message from Ana Bailao, explaning her position/voting response, and comments on the vote relative to the bikePlan;
Ana sent me this commentory of the bikePlan vote @ council, and kindly agreed to my reposting it here;
"The decision to remove the Jarvis Street bike lanes was premature and a significant step backwards for safe cycling in the City of Toronto. I opposed the removal of these bike lanes and supported the motion and amendments of the local Councillor to save these lanes. I also have significant concerns that the removal of the Jarvis Street bike lanes have hindered the local Councillor's on-going beautification efforts to improve the Jarvis streetscape.
The decision to remove the Jarvis Street bike lane was due to concerns that traffic, specifically travelling North in the evening, is being significantly delayed. Traffic congestion is a serious issue in the City of Toronto and poses a significant economic threat due to lost productivity; however, hundreds of cyclists a day regularly use the Jarvis lanes and the best way to increase cycling in Toronto is to make it safer.
The new Bike Network plan presented to Council included many important initiatives that I support, including curb-separated bike lanes, the expansion of the Railpath along the Georgetown Corridor, and many additional kilometres of cycling trails. Unfortunately, the plan also included the removal of the Jarvis Street bike lanes. During Council I was among those who pushed to have the items voted separately so that Toronto cyclists are not forced to choose between equally worthwhile projects. Unfortunately, this was ruled out of order and the plan was forced as an single item.
Fellow Councillors expressed their frustration with this difficult decision in many ways, some choosing to vote in favour of the network for the positive projects it contained, some voting against the included lane removals, while many others left the room, refusing to make an impossible choice. At the end of the day, the new Bike Plan passed, but all of these Councillors agree that the issue of cycling in Toronto is far from closed and I look forward to working with my colleagues on Council to improve the weaknesses of this plan.
Our City is growing rapidly and it is critical that sustainable transportation infrastructure become a priority in order to build a healthy and mobile city. With a balanced approach that includes pedestrians, public transit, cars and cyclists, we can develop an inclusive and sustainable transit plan for the future. "
Thank you again for taking the time to contact my office and please do not hesitate to do so in the future.
Ward 18, Davenport