February 24, 2017 9:19 am
Updated: February 24, 2017 8:51 pm

Bloor Street bicycle lanes have increased driving times

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto bike lane pilot project on Bloor Street shows mixed results at halfway point. Mark Carcasole reports.

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Vehicle travel times on Bloor Street have increased following the installation of dedicated bicycle lanes despite a drop in traffic volume, according to a preliminary report on the pilot project released on Friday.

The study found traffic volume fell 22 per cent since the bike lanes were installed last year, but travel times on Bloor between Bay Street and Ossington Avenue have increased between two-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half minutes.

Travel times on Dupont Street and Harbord Street remain unchanged.

The preliminary data also found the bike lanes are a hit with cyclists. There has been a volume jump of 36 per cent from 3,300 to 4,500 users with 25 per cent attributed to new cyclists.

WATCH: Bikes are beginning to ride along Bloor street. But some cars could be blocking them. Ashley Molnar has more.


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Meanwhile, about 63 per cent of drivers surveyed in the report indicated they felt comfortable driving next to cyclists on Bloor Street, compared to 14 per cent surveyed in 2015 before installation of the pilot.

Mayor John Tory issued a statement on Friday reassuring the public that he has been monitoring the bike lanes closely and that measures are being taken to make sure cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and businesses in the area benefit from the improvements.

“Pilot projects are an important way for cities to try things, measure their impact and respond accordingly,” Tory said.

“At the half-way point of this process, we have preliminary data that will help us to make changes to improve the flow of people along Bloor Street for the duration of the pilot.”

READ MORE: Bike lanes on Bloor: Council overwhelmingly backs pilot project

The report cites “operational improvements” are on the way as the city fine tunes the pilot project.

Eastbound and westbound Bloor Street will be re-evaluated to ease traffic congestion during the morning and evening rush hour.

Further changes to be completed over the next two months include adjusting signal timing, changes to signage and line markings, turn restrictions at key locations and changes to parking and loading times.

The next round of traffic data collection is scheduled to be released in June with a final report available in the fall.

VIDEO: Cyclists say commercial vehicles are flouting the rules meant to improve safety on Bloor Street. Peter Kim reports.

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