TCAT’s recently released reports on the state of active transportation in Toronto have received some media attention. Tess Kalinowski’s Toronto Star article prompted CAP researcher Kevin Behan to send a letter of correction to the newspaper’s article.
The Toronto Star article stated that the “report Active Transportation in Canadian Cities showed distance to be the biggest factor in discouraging people from active commuting.” In fact, TCAT’s research did not state this. Distance was noted as a factor, but not as the biggest factor.
Behan wrote that he was also misquoted regarding two important points. He was quoted as saying “There is the theory that if you put the infrastructure out there, the cyclists will follow”. In his letter to the Star, Behan stated that he takes “issue with the use of the word ‘theory’, since [his] comments were grounded in evidence based research.”
Behan continued to say that the article appears to make an argument against the use of bike lanes in suburban areas, reinforced with a second misquote: “I don’t think it’s the case that suburban infrastructure would lead to huge numbers of cyclists.”
“This was not a finding of TCAT’s research,” says Behan, “While we know that distance clearly impacts cycling and walking, our research absolutely did not lead us to that conclusion, “ Behan continued.
TCAT believes that bike lanes provide benefit in both urban and suburban contexts.