taking from you. More troublesome it was done without due process. Rob Ford has not step foot in ward 27 or 28 except a for quick in and quick out photo op. He has not talked to he people that live south of Bloor.
To use your language the removal was purely political. If due process was followed to determine removing them was a benefit I would accept that. But that did not happen, Rob Ford decided to remove then for the votes he gets in the suburbs and a vendetta he has against David Miller his first few month in office was to systematically undo all Miller had done.
If anyone is catering to a 'special interest group' it is Rob Ford. he has wasted the city over a million dollars. Typical of a politician like Rob Ford cut back services and government to lavish money on his pet projects and supporters. There is no evidence that removing the lanes will benefit anyone, but plenty of proof the the addition of them benefited many.
Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 07:52 am
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Everyone is up in arms over the money spent to remove the bike lanes. Remember Miller cancelled the bridge to the island airport.

Bridge cost = $22million, cost to cancel = $35million

Miller wasted $13million in a single decision.
Robert replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 08:09 am
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Miller never ran on a mandate of 'gravy' Can you not see the difference?
Robert replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 08:10 am
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Might add that Miller did not tear down an already built and functioning bridge.
Robert replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 08:21 am
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Also Miller ran his campaign to stop the bridge. He was doing what he said he would do.
Dude Love replying to a comment from Robert / November 13, 2012 at 09:59 am
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Miller said during the campaign that the cancelling the bridge wouldn't cost the city anything. The bridge was under construction. The footing and remediation of the land was already underway.
jer replying to a comment from Robert / November 13, 2012 at 10:19 am
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Rob Ford was running on the mandate that he wouldn't let the Jarvis bike lanes go in, but, instead of waiting for the election to happen, the lanes were rushed and set up before the election.
Ed replying to a comment from Keith / November 13, 2012 at 10:28 am
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The Sherbourne separated lanes are not "complete", and probably won't be before the snow flies. Sherbourne is a construction mess south of Gerrard, and is no great shakes north of Gerrard.

The "separated" part doesn't work. Cars can easily cross the hump to park on the bicycle lane, while bicycles can't easily cross the hump to get past the parked cars. Plus the lanes have been designed for plenty of right-hooks at intersections. Oh, and they're not wide enough for one bicycle to pass another.
steve / November 13, 2012 at 10:29 am
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And another wrong headed decision, promoted by a horrible mayor has been put out to pasture. Something that should have never been is no more.
Welshgrrl / November 13, 2012 at 10:48 am
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Yeah, put out to pasture in order to save Rosedale residents 2 minutes on their commute, to the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some gravy.
the lemur replying to a comment from jer / November 13, 2012 at 10:49 am
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Ford ran for mayor after the Jarvis lanes were installed in the last days of the Miller administration. He even said at one point that he didn't think it was a good use of the city's money to take the lanes out.
the lemur replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 10:50 am
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Where can we see the remains of this bridge that was supposedly already under construction?
McRib replying to a comment from Keith / November 13, 2012 at 10:55 am
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I didnt say that. It's the Jarvis lanes that have been removed, not "moved over one city block" as you surmised, because Sherbourne has had bike lanes for many years.

dont be ridiculous.
McRib replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 11:01 am
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2003 called and it wants its political talking points back.
Chris replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 11:01 am
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Sorry, that's crap - the bridge was nowhere near started. That cancellation didn't cost the city a nickel.

The bigger issue in my opinion, is the FACT that the entire "justification" for scrapping the Jarvis bike lane was that the loss of the 5th lane was slowing down traffic - particularly for those poor souls in North Toronto. Even though the actual evidence (you know, those tidy little things like "facts" that tends to cause Ford and his accolytes so much difficulty) was that the impact was minimal.

Fine, let's say you accept it as fact that the bike lanes slowed down traffic (again, despite the evidence to the contrary). Tell me then, why in the hell would they scrap bike lanes to replace them with street parking? How exactly does adding street parking to Jarvis speed up traffic? If they had just returned to status quo, that would be one thing, but to add street parking pretty much discredited the primary justification behind removing the lanes. Which then leads one to reasonably conclude that the move was actually about sticking it to Miller-friendly councillors who championed adding the lane, despite the plaintive cries of North Toront. In other words, an act of political revenge.

Hopefully we come to our damned senses in 2014 and elect a centrist mayor - I'm tired of this left/right shift. All these jokers ever want to do is waste our time trying to undo what the previous guy did. How about focusing on City-building for a change? Look forward instead of back.

