The big corona question: will any of this manifest meaningful change in our lives once the pandemic settles?
The City of Toronto is banking on yes.
Yesterday, City Council approved 40 kilometres of new on-street bike lanes around the city. The project is part of Toronto’s ActiveTO initiative, which seeks to give residents a way to enjoy outdoor public infrastructure in the social distancing era. The bike lanes will be completed in 2020.
So, what does this have to do with COVID-19? Data shows transit ridership has significantly decreased in the past months. The goal of the bike lane project is to give residents incentive to keep biking and thereby ease crowding on the TTC once things get back to normal.
“Connected bike routes, all of which were identified and approved from the Cycling Network Plan, will give people options and supplement subway lines to create an important relief valve for the transit system in the wake of COVID-19,” said Mayor John Tory. “Safe cycling lanes in Toronto and cities around the world are viewed as a critical part of COVID-19 restart and recovery planning.”
The bike lanes will be installed on the following routes:
a. Bloor Street from Avenue Road to Sherbourne St, Cycle Track
b. Dundas Street East, from Sackville Street to Broadview Avenue, Cycle Track
c. University Avenue / Queens Park, from Adelaide Street to Bloor Street, Cycle Track
d. Huntingwood Drive, from Victoria Park Ave to Brimley Road, Bicycle Lane
e. Brimley Road, from Kingston Road to Lawrence Avenue, Cycle Track
f. Danforth Avenue, from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road, Cycle Track
g. Bayview Avenue, from River Street to Rosedale Valley Road, Multi-Use Trail
h. River Street, from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue, Multi-Use Trail
i. Wilmington Avenue, from Finch Avenue to Sheppard Avenue, Bicycle Lane
j. Faywood Boulevard, from Sheppard Avenue to Wilson Avenue, Bicycle Lane
If completed, the ActiveTO cycling network expansion will be the largest ever in one year.
Perhaps one day we’ll see Toronto among the most bike-friendly cities in the world.