CBC radio has a new weekly cycling column “Bambrick on Bikes” with Yvonne Bambrick. Last week’s show provided an update on the status of various bike lane projects throughout Toronto, including projects on Dupont and Bloor-Danforth. Responding to a question about the potential impact that bike lanes could have on local business, Yvonne referenced TCAT’s research reports on the topic. Bloor/Danforth has been identified as an ideal location for bike lanes for over a decade and was a focus of three TCAT research reports published in 2009 and 2010 (Year 1, Year 2, Summary).
TCAT’s research found that in both Bloor Annex and Bloor West Village there is strong business and patron support for bike lanes, and reducing on-street parking is unlikely to impact on commercial activity because the vast majority of patrons do not drive to shop at local businesses (10% in Bloor Annex and 20% in Bloor West Village). Furthermore in both neighbourhoods, patrons who drive reported visiting less frequently and spending significantly less money per month in these neighbourhoods than those who walked, cycled and took public transit. These findings are still relevant today and community support for bike lanes remain high as demonstrated by the recent Bells on Bloor/Danforth rides and rally at Queen’s Park.