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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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