toronto jarvis bike lane

Twitter reaction to the death of the Jarvis bike lane

It 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.


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