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72% of Torontonians want Separated Bikelanes downtown

The headline for this Toronto Star article is about opposition to road tolls to pay for Mayor Ford’s enormous (and unfunded) subway plans, but if you read past the first few paragraphs, you’ll see that in a telephone poll (PDF) conducted by Forum Research found that a “whopping” 72% of those surveyed support the rumoured upcoming plan to put physically-separate bikelanes on 4 downtown streets:

Separated bike lanes, on the other hand, garnered a whopping 72 per cent support.

This month, Ford’s bike plan is to be unveiled, proposing separated lanes on Sherbourne, Wellesley, Harbord, Beverly, John and Richmond streets.

These two posts have some background on this issue:

And here’s a map of where the separated bikelanes are being planned:

[Photo of Montreal Bikelanes and Bixi by Bikeroo, Map by National Post]

  • Iva

    I would be the happiest person in the world if this was going to happen!

  • John

    I know Bloor is a hot potato, but shouldn’t Queen’s Quay be part of the network? Or is it being left out for now because there is a separate redesign process taking place there? Even so, shouldn’t it be on the network map? Or is something going on there we should be worried about?

  • It is a good idea. This can help in reducing road accidents.

  • 72% of people want physically separated bike lanes because 70% of people are drivers who want to legislate bikes off their roads and the rest are anti-car zealots who want to take road away from cars, people who don’t cycle but who imagine they might if a little bit of the world were carved up special just for them, and cyclists obsessed with the fear of being run down from behind, actually one of the least common car-bike collisions. Separated bike lanes will make it impossible for bikes to make proper left turns, they will create new and more difficult conflicts at intersections, they will gather snow in the winter and garbage all year round, and they will mostly just get clogged with pedestrians waiting to jay-walk.

    A very small percentage of car-bike collisions occur in the long straight uninterrupted stretches in which bike lanes *can* be separated; most occur at intersections; and physically separate bike lanes – heck, even painted bike lanes – make intersections *worse*.

    What we need is more well-researched, evidence-based cycling advocacy, starting with education. The obsession with bike lanes is misguided, and at this point is poised to turn dangerous.

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