The goal of this research study was to understand the economic impacts of the City of Toronto’s Bloor Street West pilot bicycle lanes, including the travel patterns and attitudes of merchants and visitors to Bloor Street.
The study was originally commissioned by the Bloor Annex BIA, the Korea Town BIA, and the Metcalf Foundation in October 2015, anticipating that a pilot bike lane would be installed on Bloor Street the following summer.
In 2016 Toronto City Council approved the pilot bike lane and directed staff to measure a host of impacts. The City of Toronto commissioned TCAT to provide assistance on the bike lane pilot evaluation. To increase confidence in the study results, the City funded an additional data collection period (in spring 2017), over and above the two originally funded by the BIAs and Metcalf, as well as the collection of new data and analysis about vacancies.
The study was led by TCAT in partnership with the University of Toronto. The University was responsible for research design, data collection and analysis. For TCAT, this was a third in a series of research studies that looks at the potential impacts of removing on-street parking to install a bike lane.
On October 11, 2017, TCAT released the Economic Impact Study of Bike Lanes in Toronto’s Bloor Annex and Korea Town Neighbourhoods. Using a case-control and pre-post design, over 3,000 visitor and 625 merchant survey responses revealed once again that 90% of customers to Bloor arrived by foot, bicycle or transit. The study found no negative economic impacts associated with the bike lanes: both monthly reported customer spending and number of reported customers served by merchants increased on Bloor Street during the pilot.
On October 18, 2017 the City of Toronto’s Public Works & Infrastructure Committee reviewed all of the evidence that had been assembled into a staff Report for Action, including TCAT’s economic impact study, and recommended that the Bloor bike lane be made permanent. On November 7, 2017, City Council voted to adopt this recommendation.