Two major Toronto streets could soon get permanent bike lanes
It's been nearly five years since the City of Toronto started testing out bike lanes on Richmond and Adelaide Streets, and it's safe to say that the east-west cycle tracks have been well received.
The number of people using the busiest sections of these lanes (between Bathurst and University, roughly) has increased by a whopping 1,194 per cent since they were installed in 2014, with more than 6,100 new people commuting via bike on both Adelaide and Richmond every day.
What would those cyclists do without this crucial downtown thoroughfare? City staffers don't want to have to find out.
This Richmond/Adelaide bike lane report is just a remarkable success story. Cycling has increased by 1,194% along busiest part of the route. Not a typo! pic.twitter.com/GoDfyt3EQo— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) January 10, 2019
A report set to go before the city's Infrastructure and Environment Committee next Thursday recommends that the Richmond-Adelaide bike lanes, as well as those connected to them on Simcoe and Peter, become permanent installations.
You see, despite their crushing success, the cycle tracks are still only the result of a pilot project.
The General Manager of Transportation Services notes in her report that 93 per cent of people surveyed about the project either agreed or strongly agreed that the cycle tracks should be made permanent.
as someone who is primarily a cyclist in the city--the Richmond/Adelaide lanes changed my life, as suddenly downtown was a place I could safely go. No more going all the way around the city via Harbord or Davenport just to get to the west end, too.— Cow (@criacow) January 11, 2019
Thus, she recommends that this happen, with one major modification: the cycle track running along from Bathurst Street to Parliament Street should be moved from the south side of the street to the north side.
It's an idea that's been proposed before and makes quite a bit of sense when you read about why a left-side lane would be more appropriate along this stretch of road.
Should the Infrastructure and Environment Committee vote to move ahead with making the Richmond-Adelaide cycle bike lane permanent on January 17, the matter will move forward for City Council's final say on January 31.
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