News / Toronto

Jarvis bike lanes to be removed after last-ditch council effort to save them fails

The Jarvis St. bike lanes will be erased by the end of this year, council voted Tuesday evening, in a move that crushed hopes of a list-minute reprieve.

Council voted 24-19 against a motion by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam to cancel the planned removal and funnel savings from the estimated $280,000 to $300,000 cost to the separated lanes being built on Sherbourne St.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works committee, urged councillors to vote down the bid to save the Jarvis lane.

He acknowledged to reporters that Mayor Rob Ford agreed to his five-year bikeway plan contingent on the removal of the Jarvis lanes, and that both he and the mayor’s office lobbied councillors ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

Minnan-Wong predicted most of the cyclists who use Jarvis will move over to the separated lane being built on Sherbourne from Bloor St. to King St. E.

Commuters from Moore Park and Rosedale who use Jarvis as a quick way to get to and from downtown offices had complained that the lanes slow their driving commute. City staff said studies showed that the lanes added two minutes to their average trip.

Staff also told councillors that adding bike lanes on Jarvis tripled the number of two-wheeled users to roughly 900 over an average eight-hour period.

Councillor Mike Layton, a passionate cycling advocate, told council that if cyclists are injured on Jarvis after the lane removal, “you will be the ones to blame.”

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