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Toronto planning 50 km of bikelanes for 2008

The Dundas East Bikelane at Jones [photo credit]

The Star has a short article this morning on City Council’s plan to eliminate community councils from the Bikelane approval process – meaning that every January, City Council can decide which lanes will go in that year without having anti-cycling councillors holding up the process in their wards:

Toronto should be able to add 50 kilometres of bike lanes to city streets in 2008 if a bureaucratic speed bump is flattened out, says the chair of the bicycle committee.

City council voted 38-3 yesterday to work toward streamlining the process that bounced approval of new bike lanes back and forth between community councils and the works committee.

A city staff report to come in January will recommend cutting community councils out of the process, said Councillor Adrian Heaps, who chairs the cycling committee. Councillors who oppose bike lanes have often managed to stall approval at that level, he said.

Heaps argues that since new transit routes and road construction don’t need blessing from community councils, bike lanes shouldn’t need it either.

There are 50 km that have been identified as having “low opposition” on Council, so there are plans to okay them in January for installation in 2008. This should help catch up on the Bike Plan.

More at the Star.

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