Toronto just voted to make the Bloor bike lanes permanent
Good news for Toronto commuters who don't want to drive or take transit every day: The Bloor Street bike lanes are here for good.
In a 36 to 6 vote last night, city council decided to make the separated bike lanes on Bloor between Shaw St. and Avenue Rd. a permanent fixture.
The bike lanes, which were installed last summer as part of a year-long pilot project, have already proven successful in terms of usage and reception.
An extensive city staff report published last month found that the Bloor lanes are being used by more than 5,000 cyclists on an average weekday, making them the second-most travelled of such routes in the city behind the Richmond-Adelaide bike lanes.
The report concluded that Bloor's new bike lanes had improved road safety and reduced the total number of conflicts between all road users by 44 per cent. It also revealed a massive increase in the number of cyclists who said they felt "safe" or "very safe" cycling along the busy downtown road – about 85%, compared to just 3% surveyed previously.
While there are, of course, those who disagree with the move (including two deputy mayors, Denzil Minnan-Wong and Stephen Holyday,) most people seem pleased with the outcome of Tuesday night's vote.
Members of the local cycling community are certainly thrilled, as are city councillors who've supported the expansion of Toronto's cycling infrastructure for years (though, as many on Twitter note, it still has far to go).
Rejoice in the Bloor lanes being approved, but weep about how it took ~10 years and a hell of a fight led by tons of amazing people, just to put in a mere 2.44 km of bike lanes. We'll have the minimum grid within a few hundred years, if we're lucky.— Zach (@ZachMHenderson) November 7, 2017
"Today’s decision I think puts to bed the old debate that it’s bikes versus cars, or bikes versus business," said councillor Joe Cressy lsat night after the results were announced.
"What this vote and the staff report in support of it has shown," he continued, "is that when you build a bike lane and you design it well, it's a win-win for everybody."
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