We got bike lanes on Bloor. Now let's extend them!
Getting permanent, protected bike lanes on Bloor St. W. between Shaw St. and Avenue Rd. was a huge advocacy win, following decades of work and countless studies and consultations demonstrating demand and widespread support. As we look ahead to the next term of council, our priority is to get the bike lanes extended west, from Shaw to High Park.
Stay tuned for our bike counts from Bloor St. W. proving that there's high demand to keep building out this key east-west corridor.
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Background: it takes a village to build a bike lane
On November 7, 2017, after an entire day of deputations and studies demonstrating positive outcomes for the pilot bike lanes on Bloor, City Council voted 36-6 in favour of making them permanent, with strong support from Mayor John Tory. This is a testament to sustained work and collaboration between advocates, residents, local businesses, institutions, and elected officials. It takes a village to build a bike lane!
Three pillars to our advocacy efforts on Bloor were:
- Collecting and sharing statistics to dispel myths about bike lanes being bad for business or contributing to traffic congestion
- Community organizing through door-to-door canvassing and our Ward Advocacy groups
- Developing a diverse ecosystem of voices and shared messaging to make a case that bike lanes benefit the whole community - not just people riding bikes
An extensive Bloor Bike Lanes Evaluation Report conducted by City of Toronto Transportation Staff drew from traffic counts, public surveys, and economic data to demonstrate overwhelmingly positive impacts of the instalment of bike lanes. Notably, cycling volumes have increased by 49% from baseline counts in June 2016.
Check out infographics from the Report for the full picture.
Top 5 reasons to extend the Bloor Street bike lanes:
- Most patrons of the Bloor Annex don't drive to shop. 90% of patrons in the Bloor Annex arrive by walking, cycling or transit.
- 70% of Torontonians supported making the lanes between Avenue and Shaw permanent. According to a recent study by Angus Reid, the vast majority of Torontonians want the Bloor lanes made permanent. The new protected lanes allow drivers and cyclists to co-exist in their own safe, predictable space.
- Customers arriving by bicycle spend more. Portland State University researchers found that customers who arrive by bike spend 24% more per month than those who arrive by car. After the construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue in New York City, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales.
- If you build it, they will come. Study after study demonstrates that after protected bike lanes are installed on main streets, cycling volumes increase significantly. Cycling volumes on Bloor Street have been booming since the lanes were installed a year ago. The number of motor vehicles using Bloor remains practically unchanged.
- Before the lanes were installed, Bloor was a parking lot. More than 80% of the time, Bloor Street had two lanes of parking and two lanes of car traffic. Installing bike lanes retained those two lanes of car traffic and one lane of parking. This gives Torontonians more transportation options and gets the city moving.