bloor street bike lanes

Bike lane separators flattened by cars less than two weeks after installation in Toronto

It's been less than two weeks since the city installed protective barriers shaped like ocean waves along the temporary Bloor Street bike lane, and it seems the separators have already been damaged and flattened in numerous spots thanks to Toronto motorists.

City staff worked hard to install the barriers and planters along Bloor from Avenue Road to Church Street over the past couple weeks as a part of ActiveTO, but photos have now surfaced on numerous social media platforms that show the flattened separators and broken planters.

One Toronto resident tweeted several photos and tagged 311 Toronto to inform the city of the damage yesterday, and the images show several spots where the barriers and planters have evidently been destroyed by cars. 

"This is discouraging but useful in demonstrating what it takes to make safe separated bike lanes," wrote Cycle Don Valley Midtown in response to the photos. "Seems if there's an inch to stray from their lane, some drivers will take a mile."

Another resident posted photos of broken separators on Reddit, and one user said they counted more than half of the planters had been knocked over, damaged or moved as of yesterday.

damaged planters and bike path railing on Bloor - one example from r/toronto

Another Reddit user, meanwhile, said they actually saw a driver destroy one of the separators while attempting to park in the lane.

Judy Gibbons and her husband David rode their bikes along Bloor Street Monday specifically to see the new separators, and she said they were disppointed to see that some of them had already been damaged. 

"We rode our bikes along Bloor street to see these barriers today and they look great — until we saw the flatten edge ones. Sections have already been flattened. How safe are cyclists?" she said in an email to blogTO yesterday. "I was disappointed to see the bike barriers pulverized."

A spokesperson for the City of Toronto told blogTO that the city is aware of multiple instances of vehicles colliding with some of the new temporary bike lane separators installed along Bloor Street as part of ActiveTO.

"The separators support cycling safety along the corridor by providing a barrier between those on bikes and vehicle traffic, and offer a clear indication of the presence of the bike lane," said the spokesperson. 

But some social media users are pointing out that flimsy, temporary barriers just don't seem to be enough to protect bikers from Toronto's notoriously aggressive motorists, and that only concrete barriers are strong enough to truly do the trick. 

In the meantime, the city says staff will be inspecting the location and making appropriate repairs as required, as is normal protocol when any cycling infrastructure is damaged in Toronto.

Lead photo by

Kevin Rupasinghe

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