The city is expected to pass a pilot project that would see several dedicated bike lanes in the downtown core as soon as this summer.
The Public Works Committee will vote on the Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Track pilot project next week. Expected to cost $400,000, the project plans to install two bike lanes on Richmond and Adelaide streets going opposite directions with additional bike lanes joining them together.
The proposed Richmond Street bike lane runs from York Street to Niagara Street, with the Adelaide Street lane from Bathurst Street to Simcoe Street.
Those two lanes will be connected by additional lanes on Peter, Simcoe and Bathurst streets.
Cycling enthusiast Katie Anderson, who works at a store on Queen Street that’s a block away from the proposed bike lanes, welcomes the news.
"I would totally use it," said Armstrong, who recently moved from Montreal to Toronto. "That would probably make me feel a lot more safe."
"It's a lot crazier biking here than in Montreal," she said.
For motorists, the proposed bike lanes won’t affect the number of lanes, but their width would be narrowed.
The existing lanes in the area are 4.2 metres long, which is wider than the downtown average of 3.1 metres, according to Coun. Adam Vaughan, who represents Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina where the bike lanes would be installed.
"The lanes were almost highway width and what we’re doing is city-style lanes, which means you shrink the size of the lane without getting rid of lane," he said.
The pilot project is part of a plan that was first introduced in 2011, which included the separated bike tracks on Sherbourne Street. The lanes, which cost $2.5 million, were officially opened in June 2013.
An environmental assessment will be done on the Richmond-Adelaide bike lanes and the city will vote on whether the lanes should remain permanent next year.