Toronto's underwhelming Bikeway Network
Normally a map of Toronto bike lanes wouldn't strike me as newsworthy in the dead of winter, but when the folks over at Biking Toronto posted this TTC-inspired offering earlier today, it reminded me of the fact the when the Toronto Bikeway Network (PDF) was first dreamed up, 2011 was the year designated for completion of the project. That's right, back in 2001 it was expected (or at least hoped) that we would have 495 km worth of bike lanes, 260 km of shared roadways, and 249 km of off-road paths.
Despite the fact that it only highlights bike lanes (rather than all types of cycling infrastructure), the map above rather dramatically illustrates how far we have to go before such goals are met. Currently, the City of Toronto features 116.8 km of bike lanes, 145.2 of shared roadways, and 168.1 km of off-road paths. That means we're less than halfway to the 2001 projections, with bike lanes themselves being the chief weakness.
It'd be natural to lament the fact that our current mayor has made it clear that he doesn't view bike lanes as a priority when looking at how much remains unbuilt, but it'd probably be more appropriate to point out that it was mostly under David Miller's watch that the Bikeway Network managed to get so far behind. That's not to imply, of course, that it was all his fault, but rather to point out that even with a pro-cycling mayor, Toronto's infrastructure has crawled along at a snail's pace.
For the record, the above map is missing two recent additions to the Network in the Jarvis bike lanes and the West Toronto Railpath. But what it shows remarkably well -- whether intended or not -- is just how much work is left to be done.
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