Bicycle Infrastructure in Our Near Future

People riding bikes in a protected bike lane

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Jones

Bicycle Infrastructure in Our Near Future

Just before the end of the year we wrote an article about our highlights from 2019. If you haven’t read it, check it out now. While Cycle Toronto had some significant milestones, one thing we did not see was an improvement in new cycling infrastructure with only 3 km of on-street bike lanes installed. 

The biggest infrastructure wins on the road in 2019 were that the Richmond, Adelaide, Simcoe, and Peter bike lanes were made permanent and the Bloor Bike lanes in the Annex were upgraded. These are two of the busiest cycling corridors in North America, and it’s essential to make sure they are updated and maintained, but they are not new.

The City’s Near-Term Implementation Program calls for 120km of new cycling infrastructure between 2019 and 2021. There will be major hurdles to overcome if we are going to meet that goal, and the stage is being set, largely because of Cycle Toronto’s efforts. Bloor St is on track to add 4.5km of protected bike lanes to the network this summer, and there’s potential to see pilot bike lanes on Danforth Ave to the east. We are also working hard to ensure that Eglinton Ave has high-quality, protected bike lanes for the entire length of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT from Mount Dennis to Kennedy in 2021. That would mean 20km on one street alone that will link Etobicoke to Scarborough

Artist's rendering of Eglinton Ave W 

It’s not just about the big projects; neighbourhood connections need to be created in tandem to connect gaps in the cycling network. Numerous projects throughout the city are planned to connect to major cycling routes. Construction on the Scarlett Road cycle track is nearing completion and we’re looking forward to seeing cycle tracks on Willowdale Ave in North York and in Etobicoke Centre on Bloor St W and Dundas St W the intersection formerly known as Six Points is receiving cycle tracks as well. We also have many more projects in the planning and consultation phase: improved cycling infrastructure on York University, contra-flow bike lanes on Brunswick and Borden, and an extension of the West Toronto Railpath.

Cycle Toronto is working closely with the City’s Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit to ensure that the near-term plans and beyond are reflective of the kind of bike lane growth we know is needed across the city. Connection to transit, density, and existing infrastructure are all key components of our push to #BuildTheGrid, and we will continue to represent our members at City Hall to ensure that councillors know that cycling matters to their constituents. 

While 2019 was a disappointing year for bike lane installation, 2020 and 2021 are poised to see the most bike infrastructure installed in Toronto’s history. Cycle Toronto has been working for 12 years to get a grid of safe streets built and we’re nearing a tipping point; recent polls have shown that nearly 80% of Torontonians, including drivers, want protected bike lanes built.

To help us keep the pressure on, learn about becoming a member.

By on Jan 30, 2020

  bike lanes, Cycling Network Plan, Eglinton, Bloor, Danforth, Etobicoke, Scarborough