Students call on City Council to make Bloor bike lanes permanent
June 1, 2017
For Immediate Release
TORONTO - Students from 5 schools located near Bloor St hosted a press event today calling on Toronto City Hall to make the Bloor Street bike lanes permanent and extend them east and west. The students hail from Central Toronto Academy, Harbord Collegiate Institute, University of Toronto Schools, Bloor Collegiate Institute and Ursula Franklin Academy.
“The Bloor street bike lanes are really effective because they physically segregate cyclists from traffic. I feel that if protected bike lanes are installed on more main streets, cycling volume will increase significantly. As a student who regularly bikes, I strongly urge Toronto City Council to support the Bloor Street Bike lane project,” said Mariam El-Tayeb, student at Central Toronto Academy. “I’d also like to ask the City to look at the positive benefits of this pilot project, and further extend the bike lanes along Bloor street, a major East-West connection. With a thriving cycling culture here, I am sure most of my peers will choose cycling when it is safe,” she added.
Ridership growth on the Bloor bike lanes is increasing. Before the bike lanes were installed in August 2016, it is estimated that 3,000 cyclists rode along Bloor Street between Bathurst and Spadina over a 24 hour period. Since then, ridership grew to approximately 4,500 cyclists per day by October 2016 and has since increased further, to 5,500 in one 24 hour period in May 2017.
“Even though students know about the benefits of active transportation, their apprehension lies with concerns about safety. A protected and dedicated cycling lane is the effective solution to their concerns. Look at how many cyclists use the bike lanes right here on Bloor Street. If it is a pilot project, I would say it is an effective and well-founded pilot project.This kind of very visible and safe travel for cyclists will address the fears my students have. I am thinking of at least six high schools located within short distance of Bloor Street corridor,” said Kevin D’Souza, Central Toronto Academy teacher.
The Bloor Street bike lanes were approved as a pilot project last year by Toronto City Council in a vote of 38-3, and are up for review this Fall.
“The bike lanes from Shaw Street to Avenue Road have made me love biking on that section of Bloor. However, I would love to see them extended further west. My school is by High Park and having a safe and enjoyable bike route to school is so important for me and many other students, and even teachers I know. This would be such an amazing development and I really hope I can see it take place in the near future,” said Claire C., a student from Ursula Franklin Academy.
This press event happened during the 4th Annual Bike to School Week which runs this week from May 29 to June 2. More than 430 schools across the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area are registered to participate in Bike to School Week. All four districts of Toronto are represented, demonstrating the promise and potential for cycling across the city. For more information about Bike To School Week, visit biketoschoolweek.ca.
Kevin D'Souza, Central Toronto Academy, (416) 393-0030, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Anderson, Central Toronto Academy, (416) 702-6304, email@example.com