Cycle Toronto calls for provincial review of Toronto infrastructure projects that marginalize cyclists
Submitted by Jared Kolb on 19 June, 2012 - 07:35
Over the past few weeks, Cycle Toronto and other members of the Toronto cycling community have requested that provincial Environment Minister Jim Bradley review several municipal road projects proposed by the City of Toronto that will negatively affect cyclists.
Cycle Toronto has requested provincial scrutiny of the removal of bike lanes on Jarvis, which the City of Toronto has refused to subject to a legally required environmental assessment. The removal of bike lanes will clearly affect cyclist and pedestrian safety along this well-traveled route, as we have indicated in a previous press release.
Cycle Toronto has also requested that the province review the reconfiguration of Front Street at Union Station, pointing out that the City’s preferred design is bike-hostile, has little bike parking near Union Station, and would remove the visible, well-used and centrally-located BIXI station away from in front of Union Station. The project does not treat cycling as mode of transportation, and ignores Metrolinx mobility hub guidelines that call for facilitating intermodal transfers. If the project proceeds in its current form, it would make cycling a less convenient option for the hundreds of thousands of commuters who use Canada’s busiest public transportation hub every day.
The Ward 20 Advocacy Group of Cycle Toronto and local bike store Urbane Cyclist have independently requested provincial review of the City of Toronto’s planned reconfiguration of John Street, which would have cyclists compete for road space with cars in a single narrow traffic lane in each direction. The City’s environmental assessment for the project was based on flawed bicycle use statistics on John Street, which cited bikes as being 2% of all traffic, when more reliable estimates were between 30-50%. This flawed data remained uncorrected through nearly the entire public consultation period, rendering the preferred design based on misleading information. The City does not have any concrete plans to create a safe alternate cycling route if the project proceeds, such as by making the offset intersection of Soho and Peter Streets at Queen Street West safer for cyclists to cross.
The requests for provincial review describe how the City of Toronto has failed to follow environmental assessment procedures, provincial planning policy and its own official plan. While each of these projects is different, they illustrate the City’s short-sightedness in using outdated urban planning concepts to design streets that are not safe for all road users.
The following requests for provincial review are attached to this release:
- Jarvis Street reversion to five lanes (principal: Cycle Toronto; counsel: Laura Bowman, Iler Campbell LLP)
- Front Street/Union Station (principal: Cycle Toronto; counsel: Alan Heisey, Papazian Heisey Myers)
- John Street #1 (principal: Don Wesley, supported by the Ward 20 Advocacy Group of Cycle Toronto; counsel: Konstantine Stavrakos, Fogler Rubinoff)
- John Street #2 (principal: Urbane Cyclist; counsel: Ian Flett)
Cycle Toronto encourages its members and those concerned about the safety of our streets to write to Environment Minister Jim Bradley (firstname.lastname@example.org) in support of the above requests for provincial review, as well as copy their own MPP, local councilor, and the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (email@example.com).
|Letter to MOE re Jarvis bike lane removal.pdf||413.59 KB|
|Letter to MOE re Front St Union Stn.pdf||1.7 MB|
|Letter to MOE re John St - Wesley.pdf||297.15 KB|
|Letter to MOE re John St - Urbane.pdf||144.5 KB|