Public works committee votes to make Bloor Street bike lanes permanent

Oct 19 2017, 12:48 pm

Over a year since the pilot began, Toronto’s public works committee voted in favour of making the Bloor Street bike lanes permanent.

Last week, the City of Toronto released its highly anticipated Bloor Street West Bike Lane Pilot Project Evaluation, about the pilot which was first installed in August 2016. The lanes, which are on Bloor Street West between Shaw Street and Avenue Road, were designed to improve commuter safety on a heavily used travel corridor.

The report had staff recommending the move to keep the bike lanes permanent, showing that the lanes are beneficial for riders and has increased biking activity in the pilot corridor.

At Wednesday night’s public works committee meeting, voting was 4-2, with Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti and Coun. Stephen Holyday opposed.

After the report was released last week, Mayor John Tory said he will support the staff’s recommendation.

“I have reviewed the Bloor St. Bike Lane Pilot report. After much consideration, I will be supporting the main staff recommendation to keep the bike lanes,” said Tory.

Meanwhile, Coun. Mammoliti has been openly speaking against the lanes, saying he will not be supporting policies that increase congestion.

“Even though the Bloor bike lanes don’t make sense, Mayor Tory supports them because he wants to pander to his political base in downtown Toronto,” Mammoliti said in a statement. He also said that for 8 month, he asked city staff to provide him with raw footage that was used for the count and data regarding the pilot, but was refused.

“We should not make it harder for people to move in, out and within the city,” said Mammoliti. “We need to stop making it harder for families and businesses to thrive in Toronto.”

According to the City, this stretch of Bloor street sees about 24,000 vehicles per day, and 3,300 cyclists. The pilot project allowed the city to collect data to evaluate the impact and benefits on cyclists, motorists, curbside demands and parking, and the effect of the lanes on local businesses.

This will now be considered by City Council on November 7.

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