City Council resembles a friggin day care centre nowadays, but without any adult supervision.
David / November 13, 2012 at 11:38 am
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Personally, I never used the bike lanes on Sherbourne because they and the street itself were in such a state of disrepair that they were dangerous to ride on.
I doubt I'll ride in they separated lanes either once they're completed. Should a car park in the lane, there is no place for a cyclist to go. The separation prevents them from easily joining regular traffic. As well, the lane turns into a sharrow at each intersection to allow for a left turn lane, exposing the cyclist to some oblivious right turner.
hendrix / November 13, 2012 at 11:42 am
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What a waste of money it is to take these lines out now. Get over it, drivers. You're already subsidized up the wazoo with my hard-earned non-driver taxpayers dollars. I don't even ride a bike, but it's unfair to have thousands and thousands of kilometers of car lanes and only a few bike lanes.
Dude Love replying to a comment from Chris / November 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm
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You are right, didn't cost a nickel, it cost $35 million.

http://communityair.org/Background/35_Million/35_Million.html
Kirsten / November 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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Traffic sucks because too many people in this city drive. More bike lanes = safer biking = more people willing to commute that way = less traffic. Taking out bike lanes is the exact opposite of what a city should do to alleviate traffic congestion.
Chris replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm
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That hardly makes your case. For one, the TPA could have waited 10 whole days and the issue would've been moot - they KNEW this was a significant election issue and opted to proceed anyway, on the misguided belief that they would make it an irreversible decision. That's on TPA, not Miller. they decided to write the cheque because they made promises to Deluce that they couldn't keep - that had nothing to do with Council. Besides, even if you don't accept that, didn't Ford do the very same thing by unilaterally declaring Transit City dead the day he was sworn in? And this was from a guy who's entire campaign mantra was respecting taxpayer dollars?

While you can argue something similar happened with Jarvis, here's the difference. The lane was painted and installed several months before Ford was elected (unlike the bridge, which was still in the planning stage and the only real financial commitment to it was made merely days before the election), and killing the Jarvis bike lane was not a central plank of Ford's campaign.

Besides, as I said before, I could accept the reasoning applied by the Fordites in eliminating the lane on Jarvis (despite it being unsupported by any actual data), but for the decision to replace it with street parking. Given the primary (if not the sole) rationale behind killing the bike lanes was that they slowed down traffic on Jarvis, how exactly does adding street parking improve that situation?

Take your anti-Miller blinders off for a minute, look at the situation logically, and tell me how the addition of street parking will improve traffic flow in comparison to a bike lane? Have you ever travelled on Richmond (no street parking) and compared the traffic flow to Queen (tons of street parking) - if you have, then you'll maybe understand why the City's actions on Jarvis defy their own logic.
steve replying to a comment from Dude Love / November 13, 2012 at 01:08 pm
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Did you read the article? Doesn't seem to support your theory
An Honest Man replying to a comment from Chris / November 13, 2012 at 01:17 pm
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All levels of government make bad decisions, there is nothing new here.

Traffic is a political issue and decisions are done to placate neighborhoods, business interests, etc.

I avoid bike lanes and find it faster to travel on routes without them. Don't have to deal with people on bikes going the wrong way.

ps. You don't need to sound so angry.
Well Paid...Not Wealthy / November 13, 2012 at 01:56 pm
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Now where can I do my wheelies in the summer down major roads whomp whomp.
Nedf Flanders / November 13, 2012 at 03:15 pm
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The solution is a MONORAIL!
daragh / November 13, 2012 at 04:37 pm
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$85,000 to install and $300,000 there abouts to remove.. after what.. 2 years??

this is an embaressing joke for the citys financial and planning department.
Chris replying to a comment from An Honest Man / November 13, 2012 at 04:59 pm
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Not angry, just frustrated.

I'm not even particularly pro or anti-Jarvis bike lanes. I didn't cheer when they were installed and (other than the money wasted) I'm not fussed at their removal, though I admit I didn't notice any impact on the time it took to travel on Jarvis when they were in place. That said, I find the glee expressed by members of our City Council and their cheerleaders at the Sun, over the money wasted by dismantling this lanes tacky, to say the least.

My issue is with the intellectual (a word I rarely use in reference to our City Council) dishonesty of the justification for wasting the money to kill those lanes when in fact, it is little more than a decision to placate North Toronto commuters who were mad that the lanes were installed without their say so. And its a bad one at that, since they went and added street parking, thereby defeating the "purpose" of removing the bikes lanes. I get that neighborhoods get pandered to, especially if they're supporters of the one doing the pandering, but at the end of the day, this is dumb, even by our City Council standards. It isn't even going to accomplish what those same North Toronto commuters claimed that they wanted - the street parking will slow down traffic far more than a bike lane ever did.

I'm actually more shaking my head at the absurdity than anything else.

