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How to Save the Jarvis Bikelanes

If you haven’t heard already, on Thursday the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee at City Hall voted to take out the Jarvis Bikelanes that were installed about a year ago.

This is not the final decision on the Jarvis bikelanes though… the matter now goes to City Council on July 12-13, and the Toronto cycling community is mobilizing to convince City Councillors to save the lanes and save the taxpayers money (the cost to remove them is in the $250,000 ballpark).

The lanes were installed last year and took a very car-oriented street (5 lanes, with a reversible middle lane) and turned in into a slightly more humane street with 2 car lanes and 1 bikelane in each direction.  City of Toronto studies have shown that car travel times (and volume) have basically stayed the same while bicycle traffic has tripled (from about 300 to 900 cyclists using the lanes in an 8-hour period). [source – pg. 17 – PDF file]

The other thing which should be remembered is that even if the bikelanes are erased, there is no guarantee that the middle lane will be re-created – the signaling for the lane is expensive to re-create, and as well, Jarvis is due for planned streetscape improvements (before the bikelanes were planned, expanded sidewalks and pedestrian improvements were planned, with a similar reduction from 5 to 4 car lanes.

So… what can you do to help save the Jarvis Bikelanes?

1. Check out the Bike Union’s “Save Jarvis” page, which runs down these options as well

2. Sign the petition to save Jarvis.  The more signatures it has the more City Councillors will pay attention to it.

3. If you don’t have a regular job and your days are free/flexible, attend the City Council meeting on July 12-13.

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  • anthony

    We need many MORE families and their kids speaking up at City Hall.

    We need to remind our councillors that they are building a city for the future generation, not the current generation.
    We need to remind our Councillors that all our city’s streets are for all of us who are residents; not just those who drive cars.

    We need many, many more like Adelaide (see:)
    Bike Lanes Be Gone By Matthew Kupfer – Toronto Standard – June 24, 2011

    Adelaide for Mayor!! Adelaide FTW!

  • Dean

    Travel times increased by approximately two minutes in both directions following the
    installation of the bike lanes in the a.m. peak hour and by three to five minutes in both
    directions in the p.m. peak hour. (it was 6-8 min before)
    call it 3 minutes average increase per car that uses Jarvis.
    13,000 cars x 3 minutes each = 650 hours of extra engine time.
    If we take the lowest end and assume the cars simply idle during this extra time,
    with an average rate of 1.5L/hr gasoline consumption (midsize car idling)
    and 2.3kg/L CO2 produced by gasoline
    that’s 1.5 tonnes of extra CO2 produced per day since Jarvis removed the 5th lane and added bike lanes.
    that’s more than driving a Ford Focus from halifax to vancouver. EVERY DAY.

  • Kinsey Lewis

    It would be a colosal waste of money to redo this road when so many helpful community programs are at stake in this budget – please focus on the real concerns for the downtown community and don’t waste more money rearranging this road.

  • James Mac

    My car travel time since the bike lanes were put in has increased by one hour per week. This works out to a whole week of lost work and tax revenue not to mention the increased cost of pollution both in noise and air. Putting the lane back will increase tax revenue and decrease pollution. Jarvis Street is not a safe street for cyclists nor is Mount Pleasant where several bike riders now come down to hook up to Jarvis Street.

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