by Albert Koehl
Is the pilot bike lane on Bloor St. popular only on weekdays for commuters, or is it similarly popular on weekends for people on their way to shop, for recreation, or to reach other destinations? This is the question we sought to answer with our latest bike count on Saturday, August 26, 2017.
The answer: the Bloor bike lane is also popular on weekends. Our team of volunteers documented 4,015 cyclists travelling east- or west-bound in the bike lane on Bloor at its intersection with Brunswick Ave. – a location that is in the core of the shopping area in the Annex between Spadina Rd. and Bathurst St.
The count, which started at 6am on a brisk Saturday morning (with a temperature of about 12C) ended 20 hours later at 2am.
The count also confirmed that Torontonians out on the town on a Saturday night are likely to use their bikes not only on their way out but to return home once bars and pubs close at 1am. Between 1am and 2am, we documented 127 cyclists, almost double the number between 12 midnight and 1am.
Our count also included a supplementary count of automobiles from noon to 1pm. There were 295 bicycles for that hour, comprising 33% of all vehicles (bikes and automobiles). The peak hours for bicycles were between 2pm and 6pm (averaging over 300 per hour), unlike weekday counts when the highest bicycle numbers are during the morning and afternoon rush hours, coinciding with the peaks for motor traffic.
This past Saturday’s count may well be the first such count on a weekend. Interestingly, the bike count exceeded even the pre-bike lane weekday count done by the city in 2015, which documented between 3,400 and 3,600 cyclists per day along Bloor at Spadina and Bathurst.