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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Toronto’s Bike Plan gets the gears

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Spacing managing editor Dale Duncan wrote in Eye Weely about Toronto’s Bike Plan, and the bike lane proposal that would stretch across Bloor and the Danforth.

With increased concern over Toronto’s growing number of smog days, global warming and the drastic rise in gas prices, one would think providing infrastructure to encourage cycling would be a growing priority at city hall. City-wide surveys have found that 85 per cent of cyclists feel bike lanes make the streets safer. Less than 20 per cent reported feeling comfortable cycling on major roads without marked lanes for bikes. To address the need for new lanes, the city implemented an ambitious bike plan in 2001, with the goal of creating 1,000 kilometres of bikeways, including 495 kilometres of bike lanes that share the streets with cars. The plan’s objective is to ensure that no one is more than a five-minute bike ride to the network’s grid of bike-friendly streets. The plan is supposed to take 10 years to implement, but at the rate new lanes are being constructed, it’ll take 85.