Photo Credit: Martin Reis
On Friday August 12, 2016, TCAT Director Nancy Smith Lea attended a City of Toronto press conference along with dozens of media, City Councillors, municipal staff, advocates, local residents, and business owners. At this celebratory event, the City released its evaluation plans for the Bloor Street Bike Lanes pilot project. Multiple partners were announced who are working with the City on a comprehensive strategy to measure a host of potential impacts of this new cycling infrastructure, including traffic operations, travel time, parking utilization, mode share, attitudes, and economic activity. We are pleased to announce that TCAT will conduct the economic impact study.
For TCAT, this is a third in a series of research studies that looks at the potential impacts of removing on-street parking to install a bike lane. Our previous research studies in Bloor Annex (2009) and Bloor West Village (2010) used a replication methodology, whereas our current study uses a pre-post design. We are exploring whether there is any change in travel patterns, economic activity, and attitudes for both merchants and visitors to Bloor Street. The University of Toronto is involved as a partner on the project and is responsible for research design, data collection and analysis.
TCAT’s involvement in the evaluation of the Bloor bike lane pilot came about when the City recognized that there is considerable overlap between City Council direction regarding potential economic impact of the new lanes, and TCAT’s economic impact study underway funded by the Metcalf Foundation, Bloor Annex BIA and Korea Town BIA. The City of Toronto’s contribution expands the scope and robustness of the study by supporting additional data and analysis. The final report for this study will be made publicly available and will be part of City staff’s report to City Council in fall of 2017.