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City staff to deliver report on Bloor bike lanes Wednesday

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Oct 11th, 2017

Cyclists on the Bloor Street bike lanes. CITYNEWS

It could be the day of reckoning for the Bloor Street bike lanes.

City staff will reveal on Wednesday how the bike lanes have affected traffic and cycling rates downtown.

The Public Works Committee will receive a report on whether to make the lanes permanent. Next month city council will vote on the matter.

Last year, city council approved installing a separate bike lane along a 2.6-kilometre stretch of Bloor Steer West between Shaw Street and Avenue Road.

During public consultations in June, most cyclists said the pilot project has been a welcome addition.

“Since we’ve had the divided bike lanes, I feel much more confident,” cyclist Judith Butler told CityNews when public consultations were held on the project in June.

“I love it. I just sometimes come along to look at the shops and have coffee. I think it’s amazing.”

But not everyone was thrilled with the project.

“From Bay, all the way across to Shaw, it’s a disaster,” driver Rocco Catalano said.

“Traffic is just jammed right up and what (drivers are) doing is they’re going up side streets. Barton Street is like a highway.”

Coun. Joe Cressy, who helped spearhead the motion, said since the installation of the Bloor bike lanes the number of cyclists has been up, the degree of safety for both cyclists and drivers have been improved, and that there’s been a minimal impact on travel times.

In an effort to promote the lanes, Cycle Toronto kicked off the Tour de Bloor Passport this summer – a program designed to promote the Bloor bike lanes and support local businesses. The passport featured more than 70 businesses along Bloor where cyclists could get a stamp when they spent money.

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