As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto has started to implement a plan called ActiveTO “ActiveTO is about making sure people have space to get around while respecting physical distancing.”
Today, City Council took a huge step forward by approving a plan to add 40 km of new bike lanes. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is that the plan includes the westward expansion of the Bloor bike lanes from Shaw to Runnymede, as well as a large part of the Danforth from Broadview to Dawes Rd (between Main and Victoria Park), and the missing section between Avenue and Sherbourne. This provides a continuous 15 km path for cyclists along this important transport corridor.
The other bike infrastructure enhancements planned are:
Dundas Street East, from Sackville Street to Broadview Avenue, Cycle Track
University Avenue / Queens Park, from Adelaide Street to Bloor Street, Cycle Track
Huntingwood Drive, from Victoria Park Ave to Brimley Road, Bicycle Lane
Brimley Road, from Kingston Road to Lawrence Avenue, Cycle Track
Bayview Avenue, from River Street to Rosedale Valley Road, Multi-Use Trail
River Street, from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue, Multi-Use Trail
Wilmington Avenue, from Finch Avenue to Sheppard Avenue, Bicycle Lane
Faywood Boulevard, from Sheppard Avenue to Wilson Avenue, Bicycle Lane
The westward extension of the Bloor bike lane to Runnymede is still considered a pilot project that will have some degree of protection added (mainly bollards on curbs). It remains to be seen how all the other bike lanes are installed, but they are a temporary measure for as long as strict social distancing is required in Toronto. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this will all turn out, but since this a pandemic response, the intention is to have all routes installed this summer.
Other routes are still under consideration to be added to the ActiveTO plan. In particular it was disappointing to see that none of Yonge St was included, particularly since it is vitally important to provide an alternative mode of transportation for those who want to avoid taking the TTC downtown during the pandemic.
Nevertheless, a historic day, with the vote in favour being 23-2.