Cycling advocates are mounting a last-ditch effort to save the Jarvis Street bike lanes, arguing that the city must do an environmental assessment before going through plans to restore a reversible centre car lane.
The push by the Toronto Cyclists Union comes nine months after council, supported by Mayor Rob Ford, made the decision to get rid of the bike lanes and make way for motor traffic.
"This [environmental assessment] is a requirement. It's not sort of open to the whim of council," said Andrea Garcia, representing the cycling group.
The Jarvis lanes were to be removed once separated bike lanes are installed on the adjacent Sherbourne Street.
Cyclists opposing the road-traffic plan note that it cost the city about $59,000 to install the Jarvis bike lanes in the first place.
10 days to comply
"It's a waste of money. One step forward, two steps back," one cyclist said. "This is a corridor to get to the [downtown] core."
It will cost roughly $250,000 to install a lane of traffic down the middle of Jarvis. Despite grumbling from the cyclists, Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said he doesn't believe an environmental assessment is necessary.
"Some councillors say we should be listening to the will of council when it comes to LRTs and subways. Some of those same councillors are whistling a different tune as it comes to accepting the rules of council when it comes to bike lanes," he said.
The cyclists union said it will give Toronto 10 days to agree to conduct an environmental assessment. Failing that, the group says it will approach the Ministry of Environment to order a review.