Bloor Street in Toronto is about to get a major makeover
A stretch of Bloor Street East is about to get a lot friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians.
Launched 2020 and back by popular demand for another year, ActiveTO has been working to make Toronto streets more hospitable to pedestrians and cyclists, the added traffic propping up local businesses in the process.
Best known for its intermittent closures of major thoroughfares, the ActiveTO program is also expanding the city’s network of cycling infrastructure.
The next big improvement for cyclists under the ActiveTO program will be happening next week. Temporary bike lanes will be upgraded along a stretch of Bloor Street East, running from Sherbourne in the west to Castle Frank in the east.
As part of ActiveTO, next week temporary changes will be introduced to Bloor b/w Sherbourne and Castle Frank. Changes will include widening of the bike lanes, adding physical separation where possible, and traffic lane reconfiguration. #biketo #activeto https://t.co/cq2onKzt4r— Toronto Cycling (@TO_Cycling) August 11, 2021
Existing bike lanes will be widened, and concrete curbs will be installed between bike and vehicle lanes, adding physical separation to improve safety.
The current parking and cycling lane on the south side of Bloor is to be reversed, placing the bike path against the sidewalk and floating the parking between cycling and vehicle traffic.
About time Bloor from Sherbourne to Castle Frank got upgraded! The stretch from Parliament to Castle Frank is too narrow for many #BikeTO folks out there, though I do have some concerns with the eastbound #TTC stop at Parliament. #TOpoli #ActiveTO https://t.co/eMQ8WHZ802 pic.twitter.com/iLSv7Nqaqh— Robert #FullyVaccinated Zaichkowski (@RZaichkowski) August 11, 2021
This stretch represents the final missing link in the otherwise continuous 15-kilometre-long Bloor-Danforth bikeway without any physical barriers between vehicle and bicycle traffic.
This section of the bikeway is also the only stretch traversed by multiple lanes of vehicular traffic, amplifying the need for separation between bikes and cars.
Upcoming construction projects like the reconstruction of the Glen Road Bridge and accessibility upgrades for Castle Frank TTC Stations are expected to reduce vehicle traffic in the area, priming this stretch of Bloor for increased cycling activity.
These improvements will surely be a welcome change for the growing number of cyclists passing through, the increase in cycling traffic supported by traffic volume data collected since 2020.
Once these temporary changes are implemented, the City will be keeping a close eye on the route to bring forward recommendations for the route’s future to City Council by the end of the year. If well-received, these separated bike lanes could become a permanent fixture.
The City is touting ActiveTO as the single-largest expansion of cycling infrastructure in Toronto's history.
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