Posted by Editor on 05/26/09
Last night (May 25th), Toronto City Council approved a plan to turn part of Jarvis Street into a bike path.
Cycling advocates all over the city hailed the initiative as an important step towards making Toronto a more bike-friendly city.
Toronto city councilors voted 28-16 in favour of eliminating one of Jarvis Street's five lanes and adding two bike lanes, which will run from Bloor Street to Queen Street.
"We're thrilled with the decision," said Janet O'Connell, Executive Director of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC). "We need to be looking at ways to facilitate cycling as a mode of transportation - it's ecologically friendly, economical and healthy. Other cities around the world are becoming more bike-friendly, because it make sense. Toronto needs to do the same and this is a step in the right direction."
O'Connell points to London, England as an example. The British capital, notorious for its traffic problems, has made cycling a priority and is reaping the benefits. Daily bike trips into the city have risen to 545,000, a 9% increase over last year. 111 million pounds of the 2009 budget are earmarked for various cycling infrastructure projects, including 66,000 new parking spaces.
"Governments - federal, provincial and municipal - need to acknowledge the importance of alternate transportation," O'Connell added. "Bikes are becoming more and more common, and that's a positive thing - they're the greenest, healthiest vehicles we have. But the appropriate infrastructure needs to be provided for cyclist to safely share the road with motorists."
The announcement comes as Toronto kicks off Bike Week, a seven day celebration of cycling. Bike Week includes a Bike Summit, to be held Thursday, May 28th and a Criterium race on Friday, May 29.
Details can be found on BTAC's website at: www.btac.org.
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