Netizen 24 ZAF: Toronto's Bloor bike lanes should stay, city report recommends

Diposting oleh On 08.45

Toronto's Bloor bike lanes should stay, city report recommends

Toronto Mayor John Tory says the contentious Bloor Street West bike lanes should stay, citing a staff report released on Wednesday that shows an increase in cycling, a boost in safety for cyclists and little impact on local retail sales.

"To me, all of these data points, weighed together, indicate that the Bloor bike lanes have had a positive impact," Mr. Tory said.

Addressing concerns raised by local businesses about trouble with curbside deliveries and other issues with the new lanes, Mr. Tory said modifications still need to be made to improve the way the lanes work and reduce congestion for car‎s.

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In an analysis released Wednesday morning, city bureaucrats say the lanes boosted cycling along Bloor from Avenue Road to Shaw Street by 56 per cent, with an average of 5,220 cyclists using ‎them on the average weekday. The lanes, they say, have also reduced "near-miss" collisions between cars and bikes.

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The pilot project did, however, increase delays for drivers. But city staff say mitigation measures put in place after preliminary numbers released in June showed delays of more than 8 minutes for afternoon rush hour car commuters have since cut those waits in half.

While some businesses have been vocal about their disapproval, the city says data it gathered from Moneris Solutions Corp., which ‎provides debit and credit-card machines, actually showed an increase in total sales compared to other stretches of Bloor. However, it did show a "marginal" decrease in the size of the average transaction in the study area that was "on-trend with other parts of the city."

The decision on the lanes will be debated by the city's public works committee next week, before it heads to full city council for a vote.

The decision was considered by some to be a key test for the mayor, as the issue pits downtown cyclist-friendly voters against suburbanites ‎who prefer the car and could provide ammunition for Etobicoke's Doug Ford, who has pledged to challenge Mr. Tory in next year's election.

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Until today, Mr. Tory has said the city needs to do more to make it easier to cycle and walk to work, but insisted the Bloor bikes lanes must pass "rigorous" tests in order to stay.

‎The separated lanes were approved by City Council for a pilot project in May 2016. Bike activists have been calling for lanes on Bloor Street for decades, while local businesses ‎were, according to a preliminary city survey released earlier t his year, roughly evenly split on the lanes.

The bike lanes did involve a reduction in on-street parking spots for cars, a major irritant for local shops. But the city said that taking nearby parking lots into account,‎ the lanes only caused a 10 per cent reduction in "convenient" parking in the area.‎

Source: Google News

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