Toronto adds zero protected bike lanes, little paint, in 2013
Submitted by Jared Kolb on 18 December, 2013 - 12:13
The City of Toronto continues to be stuck in neutral when it comes to installing bike lanes. In 2013, the City installed zero kilometres of protected bike lanes and 2.4 kilometres painted bike lanes. At the current rate, it will take 158 years to reach the 2001 Bike Plan's target of 495 kilometres.
- Shaw St Bikeway fully installed, creating an important connection that is one-way for automobiles, but two-way for bicycles
- Significant progress made to the bi-directional boulevard path along Queen's Quay
- Richmond-Adelaide Environmental Assessment commenced
- Slow progress on Council approved downtown network of protected bike lanes
- No progress on installation of Bay St Bikeway
- Few upgrades made to Sherbourne St cycle tracks
"While studies commenced or were approved by Council in 2013, we saw little real change on the ground to improve safety for cyclists," Jared Kolb said, Executive Director of Cycle Toronto. "With more Torontonians riding bicycles than ever before, it's time City Council got serious about extending cycling infrastructure across Toronto."
Cities around the world continue to outpace Toronto's sluggish growth in cycling infrastructure. In 2013 alone, Chicago added more than 30 new kilometres of protected and buffered bike lanes to its streets.
With the removal of the Jarvis St, Pharmacy Ave and Birchmount Rd lanes, the total length of bicycle lanes has barely increased since 2009.
|2013 City of Toronto Cycling Infrastructure Installations|
|On Street Cycling Infrastructure|
|New||Protected lanes||0 km|
|Buffered lanes||0 km|
|Painted lanes||2.4 km|
|Upgraded||Protected lanes||0 km|
|Buffered lanes||1.2 km|
|Total bike lanes at end of 2013||114 km|
|Total bike lanes called for in 2001 Bike Plan||495 km|
|Off Street Cycling Infrastructure|
|New & Upgraded||Trails||2.4 km|
|Click here to link to the full list of cycling projects|
55% of all trips that Torontonians make are less than 7 kilometres in length, which can typically be travelled by bicycle in 30 minutes or less (Source: Road to Health). Cycling is an increasingly critical way in which Torontonians move around the city. According to recent polling data, 7% - or 182,000 Torontonians - are now cycling every day. 69% of Torontonians want to ride more often, but the lack of safe cycling infrastructure is holding them back.
In addition to building cycling infrastructure along major public transit corridors like Bloor-Danforth, University Ave, Yonge St and Eglinton Ave, creating safe cycling networks around elementary and high schools, and building a network of snow routes for cyclists, the City should take the following steps to ensure quicker roll out of projects:
- Schedule cycling projects earlier in the construction season so they do not get lost at the end of the year, such as the Bay St Bikeway
- Use pilot projects to roll out cycling infrastructure faster
- Install Council-approved cycling projects like Lansdowne Ave, Argyle-Florence and Bay St as soon as possible
With so many years of such little progress on the City's cycling network, it will take a major infusion of capital and planning dollars to make up for lost time.