Toronto only installed 3 km of new on-street bike lanes in 2019 and people are furious
Despite consistent calls on the city to improve biking infrastructure and install more designated lanes, it seems only three kms of new on-street bike lanes were installed in Toronto in all of 2019.
"No amount of sugar coating can hide the fact 2019 was a dismal year for bike lane installations," wrote Cycle Toronto board member Robert Zaichkowski in a Dandyhorse piece titled Will 2019 be a predictor of things to come in 2020? A cycling year in review.
"That year saw only three kilometres of on-street cycling infrastructure installed; a number considered dismal even by the standards of the three prior years."
According to the city's Cycling Network Plan, established back in 2016, Toronto was supposed to install 335 kilometres of new on-street bike lanes within ten years.
City council approved an updated version of this plan this past summer.
So far, only 30.5 km (less than 10 per cent of 335 km) have been installed since the implementation of the original plan.
Zaichkowski created a map that shows exactly where bike lanes have been installed since 2016, and the visual representation only solidifies the fact that the city's current lanes are only a drop in the bucket of what's needed.
2019 was a big disappointment in terms of bike lane installations. Only 3 km was installed that year for a total of 30.5 km (or less than 10% of the bike plan) over four years! #shame #BikeTO #TOpoli #VisionZero https://t.co/r02kGMgcrS pic.twitter.com/nEN1M3JU9q— Robert Zaichkowski (@RZaichkowski) January 13, 2020
New bike infrastructure completed in 2019 is located on Blue Jays Way (400 m), Corley Ave. (300 m), Scarlett Rd. (1.5 km) and Unwin Ave. (800 m) and consists of bike lanes, cycle tracks, contraflow and boulevard paths, according to a document maintained by Albert Koehl of Bells on Bloor and Zaichkowski.
An off-road trail on the Fort York Bridge was also installed in October of 2019.
(And call me a stickler, but — while the new path to Leslie Spit is quite nice — I’m not sure it really qualifies as an on-street bike lane.)— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) January 15, 2020
Concerns about the need for new biking infrastructure for safety, environmental and economic reasons are nothing new.
@JohnTory & the #Caronto councillors keep killing Cyclists & Pedestrians because they live in the 1950s and refuse to modernize the transportation system in #Toronto .— (((B. Traven))) (@btravennt) January 13, 2020
A fully connected & protected cycling network would reduce car traffic and save lives. #topoli pic.twitter.com/zCwkvO92l0
According to Toronto Police Service data, between 2008 and 2018, 30 cyclists died collision-related deaths in Toronto.
And many are confused about whether Vision Zero, the city's plan to attain zero collision-related injuries and fatalities for pedestrians and cyclists, is still a priority.
Last week's launch of the city's 2020 budget also revealed that the vast majority of the Transportation Services Capital Budget is going toward Gardiner Expressway repairs.
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