On April 25, 2016 Toronto’s Public Works & Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) will vote on whether or not to recommend that Toronto City Council approve the installation of cycle tracks on Bloor Street West, from Shaw Street to Avenue Road, as a pilot project.
Cycle Toronto is urging people to contact PWIC Councillors to express their support and provide rationale for people to support the bike lanes, whether or not they ride a bike. One of the reasons provided is TCAT’s previous research (2009) that found that 90% of people shopping on Bloor Street are walking, cycling or taking public transit. Furthermore, TCAT’s research found that people arriving by foot, bicycle, and transit visit more often and spend more money than those who drive. TCAT’s report concluded that a bike lane would likely increase, not decrease, commercial activity.
If the pilot bike lane is approved by Council, TCAT is undergoing a new research study that builds on our previous work estimating potential impact of bike lanes on business. With funding from the Metcalf Foundation, the Bloor Annex BIA and the Korea Town BIA, TCAT will analyze the actual economic impact of the pilot bike lane on Bloor Street. Most importantly the bike lanes are expected to increase the safety of cyclists on the street. The pilot also presents a unique opportunity to more fully understand the broader economic benefits that may result from this safer street design.