When something is easy, we say it’s like riding a bike, and the ride is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to a plan approved by Toronto City Council that could see new bike lanes installed on Yonge Street by the summer.
The vote to introduce protected bike lanes on a six-kilometre stretch of Yonge Street, running from Bloor Street to Lawrence Avenue, won by a huge majority (19-3) at a city council meeting late last year. The next stop is Toronto’s Transportation Services department. If all goes well, the lanes could be installed by the second quarter of 2021, offering people yet another convenient option to whiz across, around, and through midtown.
The move is part of a “complete streets” approach, an attitude that has gained traction despite, or perhaps because of, the state of global affairs. In a year where the city, the province, the country, and the world at large have been grappling with a global pandemic, Toronto has shown an incredible capacity to quickly adapt.
In June of last year, Mayor John Tory announced the introduction of CafeTO, a program that the mayor described as cutting through red tape “with wartime-speed” to allow restaurants and bars to expand their patios onto sidewalks and streets (we wrote about some of the local businesses taking part of the program in this post).
Similarly, the new bike lanes are part of another recent city initiative, ActiveTO, designed to make sure people have space to get around while respecting physical distancing, in part by expanding the cycling network.
Toronto has rapidly expanded its network of bike lanes since the start of the pandemic, introducing the largest one-year increase in on-street bike lanes in the city’s history. Approximately 25 kilometres of new bikeways have been installed, with new lanes on University Avenue, Danforth Avenue, and Bloor Street, allowing cyclists to move around safely, connecting the city, and mirroring major transit routes.
The new lanes on Yonge Street will introduce what local Ward 8 Councillor Mike Colle calls “a new way of looking at transportation,” ensuring the safety of cyclists, while relieving traffic congestion, and encouraging much needed support for local businesses. Residents, like those at 38 Broadway, will have even greater access to Yonge Street’s exciting lineup of shops, employers, and schools, and enjoy yet another way to stay connected to the rest of the city.
As more and more Torontonians opt for bikes as their means of transportation – staying active, saving time and saving the planet – the introduction of new infrastructure like the new lanes on Yonge Street will make it an even easier choice, and make midtown more appealing than ever.
For more on the Yonge Street bike lanes, check out this article from CBC News.
And for more on 38 Broadway and the connected midtown lifestyle coming soon from Collecdev, register here.