The transformation has been hailed as a pedestrian-friendly revitalization that will encourage shoppers to spend far more time salivating in and around the big-ticket boutiques of the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. And there’s no doubt that “extensive tree plantings in innovative and sustainable soil cell systems, widened granite sidewalks, seasonal flowerbeds and attractive up-lighting for each tree” would enhance the experience of even the casual heel-toe commuter. But some are arguing that the effort to keep pedestrians in the area is making it more difficult for all other traffic (both auto and bicycle) to get through.
While it’s not cool that the City of Toronto is seemingly by-passing proper environmental assessments because the rich businesses of Yorkville are contributing lots of money to this project, it should be noted that city staff had said that this section of Bloor won’t have parking, but will have wide curb lanes (possible location for future bikelanes or sharrows):
Daniel Egan, the city’s manager of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, said the narrower road and lack of parked cars would make the new Bloor better for cyclists, although activists disputed this.
Mr. Egan said traffic volumes – 30,000 cars a day – meant that the new narrower Bloor still needed four lanes and could not accommodate full-size bike lanes. However, he said the street could be retrofitted with bike lanes later.
The “Safe Cycling Coalition” has been granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit against the City (which argues that the City skipped important things like environmental assessments), which is a step forward for some cycling advocates in this city. Using the system will produce far more gains for the benefit of Toronto cyclists than rebelling against it.
Related Posts on BikingToronto:
- “Safe Cycling Coalition” Intervening in Yorkville Court Case
- Yorkville Bloor Street Reconstruction faces Lawsuit
- Bloor-Yorkville Loses Parking, Ignores Cyclists
- Are Bikes Banned From Yorkville?