The numbers are in: ridership has skyrocketed on Bloor.
Cycle Toronto has analyzed City of Toronto data* and the numbers are in: Nearly one million cyclists rode the Bloor bike lanes between Avenue Rd. and Shaw St. between February 2018 and February 2019. This ridership makes the 2.4km stretch of bike lanes on Bloor St one of the busiest cycling routes on the continent - comparable to Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge, which counted 1.13 million trips in 2017 - the highest in North America.
“The numbers we’re seeing on Bloor St are even more impressive when you consider that it remains disconnected, linking to only two continuous north-south routes (Shaw and St. George - neither of which are protected facilities),” said Jared Kolb, Executive Director of Cycle Toronto. “If one segment on its own can lead to substantial increases in ridership, imagine what a westward extension, and eventually a city-wide grid, could achieve.”
A year of counts reveals just shy of a million rides on the Bloor bike lanes, making them one of North America’s busiest bikeways.
*Partial data collected February 10-28, 2018; linear extrapolation used to estimate monthly total; all data with thanks to Traffic Data Collection & Analysis, Traffic Safety Unit, Transportation Services.
Conditions are ripe for a westward expansion connecting the ROM to High Park
In addition to City data, we worked with cycling advocacy group Bells on Bloor; together, our volunteers found impressive ridership at Bloor and Dufferin, where there are no bike lanes, and no safe alternative routes. On a relatively chilly day in September 2018, volunteers counted nearly 3,000 cyclists, indicating high demand for cycling along a section of Bloor that is, quite frankly, hostile to cyclists. Based on the City's top 10 cycling facilities, this section of Bloor would immediately enter the top 10, possibly moving into the top five.
Proposed westward expansion from High Park Ave. to Shaw St.
People are riding. The infrastructure needs to catch up.
Despite challenging conditions, people are riding on Bloor St between Shaw St and High Park Ave like never before. On the section of Bloor where we conducted counts, there’s nothing separating people biking and driving: no painted lanes, no separated lanes, not even wayfinding signage indicating nearby cycling connections.
We know that new riders rely on infrastructure that gives them their own space and that is connected to other cycling routes. We have a significant opportunity to create a premier bikeway connecting the Royal Ontario Museum to High Park.
"As Toronto grows and cycling increases in popularity, we must ensure everyone is able to move around our city safely and efficiently," said Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Councillor Ward 9 – Davenport). "That's why we must move forward as soon as possible on the Bloor corridor study and engage with all users of the road, local businesses and residents to create a safe environment for all."
Our 2018 #BuildtheGrid election campaign revealed that over half of elected councillors support building separated bike lanes on main streets like Bloor, Danforth, and Yonge. But we continually face resistance to getting it done. Cycle Toronto is calling on Toronto City Council to extend the bike lanes on Bloor St to High Park Ave by 2020.
Bloor counts: the full dataset
Please click the image to download the Excel spreadsheet of hourly counts from February 10, 2018 to February 9, 2019.
Data courtesy of Traffic Data Collection & Analysis, Traffic Safety Unit, Transportation Services.
Data analysis courtesy of Cycle Toronto's Advocacy Committee.
We're leading the call to the Mayor and City Council to extend the Bloor bike lanes westward.
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