Bike lanes made permanent on Yonge Street: a win for cycling enthusiasts and road users alike!

February 8, 2023 was a big day for active transportation and safe streets at City Hall. The Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot Project and the ActiveTO Bayview bike lanes were officially made permanent in a vote of 22-4. The stage has been set for the next 4 years as the Mayor reiterated his commitment to the implementation of 100 km of safer and more vibrant streets across our city. We are so excited to see these streets permanently transformed as more vibrant, safe, and accessible spaces for people of all ages and abilities, regardless of how they travel!

The above chart shows that the four Councillors who voted against making the projects permanent represent Wards outside of the pilot area.

We are thankful for Mayor Tory, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, and all the Councillors who voted in favour of making complete streets a permanent part of our public realm. We are grateful for the hard work and support provided by Toronto City Staff, Councillors Jennifer McKelvie, Dianne Saxe, Amber Morley, Josh Matlow, Mike Colle, Chris Moise, and Brad Bradford, without whom these projects wouldn't have succeeded.

Here are some highlights:

Dianne Saxe    Amber Morley    Ausma Malik    Jamaal Myers

"The cheapest, fastest, most transformative thing we can do is to change who has priority in public space. People before cars. Active transportation before fossil fuels." - Dianne Saxe

“I think this is an opportunity for us to move into the future that we all want to have.” - Amber Morley

We heard from Councillors who supported both sides of the debate, but the answers from City Staff ultimately made it clear that there were virtually no disadvantages to making these projects permanent now. Two motions were put forward by Councillors Burnside and Holyday respectively proposing to either extend the pilot a further 9 months, or delete it altogether. Thankfully, neither motion passed.

This would not have been possible without the dedicated advocacy work of a small and mighty group of people behind Yonge4All. The success of this historical win represents years (and years!) of advocacy work from countless people and community groups, and thousands of volunteer hours. We are thankful for each and every one who has contributed to making this happen.

By Maggie Crawford on Feb 16, 2023