At the October 10 SVRA meeting, it was decided the SVRA would depute and provide a “qualified” response to the Bloor St Bike Lane Pilot Project.
Consensus supported the bike lanes WITH significant improvements to the existing design should the lanes be made permanent:
- To the cycle track to enhance traffic flow and safety
- To the pedestrian realm and to pedestrian safety
- With greater consideration of and improvements to accessibility including on-street accessible parking
- Better and more parking for bicycles off/adjacent to Bloor St.
The SVRA also sought continued commitment and resources from the City and Transportation Services to work collaboratively with local RA’s and community groups on the permanent design.
At City Hall on the morning of the meeting, the SVRA and other RA’s were assured by Councillors Cressy and Layton, that any permanent design WOULD include SVRA/RA/local consultation and collaboration. Details TBD once the project passed both PWIC then the City Council Meeting on November 7th.
Councillors Cressy and Layton were aware of existing challenges with the track design and are committed to improvements to the public, pedestrian realm, to pedestrian safety and to ensuring greater accessibility on Bloor Streets and immediate, adjacent streets.
Approximately 59 people deputed at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting on October 18, 2017
Former City Councillor, avid cyclist and motorist Ila Bossuns stated: “Anyone who commutes long distances by car along Bloor is an utter total fool.”
The SVRA’s priorities and deputation shifted throughout the meeting. Hoping to avoid redundancy (58 other deputations means a significant amount of same or similar messaging) and learning of intense opposition from two councillors on the Committee, our initial deposition was re-composed. You can read the SVRA Bloor St Bike Lanes Deputation_2 October 18. (It differs than what I actually said. JH)
For an EXTENSIVE summary – including pictures – of the day including the list of deputants, a running record of deputants and main points + commentary from the PWIC meeting please check out this website!
Note: ABBA – Annex Business Bike Alliance is a group consisting of several businesses along Bloor St, including Fresh Resturant, Midoco, BMV, Theodore 1922, Greg’s Ice Cream etc who are in favour of a modified cycle track with scheduled hours of operation (i.e., not rush hour) that is available seasonally. ABBA disputes the manner in which businesses along Bloor St were surveyed and the results of the several means to determine the financial impact of the lanes to Bloor St businesses. Here is their deputation
Albert Koehl of Bells on Bloor disputes much of what ABBA claims in an article entitled “The awkward opposition to the Bloor bike lanes.” To view more about ABBA at the committee meeting and for this alternate perspective and to read Albert Koehl’s response, check out the Bells on Bloor site
Next Steps: 1. Further consultation with local business; 2. meetings (potentially 2) to review/improve design and options.
- The current iteration of the Bloor St bike lanes will remain in place with some temporary improvements of (green) paint at key points (TBD)
- Next summer (2018) water mains along Bloor St are being updated.
- Streetscaping improvements will be made (Bloor St Study [Ph 1] OPA recommendations) in tandem with the BloorAnnex BIA – more info to come
- Road resurfacing and the permanent lane design will follow infrastructure upgrades (mains instal + Bloor St sidewalk improvements)
- Funding has been allocated to the permanent lanes within the 2019 Capital works program.