toronto bike lanes

These are the worst-rated bike lanes in Toronto

A new safety report has just been released on Toronto's bike lanes, and more than 50 per cent got a failing grade.

It only takes one look at the number of ghost bikes around the city to see Toronto's record on safety for cyclists needs a lot of work.

People have been cycling in the city for more than 50 years, according to the Report Card on City of Toronto Cycling Infrastructure released on Nov. 18 from the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition.

A bicycle boom started in the city 50 years ago and people were "embracing the bicycle for everyday travel."

The first boulevard-level bike path was installed on Eglinton Avenue in 1972 and the first bike lane on Poplar Plains Road in 1979, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

In fact, in evaluating 215 km of bikeways with 77 individual report cards (not including off-road bike paths or recreational bike trails), the report card found 56 per cent of the city's "utilitarian bikeways scored poor or mediocre, or what essentially amounts to a failing grade."

Toronto's worst bike lanes include those running along:

  • Bay Street
  • Davenport Road
  • St. Dennis Street
  • Finch Avenue West
  • Steeles Avenue East
  • Royal York Road
  • Renfrew Drive

The worst bikeways have various issues such as ending abruptly before intersections, no level of protection from cars, putting cyclists at risk of being doored, or not connecting with other bikeways.

"Much of the city's infrastructure is now 10, 20, 30 and even 40 years old, but while the city slowly brings outdated bike lanes up to modern standards, it continues to fall behind other cities in building a cycling network to attract new riders," says Mary Ann Neary of the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition. 

The report card project involved 25 volunteers — experienced urban cyclists — working over a seven-week period. The entire seven-page report can be read here.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture 

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