Here’s a letter I received from Cllr. Bailão in response a plea I sent for councillors to not accept PWIC’s motions to remove the Jarvis bike lane and to not begin removing the Dupont bike lane:
Thank you for taking the time to email me with regards to Toronto’s bikelanes and for your patience in awaiting my reply.
As our city grows, the need for cleaner, alternative methods of transportation becomes increasingly necessary for a healthy and mobile city. The predicted population increases for Toronto will put further strain on rush hour traffic use. To alleviate this we must invest in infrastructure that supports alternative ways of moving around Toronto. Bicycling reduces vehicle traffic, promotes health, is environmentally-friendly and I will continue to support bicycle infrastructure in the City of Toronto.
The proposed removal of the Jarvis Street bike lane was due to concerns that traffic, specifically travelling North in the evening, is being significantly delayed. Traffic congestion is a serious issue in the City of Toronto and poses a significant economic threat due to lost productivity.
I feel strongly that it is irresponsible for Council to remove the Jarvis Street bike lane before City staff has an opportunity to implement their solution and revaluate the situation which is why I voted to maintain the existing bike lane. I am particularly disappointed with Council’s decision to eliminate the Jarvis bike lane because it offers a safe commuting option to hundreds of cyclists every day, and without the most up-to-date information, the removal of this bike lane is premature and unjustified.
The bicycle lanes on Dupont Street were installed under the previous Councillor and I feel strongly that many concerns surrounding their installation could have been resolved with greater community consultation.
These bicycle lanes have caused significant congestion for vehicle traffic during peak commuting periods. Not only has this made it very difficult for residents living in the area to access their homes, but the idling of stationary vehicles in this congestion can offset the environmental benefits of the bicyclists using the lane.
City Staff indicated that a large amount of congestion was occurring around the Landsdowne and Dupont intersection, where the bike lane begins. On staff’s recommendation, moving the Dupont bike lane a short distance West of this intersection will allow vehicles to more easily turn at this intersection and reduce traffic backlog.
In order to alleviate the concerns of residents in the area, I have been working with City staff to develop a strategy to improve traffic flow while maintaining bicycle lanes on Dupont as it is a critical East-West cycling route. During the last meeting of the Public Works Committee, a motion was approved to have City staff examine the installation of a middle vehicle lane on Dupont Street that would alternate with rush hour to provide an extra lane of traffic during peak hours.
By working with the interests of cyclists, local residents, and City staff, these changes will go a long way to improving traffic concerns in this area. I will continue to create forums of dialogue between groups in addition to supporting the increase of cycling infrastructure in the City of Toronto.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact my office and please do not hesitate to do so in the future.
Ward 18, Davenport
I guess this motion means removing either sidewalks, the bike lanes or on-street parking to make room for an alternating lane of doom on Dupont. I’ve written the councillor asking for further information about this proposal as it appears nowhere in PWIC or City Council records online.
The law in Ontario is a little iffy on this… or not.
(2) No person riding on a bicycle designed for carrying one person only shall carry any other person thereon. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 178 (2).
So then, you can only have two people on a bicycle that is intended for two passengers. Does that only mean tandems or bicycles with child seats? One of my bikes has a large rear rack that can comfortably seat an adult, but does it have to be plastic with a seat belt to be considered a seat? If the passenger is an adult must my bicycle accommodate them with pedals and a saddle?
Either way, turns out Cathryn and I need to practice “the hop” on our shared rides on my bicycle. We’re pretty good at starting from a standstill, but this will seriously up our game.