Watch above: New bike lanes in the city are a magnet for drivers looking to park. Jackson Proskow reports.
TORONTO – The city’s newest bike lanes opened Thursday, running along Richmond Street and Adelaide Street.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs Public Works, admitted the city will need to enforce bylaws to stop cars from blocking the lanes.
“I drove downtown this morning and cyclists I know are disappointed, and I’m disappointed when you see trucks and taxis parked in these cycle tracks,” he said at an early morning press conference. “What we have to do is make sure these cycle tracks are clear for cyclists, because if they’re blocked, all this is for naught.”
But Minnan-Wong wouldn’t commit to supporting separated bike lanes along these streets: Some areas require different infrastructure, he said. And painted lines make snow removal much easier.
The lanes are part of a $300,000 downtown bike lane pilot project.
The city has already installed bike lanes on several downtown streets including on Simcoe Street and Bathurst Street, Richmond Street from Bathurst to Niagara Street and Phoebe Street from Beverley Street to Soho Street.
The Richmond and Adelaide Street bike lanes are council’s final cycling project before this term ends in late October but Minnan-Wong, who’s running for re-election, said he’d like the next council to keep building more cycling infrastructure.
(A couple of years ago, Toronto became one of the only cities in the world to dismantle bike lanes when it took them off of Jarvis street.)
“We also need to encourage cycling in the suburbs and I’d like to see more cycling infrastructure at subway stations,” he said. “So people can ride from their homes to a subway station where they can park their bike and come to work.”