Woodbine bike lanes are a move in the right direction
New data supporting the Woodbine bike lanes was released by the City's Public Consultation Unit on Friday Aug 17.
Counts have nearly tripled since May 2016
According to two traffic counts on Woodbine between Cosburn Ave. and Gerrard St.E., the number of people cycling there has nearly tripled since the bike lanes were installed.
In May 2016, the average number of cyclists ranged from 70 to 80 per day. In May 2018, that number increased dramatically to 220-230 cyclists a day — representing an increase of nearly threefold.
In Toronto, experience demonstrates that bike lane usage increases with time, and we expect the Woodbine lanes to become increasingly popular.
We need connectivity
The Woodbine bike lanes are an important addition to Toronto's cycling network - but they don't yet link up to safe cycling infrastructure on major east-west streets like the Danforth.
Once Danforth is made into a “complete street” with protected bike lanes, we expect a significant increase in the use of the Woodbine bike lanes.
Through our #BuildtheGrid campaign, we are asking council and mayoral candidates to commit to building out a network of protected bike lanes, including on major streets. While installing bike lanes on busy streets like Woodbine is crucial, we desperately need bold action to get to safer streets for all - and that means building, connecting, and upgrading cycling facilities across the city, not just on a single street.
All residents deserve safe streets
It's important to note that some residents have expressed that the Woodbine bike lanes have led to traffic infiltration in nearby residential areas. This recent study looked at volume and/or speed along three side streets near Woodbine: Woodmount Ave (between Danforth and O’Connor), Savoy Ave (east of Woodbine), and Heyworth Cres (east of Woodbine).
The study found no increase in traffic volumes, and found that average speeds were below the posted limit of 30km/h. The City will be studying more side streets this fall.
In cases where traffic infiltration on residential streets is a concern, Cycle Toronto would advocate for traffic calming measures such as raised crosswalks, raised intersections, reduced crossing distances, curb bulges, chicanes, etc.
Let's not exaggerate minor increases to driving times
The recent data shows that driving times were unaffected along Woodbine in the morning and mid-day peak periods, and that drivers in the evening peak period are experiencing a 2 to 2½ minute delay. There has been no noticeable change in motor vehicle traffic volumes on Woodbine.
In other words, traffic times on Woodbine have not increased significantly.
Bottom line: the Woodbine bike lanes are an important addition to Toronto's network, and the best and most direct continuous north-south route from O'Connor to Lake Ontario.
Let’s make sure that any concerns are addressed without destroying a green, healthy way of getting around our city. We don't want to sacrifice anyone’s safety for the convenience of one or two minutes of reduced driving time.
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