There has been a lot of talk (and talk, and talk) about bikelanes so far during the run-up to the Toronto municipal elections this fall, with “front-runner” candidates like Ford and Rossi coming out against bikelanes, Smitherman and Thompson wanting to re-evaluate where bikelanes should go (but with Thompson more willing to consider them on major streets), and only Joe Pantalone explictly coming out in favour of bikelanes (and cycling) being part of the total transportation mix in our city.
Turns out only Joe Pantalone of the 5 above truly knows how much Torontonians (and those in the Greater Toronto Area) support bikelanes on major roads. A Toronto Star poll asked 1,345 people between April 8-12 a lot of transportation-related questions, including “Do you support adding bike lanes on major streets like Bloor and Jarvis?“:
On the question of whether to add more bike lanes on major roads such as Bloor St. and Jarvis St., nearly six in 10 said they support them; 27 per cent say they “strongly” support them. By contrast, 43 per cent said they opposed the idea, with 24 per cent saying they are “strongly” opposed.
“Commuters who are concerned about threats to the smoothness of their commute overall have less support (for tolls or bike lanes). Whether it’s, ‘I have to pay money to drive my car into the city’ or ‘I have to contend with bikes on major arteries,’ support is lower in those regions,” Shanoff said. “But in the city proper, support for more bike lanes is 59 per cent.”
Great results… and I wonder if we’re going to start to see some candidates softening their anti-bikelane rhetoric?