While cycling has increased along the newly installed Bloor Street Bike Lane, driving times have also increased along Bloor Street.
The City of Toronto released an update on the Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot, which was installed in August. The first of such updates, the City’s report is intended to inform of the usage and need for operational changes.
According to the report, there has been a significant increase of 36% in cycling using Bloor Street, 25% of which are new cycling trips. But with that said, drivers have been facing longer commutes along Bloor Street.
The City identified two times needing operational improvement, which include morning rush hour near Bathurst Street to Brunswick Avenue, and the evening rush from Bay Street to Avenue Road.
Overall, 64% of residents and business owners “support or accept that the bike lanes on Bloor Street provide a safer and more comfortable environment for cyclists, with acceptable trade-offs in motorist traffic flow and parking convenience.”
As well, 63% of drivers surveyed feel comfortable driving next to cyclists along Bloor Street compared to 14% surveyed in 2015 prior to the pilot installation.
“Pilot projects are an important way for cities to try things, measure their impact and respond accordingly. The addition of bike lanes on Bloor Street is part of the most comprehensive data measurement the City has ever done, tracking everything from travel times, bike and pedestrian volumes to safety, business impacts and community support,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement.
Tory said he has been watching the project carefully, and that the preliminary data will help the City make changes to improve the flow of Bloor Street during the pilot.
A series of operational improvements are planned over the next two months for the identified regions needing adjustment for driving flow. Changes will include adjustments to signal timing, signage, line marking, changes to parking and loading, as well as a review of cycle track design at intersection approaches.
“I assure you that I am watching the business impact. I have been out to Bloor Street four times since the project began to get feedback directly. I look forward to seeing the end result so City Council can evaluate the pilot in its entirety,” Tory added.
The next round of data collection is scheduled for June.