Toronto Still Tearing Up Bike Lanes, But At Least They Are Not Charging the Cost to the Cycling Program

Part of a complete streetBike lanes are part of complete streets / Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

It is just so bizarre. Jarvis Street in Toronto was a strange five lane road with a reversible middle lane, something that never works well, with lights held up with ugly wires and a lot of confusion and accidents. So they took it out and put in bike lanes. But the Mayor says that people call him and complain so they in the spring to take them out and put back the wires and the lights and the middle lane, at a cost of about $ 300,000. To add insult to injury, they were going to take the money from the bike lane budget to pay for this. IBikeTO quotes a Councillor:

“Every time someone gets hit to the concrete from a door, or breaks a leg or an arm as they get cut off, you’ll be the ones to blame,” Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) told colleagues during heated debate. “Every time someone dies as a result of a bike accident on Jarvis, you’ll need to explain to those families why it was so necessary for us to remove these lanes.”

Some say that there was a deal cooked here, that Ford wanted the victory on Jarvis to support lanes elseware. The chair of the public works committee tells the Star:

He acknowledged Ford wanted assurances the Jarvis lanes will be erased before supporting the $43-million, five-year bikeway plan that includes the separated lanes — Toronto’s first — from Bloor St. to King St.

It's all about the imagery; Rob Ford wants to be able to say he did what he promised and ended the war on the car; cyclists and others who live in Toronto are just so embarrassed that we have such a government and such a mayor.

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