Seen above, the Brimley Road bike lanes that are set to be removed ASAP
I'm still shocked by the news. This week, at a town hall meeting billed as “improving Toronto’s cycling network”, Councillor Crawford and Deputy Mayor Thompson joined City staff in announcing they would be tearing out the protected bike lanes on Brimley Road in Scarborough ASAP. The lanes are not returning in the spring and no alternative routes were offered. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this before when bike lanes on Birchmount Road and Pharmacy Avenue were scoured from Scarborough’s roads in years past.
This is another huge setback for sustainable and affordable transportation in Toronto.
Before a full report on ActiveTO could be written or people could adjust their transportation habits, the decision to remove the Brimley bike lanes was made. The town hall presentation pointed to slightly increased drive times while recognizing people riding bikes almost tripled; a minor inconvenience to drivers is being prioritized over the health and safety of all road users.
This is two steps forward and one step back: the acceleration of new bike lanes through ActiveTO this spring was a historic first step to building a more equitable network across the city and in the inner suburbs. The loss of Brimley further chips away from the announced 25 km of ActiveTO bike lanes, leaving closer to 15 km on the ground.
Cycle Toronto volunteers and staff talk to residents about the ActiveTO bike lanes on Brimley at our busy Commuter Station on September 12.
Building a connected network for active transportation beyond the downtown core is imperative if we want an equitable future. We must work to keep and improve bike lanes in North York on Wilmington Avenue and in Scarborough on Huntingwood Drive. Danforth Avenue continues to have many vocal critics and Bloor Street E faces strong opposition from some businesses. More space for physical distancing on Overlea Boulevard, through a pandemic hotspot, may never get built.
As a member-supported non-profit, we continue to face considerable financial challenges due to the pandemic. We need your support more than ever.
Add your voice to help transform our city’s cycling culture. Join Cycle Toronto.
What else can you do?
Sign and share the petition to keep ActiveTO.
Tell Mayor Tory and your Councillor (find their email here) that you support ActiveTO.
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Our work isn’t done. Let’s keep making Toronto a vibrant cycling city for all.
Interim Executive Director