Make Richmond and Adelaide bike lanes permanent, city staff recommend in new report

City of Toronto staff are recommending that bike lanes for commuters through the downtown core be made permanent.

Infrastructure and environment committee to consider proposal on Jan. 17

A cyclist travels along the Richmond Street bike lane during a winter storm two years ago. (John Rieti/CBC)

City of Toronto staff are recommending that bike lanes for commuters through the downtown core be made permanent.

In a report to council from the city's general manager of transportation services, staff recommend maintaining bike lanes "as a permanent installation" on:

  • Richmond Street between Bathurst and Parliament streets.
  • Adelaide Street between Bathurst and Parliament streets.
  • Simcoe Street from Front Street to Queen Street.
  • Peter Street from King Street to Queen Street.

The report also recommends that changes be made to traffic and parking regulations, as well as amendments to parking machine and meters by-laws, on Adelaide Street "to improve safety and operations." Recommended changes include moving the Adelaide bike lane from the south side to the north side of the street.

The lanes were installed between 2014 and 2016 as pilot projects, and the number of cyclists has "increased significantly with minimal impact to motor vehicle travel times," a summary of the report reads.

"Collision rates for cyclists and motor vehicles have also reduced significantly following installation of the cycle tracks," it goes on. Ninety-three per cent of people surveyed "agree or strongly agree to make the cycle tracks permanent."

Making the lanes permanent will help encourage even more cyclists to ride, the report suggests, without significantly impeding traffic operations or emergency services.

The annual cost of sweeping the lanes is about $105,600 and snow clearing is about $92,000, the report says. These costs are all accounted for within transportation services' operating budget.

The recommendations will be considered by the city's infrastructure and environment committee on Jan. 17, and will be considered by council on Jan. 30.

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