The Toronto Star just published an article about the Bloor Bike Lanes. They got hold of some preliminary data that was taken last fall, just after the lanes were installed, via a freedom of information request. It shows that cycling was up 36%, and at the same time, driving times were up about 8 minutes.
We all know that traffic was a mess during the period while people were adjusting to the presence of the bike lanes. The bike ridership numbers are also different from surveys done by Albert Koehl et al, although the dates of the surveys were different.
The story includes some reactions to the data. The city intends to “tweak” the bike lanes to reduce delays for cars. At the same time, the mayor is taking a wait and see attitude. Ultimately, the votes this fall as to whether to keep the bike lanes is going to be a political decision as there is no strictly data driven way to balance bicycle ridership and safety versus negative impacts such as car traffic delays, and economic impact.
Update: the city has released a slide deck that parallels the information in the Star article.
and here are some reader letters in response to the Star article