Cheers.
v79 / November 13, 2012 at 07:43 pm
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I'm sure the public parking will be limited to off peak hours when congestion is not an issue. At least it will earn the city some money to begin to pay back the cost of both installing and removing the lanes. Either way, those screaming about safety issues are just being melodramatic. We don't have a massive influx of major biking accidents, and when they do occur, it's usually because of aggressive and unsafe bike operation, not careless drivers. If you're so concerned about your safety, go over one block and use the separated lanes. Only in Toronto do people bitch about losing their temporary beater Ford Pinto (which the majority didn't want in the first place) when a new Cadillac was just delivered the month before.
Gabe / November 13, 2012 at 09:22 pm
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Just and inconvenience. Something finally disrupted your day and your pissed about it!!!! Lie down in the streets and get run over please!!!
Delikett / November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am
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I don't understand why they would take out the bike lanes on Jarvis.Why waste more money for nothing.I also don't understand why they would take out the bike lanes that are already on Sherbourne St and put new ones that will exclude any and all parking spots.Why couldn't they just leave the bike lanes with the parking spots? So what? Now you can't even stop your car for any reason unless you want to block up traffic? That's just stupid thinking.I live on Sherbourne and I have little ones in the car.Sometimes we need to drop our groceries of and our children in front of the house.If we can not even stop,where are we supposed to go for this? It just doesn't make any sense.I can not be the only person on Sherbourne that's not too happy about this.
Aaron / November 14, 2012 at 05:50 pm
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Farcical protest of a farcical bike lane in a farcical city. And what a super-ugly street Jarvis is!
Skye replying to a comment from Nedf Flanders / November 15, 2012 at 09:40 am
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And an escalator to nowhere.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Josh / November 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm
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Josh is not entirely wrong, cities do adapt and grow and sometimes the first effort at a bike lane doesn't work. But since Josh could not back up his hot air and name an actual case where NYC removed a bike lane, allow me to name three instances showing how NYC handled such situations:

1) Prospect Park West - prominent residents complained about a new (separated) two-way bike lane, because they thought it backed up car traffic and they didn't like bicyclists. (It was the equivalent of a bike lane through Rosedale). They filed a lawsuit to remove it. Because Rob Ford is not the Mayor of New York, the city fought the suit. They presented data very similar to the Jarvis data -- minimal delays to cars, great benefit to cycling. Lawsuit was rejected, bike lanes stayed.

2) Kent / Bedford Ave - New bike lanes similar to Jarvis were installed on two streets in Brooklyn and were soon vehemently protested by the community (which is mostly Hasidic). Some of this was because of loss of parking, some because of an overall dislike of "inconsiderate" cyclists (no one drives, pedestrian dominance is important), some because they didn't like women in bike shorts travelling through their ultra-conservative neighborhood. (Like Rob Ford, they were thinking of the children.) The lanes were removed temporarily. Undeterred, the city then came back on Kent Ave and redesigned the street to be one-way for cars, leaving room for much more parking as well as a new protected two-way bike lane. This street is thriving. The Bedford Ave lanes remain removed for now as the cultural war proved too great to overcome and the Mayor owed a political favor following his re-election. That street is suffering with frequent car-bike incidents.

3) Cappodano Blvd - Staten Island is like Etobicoke or parts of Scarborough, very suburban in its character and politics. Much like the case of lanes that were removed on Birchmount/Pharmacy, suburban residents objected to new bike lanes on a major street. The city did remove the lanes but converted the space to a BRT busway, and built a new protected greenway in an adjacent strip of park.


In all of these cases, the bike lanes were either defended by the city, the street was re-engineered to make bike lanes work better, or the lanes were replaced by new adjacent (not three blocks over, but adjacent) bike paths. In no instance was bike space converted back to auto use.

The comparison with neanderthal Toronto is, in a word, lacking.
Ace McNugget / November 15, 2012 at 05:37 pm
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I don't often go down Jarvis so I don't know the answer to this- do we need on street parking on Jarvis? But to be honest I'm a little baffled at just how much parking there is available in the city in general- like, who actually thinks it is a good idea to drive into the city that regularly?
Jesus / November 15, 2012 at 08:20 pm
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@V79: " We don't have a massive influx of major biking accidents, and when they do occur, it's usually because of aggressive and unsafe bike operation, not careless drivers. "

Have you ever rode a bike through traffic? Do you have any understanding of just how f*c king scary it is to have massive hunks of metal speeding by you a foot or less from your arm? Accidents the worst part of this whole thing, but even assuming I am not killed or maimed by traffic the entire experience is still horrifying when it should be relaxing, peaceful, healthy, stimulating etc etc etc- see Berlin & Amsterdam and please take some notes.
Big Lach / November 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm
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I literally come to BlogTo once a month just to read the comment section. Entertainment at it's finest.
Aaron / November 16, 2012 at 11:12 am
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A truck, 4 cops, 6 protesters and 50+ people 'covering' the 'event'. AWESOME!!
Mike replying to a comment from Jesus / November 17, 2012 at 02:28 pm
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"Have you ever rode a bike through traffic? Do you have any understanding of just how f*c king scary it is to have massive hunks of metal speeding by you a foot or less from your arm?"

Perhaps cyclists should stay away from major traffic arteries..? I know I'd love to have no one with a bike on Adelaide or Richmond around FCP. I can't begin to count the amount of times someone with a bike has attempted to squeeze their bike past when there is obviously no room at a red light and end up either dinging or scratching my vehicle and then ride off with me yelling after them.
Me / November 17, 2012 at 03:19 pm
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If it's that dangerous and scary then maybe it should be banned altogether. For the bicyclists own good of course, as the left is so fond of saying when banning things and adding ever more legislation to our lives.
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