Pictured above: People riding bikes along the pilot Bloor Street bike lanes at Montrose Avenue.
This week, City of Toronto Transportation Staff released their final report on the Bloor Street bike lanes, recommending that the pilot bike lanes be made permanent. Here are a few highlights:
Between June 2016 and June 2017, cycling ridership has gone up by 49%.
Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians all report feeling safer since the lanes were installed.
In the city's analysis of 'near misses', conflicts of all types were down by 44% year over year.
Bloor is now the 2nd most popular bikeway in the City.
There are now more customers on Bloor; while merchants seem to be inconvenienced by the lanes, retail sales are up year over year by 4.5%, according to the Moneris data the City analyzed.
Later that same day, Mayor Tory came out publicly in support of permanent installation.
Despite staff support, the political battle for Bloor is just starting to heat up. Some councillors have said the Bloor Street bike lanes are far from a “done deal”. There are two major hurdles we still need to cross:
Public Works and Infrastructure Committee - October 18 - six votes at play.
City Council - November 7 - 45 votes at play, including the Mayor.
Now more than ever, we need you to ask the members of PWIC to support Bloor.
Here is a sample email to get you started:
Subject: PW24.9 - I support making the Bloor Street bike lanes permanent
To: “Councillor Jaye Robinson” <email@example.com>, “Councillor Stephen Holyday” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
“Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti” <email@example.com>, “Councillor Anthony Perruzza” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
“Councillor Christin Carmichael Greb” <email@example.com>, “Councillor Chin Lee” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "PWIC" <email@example.com>
Dear member of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. The new protected lanes on Bloor Street allow drivers and cyclists to co-exist in their own safe, predictable space. A city-wide network of protected bike lanes—like on Bloor Street—are key to achieving Vision Zero. I support making the pilot Bloor Street bike lanes permanent!
Creativity matters. Include your personal story. And consider including your mailing address—it carries more weight. Be sure to address your email to all the individual members of the committee, as listed above, to copy Mayor Tory and Cycle Toronto, and to include PW24.9 in your subject line.
Please write the members of Public Works and Infrastructure Committee now, and no later than Tuesday October 17 at 4:30pm.
You can also support our work by making a donation to the Bloor campaign at cycleto.ca/donate.