News / Toronto

Unofficial count shows bike lanes on Bloor are boosting ridership

A preliminary count conducted Monday by cycling group Bells on Bloor suggests the number of cyclists using Bloor Street has jumped nearly 75 per cent.

More cyclists appear to be using Bloor Street since bike lanes were installed along the popular roadway this summer.

Torstar News Service file

More cyclists appear to be using Bloor Street since bike lanes were installed along the popular roadway this summer.

A preliminary tally of cyclists along Bloor Street suggests the road’s new bike lanes are boosting ridership, but the city says it’s too early to call the pilot project a success.

Prior to the lanes’ installation, the city counted 3,571 daily riders along Bloor. But on Monday, cycling advocacy group Bells on Bloor says they spotted 6,099 bikes over 24 hours.

That’s an increase of nearly 75 per cent. 

During the morning rush hour, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m, the group counted 660 bikes and 1,105 cars, meaning cyclists represented 37 per cent of all traffic.

Bells on Bloor co-founder Albert Koehl called the numbers “impressive.”

“The number of cyclists yesterday means thousands of people in the city were able to exercise, have fun … and not pollute. We’re confident the road is now moving more people in the same road space,” he said.

Toronto’s cycling manager, Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, declined to comment on the count, but said the city will be conducting its own studies in the coming months. Staff will look at the number of cyclists, but also motor vehicle volumes, travel times and “several other factors.”

“We cannot evaluate the success of the pilot project on the basis of cycling volume alone,” Gulati said.

The results will be presented to council in the fall of 2017, when politicians will decide whether to make the Bloor bike lanes a permanent fixture. 

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