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Benchmarking Toronto’s Bicycle Environment

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transport released their “Benchmarking Toronto’s Bicycle Environment: Comparing Toronto to Other World Cities (PDF file)” report today at the Bike Summit and Toronto does not come out looking too well:

Toronto has more bike lanes than Montreal and Vancouver, but is significantly behind them when the physical sizes of the three cities are taken into account, states a study to be released today at an international cycling conference.

The report, prepared by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation, also says Toronto lags behind London and New York when it comes to per capita spending on bike lanes.

“It’s slow because it hasn’t been a priority at city council,” TCAT spokesperson Fred Sztabinski said yesterday. “We’re not seeing a lot of leadership from the top.”

He said Toronto’s poor standing as a bicycle city should serve as a wake-up call to city council: “It’s certainly a disappointment.”

There are 214 kilometres of bike lanes in Toronto, compared with 180 in Montreal and 106 in Vancouver. But the ranking is reversed when land mass is taken into account.

The findings will be presented today at Bike Summit 2008, hosted by TCAT and the Clean Air Partnership at St. Lawrence Hall, which brings together cycling enthusiasts and urban planners from around the world.

Let’s use this as a call to action.

More at the Star.