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Rocco Rossi Flip-Flops on Bikelanes

Perhaps he has actually started to notice how many voters ride bikes in Toronto, but Rocco Rossi, desperate to get some attention to somehow get past Joe Pantalone and Sarah Thomson in the mayoral race, has done a major flip-flop on the issue of bikelanes on major (arterial) streets.

Not only has he flip-flopped on the issue, but now he wants physically seperate” bikelanes:

“In Toronto we’ve made some progress in laying down bike lanes, but we’ve fallen far behind other cities in introducing separated bike lanes that are part of a continuous network,” said Rossi.

Rossi’s separated and safe bike lane network would consist of four new major lanes separated from traffic by a curb.

One east-west lane would run from Parliament Street to Bathurst Street along Richmond Street. Another east-west lane would see the existing Wellesley-Harbord lane completed and separated from traffic between Parliament Street and Ossington Avenue.

The existing Sherbourne Street bike lane would be separated from traffic between Elm Avenue and Queens Quay. A second north-south lane would see the existing St. George/Beverley lane extended to Queens Quay and separated from traffic.

Rossi thinks this new statement jives with his “cyclists don’t belong on major streets” statements from earlier this year, but it doesn’t.  He STILL wants to tear out the Jarvis Bikelane (which I personally use twice a day, but I guess my taxes are somehow less important?)

The fact is that Richmond, Wellesley and St. George/Beverley are all major roads in downtown Toronto, which means this new statement is a major flip-flop for this mayoral candidate.

What do YOU think of Rossi’s Flip-Flop on Bikelanes?

  • Phil

    Shifty! You should be fixie!

  • Victoria

    It isn’t perfect, but much better than what Ford or Smitherman will do. Frankly I don’t care about flipflops, I just care that biker safety is being discussed because we all know we are likely to get stuck with a right-wing administration. So better to have someone who is at least partially inclined to help us.

  • Andrew

    I’d like Mr. Rossi to clarify how Richmond would work. It’s a one way street for cars. But two way for bikes in the future? Separated by a curb or not, I don’t think I like the idea of riding the opposite way on a one way street. Richmond is a pretty fast artery… I’ll stick to Queen Street.

  • Ted C.

    Four whole lanes? That’s it? And no improvements outside of downtown?

    And they call Rossi a policy wonk. I expected something more well-informed.

  • I believe Richmond/Adelaide are already in the plans for separated lanes. The only question that has held it up was the possibility of their being changed to two-way streets. Seems like that was what Daniel Egan said at last year’s Ward29Bikes event as I recall.

    @Victoria I agree – these would be nice additions. However, given all he’s said to date I’m unconvinced he’ll actually *implement* them. Heck, look at how much our “bicycle friendly” mayor has been able to get done, after all.

  • Dave

    Two-way separated bike lanes on a one-way road works great in Montreal. They’re really our best bet, since the impact of removing one car lane is much less.

  • Andrew: There are two very long two-way separated lanes in downtown Vancouver that are both on one-way streets. They’re separated with concrete curbs, car parking spots and with planters.
    The timing of the bike and pedestrian lights is on a different phase from the right turning lanes light.
    The two lanes work very well. Initially they were controversial but now, a couple years later, everybody likes them.
    You should get some in Toronto. They’re great!

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