News / Toronto

Bike lane design for Bloor Street unveiled

There would be lanes on both sides of the street from Shaw St. to Avenue Rd. under the preferred plan.

Open Streets TO 2015 saw much of Bloor Street closed to traffic and turned into a paved

torstar news service

Open Streets TO 2015 saw much of Bloor Street closed to traffic and turned into a paved "park" where people were encouraged to engage in physical activity in a fun way.

Cyclists and motorists can finally see what bike lanes on Bloor St. — decades in the making — will look like.

At a public meeting Wednesday, Torontonians saw mock-ups of the city-preferred model for a pilot project — lanes on both sides of the street from Shaw St. to Avenue Rd., separated from car traffic by flexible posts.

If feedback is good and city council gives its stamp of approval, bikes could be whizzing along part of Toronto’s east-west spine by late summer. There is no time frame for the end of the pilot or possible lane removal.

Car lane removal along Bloor during the pilot project would slow traffic, the city says, but that would be offset somewhat by dedicated turn lanes at intersections and changes to traffic signal timing.

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Car lane removal along Bloor during the pilot project would slow traffic, the city says, but that would be offset somewhat by dedicated turn lanes at intersections and changes to traffic signal timing.

The new lanes could, however, get a rough ride from motorists.

“Approximately 135 of 280 existing on-street parking spaces are proposed to be removed through the pilot project,” states a city briefing.

Also, “any option to introduce bike lanes on Bloor St. will involve a reduction in the number of motor vehicle travel lanes during the peak periods and will likely result in travel-time delay during the morning and evening rush hours.”

Cycling advocates are hopeful based on the success of separated Adelaide and Richmond Sts., extended after studies showed a boom in cyclist use without slowing traffic.

“Bloor and Danforth have been long sought after by the cycling community because they form a direct, noncircuitous route without streetcar tracks making it ideal for high quality cycling infrastructure,” said Cycle Toronto executive director Jared Kolb.

“Local support among residents and business is strong through the proposed Bloor pilot study area. Success here will help act as proof of concept and spur demand to unlock bike lanes elsewhere.”