Process of getting cycling infrastructure installed
The process of getting a bicycle infrastructure project approved typically starts with the Cycling Network Plan (CNP), but not always. With ActiveTO, some projects were introduced that were not in the CNP. For typical projects under the CNP, the Transportation Services department within the City of Toronto will evaluate a potential route using the following metrics:
- How many people use it today or might use it if it was built (demand)
- Does a route make it easier to get to a popular destination? (trip generators)
- Barrier crossings
- Transit access
- Network coverage
These factors are then mapped in Attachment 1 of the Cycling Network Plan, "Analysis Scores of Proposed Cycling Network."
City of Toronto plans
The City of Toronto has approved many documents to guide the installation of cycling infrastructure. With the recent pandemic, there are both permanent and temporary projects. For more information on temporary projects, see our webpage on ActiveTO. As well, you can read more about the Cycling Network Plan on the City of Toronto website.
10-Year Cycling Network Plan (2016)
Near-Term Implementation Plan (2019-2021)
Map of Major City-Wide Cycling Routes (2019-2021)
Consultation to Construction
Once a route is selected, City staff meet with the local councillors and other city divisions, such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and other divisions as needed, to identify known issues and plot a collaborative path to success. Once the initial known roadblocks have been identified, staff will prepare a draft design and present it with a community consultation, often with a public open house and survey to collect feedback from residents and stakeholders, such as business owners and local organizations. Throughout the consultation process, the city will also often work with stakeholders to identify challenges and work to solve them.
"How do bike lanes get built?" It's one of the most commonly-asked questions we receive, so we asked the experts at the City of Toronto to walk us through the process. Hear from Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, City of Toronto Ward 9 Davenport Councillor; Becky Katz, City of Toronto, Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit; and Kanchan Maharaj, City of Toronto, Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit, who present on the technical and political elements to getting a bike lane constructed in Toronto.