Moving right along
Bloor Street moves more people now than it did three years ago and the numbers show we have a protected bike lane to thank.
In 2013 before the bike lane, the number of vehicles observed at the intersection of Bloor St and Brunswick Ave during a weekday morning commute was 1,906. On a comparable morning in 2016 after the protected bike lane was implemented, that number increased by 10% to 2,100. The bike lanes have made Bloor St more efficient, moving more people overall.
What's more, the number of people travelling by bicycle on Bloor Street has increased by a whopping 300% over the three year period.
What do we know?
In 2013, bikes made up around 12% of the vehicular traffic at this intersection. Now, Bloor Street moves as many bikes as cars. The increase in the number of people riding bicycles along Bloor St since the installation of protected bike lanes demonstrates that infrastructure induces demand. While there’s no doubt some riders have diverted from alternate routes (such as along Harbord St where similar counts show a number of riders have shifted north to Bloor), the numbers still show a significant increase in the overall number of people riding bikes in the area.
A particularly telling piece is a noted increase in female ridership. Of those riding on Bloor St during the observation period on the morning of September 16 2016 (after the bike lane was installed),56% were women. This is higher than expected when compared with research which suggests women make up only 30% of Toronto's biking population. Evidence shows that cities who get more women riding are reaching a previously untapped population. Building protected lanes invites those who previously had safety concerns to try riding a bike for transit and leisure purposes.
More business potential
Evidence from around the globe suggests that increased bike traffic means increased business. A report from PeopleForBikes and Alliance for Biking & Walking highlights that “because bicycles are quick to park and space-efficient, bikes turn people into the customers of retailers’ dreams: easy to attract, cheap to serve and more likely to return again and again”. Indeed, other studies have shown that cyclists tend to make more trips than drivers, which over time equated to pumping more total money into the local economy despite spending less money per trip.
Tell us your #Bloorbikelanes story
The bike lanes on Bloor St are a great addition to Toronto’s Minimum Grid. If you use them and, like us, love them, share your story via social media using #bloorbikelanes. Maybe the lanes help you access your favourite Bloor grocery store or restaurant, or encourage you to ride with your kids? Or perhaps your commute is 5 minutes faster and more comfortable now than it was before?
Share your experience via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the links below. Spread the news that the #Bloorbikelanes are moving us towards a safe, healthy, and cycling-friendly city for all.