Cyclists in Toronto fight for Lake Shore to close to cars this summer after packed weekend
This weekend's beautiful weather saw many Toronto cyclists dusting off their bikes for the first time in months, but without ActiveTO and the Lake Shore Blvd. West, it fell short of the perfect spring ride.
The city's pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly road closure program has yet to kick in, but when it does, ActiveTO will look a lot different than its inaugural year.
According to an announcement last week, the City of Toronto is considering scrapping the weekend closures on Lake Shore Blvd. West.
I headed down to Martin Goodman today to see if the trail was busy. It was 9° and packed. Lake Shore W? Not so much. Bringing back #ActiveTO and expanding it is important for the health of our city. #KeepActiveTO pic.twitter.com/JBYTULh5Kv— Ry Shissler (They/Them) (@RyShissler) March 20, 2021
Thanks to reported traffic delays on connecting highways and major construction on Roncesvalles, the Lake Shore route—one of ActiveTO's most popular closures, which saw roughly 18,000 cyclists each weekend—may not be seeing a comeback this summer.
It's a huge blow to the cycling program, given Lake Shore West made up about 60 percent of all pedestrian and cyclist traffic for ActiveTO.
#ActiveTO on Lakeshore is a MUST!— Aaron Binder (@theaaronbinder) March 22, 2021
Martin Goodman Trail couldn't handle the volume of people using it this past weekend. It's going to be chaos in a month.
There are many other roads to get downtown Toronto in an air-conditioned car but limited space for getting active + healthy https://t.co/ITKLRkPApK
Despite City studies showing that the route was a hit among pedestrians, runners, and cyclists, Toronto may have to say goodbye to glorious Lake Ontario views while whizzing down Lake Shore's eastbound lanes.
Instead, cyclists will have to pack on to the Martin Goodman Trail, which was overflowing with people this weekend.
The weather is getting nice quickly. There is a shortage of space on the trail and it is only going to get busier. Using some space on Lake Shore West for #ActiveTO will help tens of thousands of Torontonians safely get outside & stay healthy https://t.co/dRwXTsj453 pic.twitter.com/XWQ8086QLT— Kevin Rupasinghe (@RupasingheKevin) March 21, 2021
According to Bike Share, Saturday also saw a huge spike in rentals at the bike station at Lake Shore Blvd. It's undeniable: Toronto loves cyling on the waterfront.
But ahead of a meeting Tuesday for the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, more than 3,900 people have signed a Cycle Toronto petition to #KeepActiveTO. The group is pushing for even more permanent bike lanes across the city.
The group is recommending that Toronto residents e-mail their City councillors to demand for Lake Shore Blvd. West to remain part of the program.
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