People are already complaining about the new bike lanes on Yonge Street
Though any additional bike lanes in Toronto are usually celebrated by what feels like a large segment of the population, there are still those who find commuter infrastructue that doesn't prioritize drivers to be somewhat of a nuisance — especially when it's on a main thoroughfare, such as Yonge Street.
Inarguably the city's main road, Yonge has been blessed with some new cycling tracks that just opened over the weekend, and, like always with these types of projects, there have been some vehement objections.
Oh my. There is so much traffic in Toronto this is another bad idea from city planners. I personally noticed the city planners in Ontario seem to be making bad decisions with tax payer money.— Beautiful Queen Mary 🇨🇦 QT314 (@BeautifulMary14) June 15, 2021
The lanes, which run from Bloor to Davisville, proved to be an issue for drivers as soon as the work started, which started earlier and June and finished up this past weekend, frustratingly coinciding with a partial Line 1 Subway closure.
@City_tv @cityoftoronto @JohnTory @JoshMatlow the bike lanes on yonge from davisville to bloor is the worst idea this city has had. I guess it was never thought out. During rush hour it's bumper to bumper and just chaos. Not to mention the shuttle buses on the weekend. SMH! pic.twitter.com/aeXKkWRXae— Mike Kent (@mkent74) June 15, 2021
People cited gridlocked, backed up traffic on Yonge and surrounding sidestreets, cars and shuttle buses idling for hours and an all around enraging road situation, with Yonge — lined with popular business and always bustling — now reduced to two lanes.
The planters and barriers associated with bike tracks and new curbside patios are also known for creating some visibility issues for drivers.
@blogTO @CityNews @CTVToronto @globalnewsto so now bike lanes on yonge st and Jarvis. Why are bikers not paying into these lanes, with a license, license plate and sticker, and insurance? Y are the people who need a car having to pay in gas prices for the maintenance of the road?— Patrick Frendo-Jones (@patrick2411) June 17, 2021
While cyclists appeared to be understandably over the moon about the new infrastructure, drivers continued to grumble throughout the weekend on social media, tagging City Councillors, news outlets, Mayor John Tory and more with their complaints.
@JoshMatlow I wonder how much pollution and chaos will be created when the new yonge st. bike lanes get installed. Sitting in traffic for an hour just to go from st. clair to summerhill. Plus the issue the askew intersection at heath will cause. What a bloody stupid idea!!!— Mike Kent (@mkent74) June 9, 2021
Various Yonge Street businesses, the local BIA and residents' associations have long expressed their disapproval of the lanes, with some locals wondering "how is anybody supposed to get downtown anymore?" between the new tracks, curbside patios and green spaces, and intermittent ActiveTO road closures.
Or don’t put bike lanes on major delivery roads at all. Poor city planing. Yonge street?! Mount pleasant has next to no stores but no path.— MightyHarris (@blechtimes) June 20, 2021
This is stupid. Yonge street is already traffic from York Mills to Bloor & now they’re reducing it to 2 lanes for bike lanes??? What the hell are you doing @JohnTory & councillors? 😡— Revin416 (@itsnotchao) June 15, 2021
The new bike paths are part of the city's Midtown Complete Street Pilot amid the pandemic, with the aim for Yonge to better cater to (and thus be safer for) all types of residents, especially those that travel by bicycle or on foot.
Drivers will be happy to know that along with expanded patios, cycle tracks, streetside art installations on curb extensions and other public realm improvements, the project also includes new 24/7 parking and loading opportunities.
They might be less happy to face the fact that for those living in urban centres on a dying planet in this day and age, cars aren't the way of the future and any move away from them is often considered progress, though our cities were designed around motorists.
So, the perpetual battle between those on two wheels and four wheels continues.
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