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Physically Separate Bikelanes Coming to Downtown Toronto

It looks like Mayor Rob Ford‘s statement that the “War on Cars is over” may be just rhetoric for the suburban car-centric parts of Toronto… as the new regime at City Hall is voicing no opposition to physically separate bikelanes (separated from car traffic by curbs) along such streets as Wellesley, Sherbourne and Richmond, a plan headed up by the new head of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who we can all be proud of, as he just learned how to bike in 2009:

Ford’s team has voiced “no opposition” to a comprehensive plan put forward by the newly minted public works and infrastructure committee chair, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, which would see an connected network of curbed cycling routes along busy roads such as Sherbourne, Wellesley and Richmond Sts.

“I think there’s a misconception that Mayor Ford has an opposition to bike lanes. He wants to create bike safety. He wants it where it makes sense,” said Minnan-Wong, adding that both the cycling community and local community groups support the plan.

“This shouldn’t be about ideology. It’s about making a pragmatic choice and recognizing that cyclists need solutions and those solutions don’t have to conflict with cars.”

Most of the streets affected already have bike lanes, with some minor additions needed to connect the existing patchwork. The one big exception is Richmond.

A two-way bike lane would need to be constructed along that one-way street, which would likely mean removing one of its four lanes, Minnan-Wong said. Not ideal, but necessary to connect the network.

Read more at the Toronto Star

What do you think of this initiative by the Ford Administration?   It’s a plan that was being put forward during “Miller Time”, but I give Ford and Minnan-Wong credit for pursuing it.

[Photo from the Toronto Star]

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