How far would you go to defend bike lanes?

Here’s an article that’s been popping up in various places today: as the city of Toronto moves to remove hotly contested bike lanes from Jarvis Street, protesters blocked road crews with their bodies.

Here’s one of the articles that discusses the protest today.

Here’s an excellent op-ed piece that is pro bike lane.

And a slightly snarky, yet well-reasoned counterpoint to the issue published here.

We’ve gone on and on here about what makes good bike infrastructure…slapping down paint certainly isn’t enough, but it “looks good” to city officials who may be too lazy or misguided or underfunded to really get things right — or who are under pressure to throw a bone to cycling advocates. Finding the best routes for bicyclists (safer, less trafficked, more direct) and then adding infrastructure seems to be the right way to go about things. From what I’ve read, the Jarvis Street lanes were never a particularly well-placed piece of infrastructure, and better alternatives exist nearby. Granted, I’ve never lived or ridden in Toronto, so this is all speculation on my part from what I’ve read about the issue.

If we have any Tororontonians in our audience, we’d sure love to hear your thoughts about this! Just leave your comments in the box below.


  1. Boomcha

    I’m a Toronto based bike commuter and fan of your site.

    This whole issue is very unfortunate and wasteful. The local political right including our mayor is very anti-bikes and the left is very hyped up about this. I honestly can’t see our great city getting with advanced cycling any time soon. Just a lot of talk and no doing.

    I commute about 20KM a day from the east end of Toronto to my job downtown and I probably traveled on that street 4 times tops. It wasn’t a very useful street to my commute and I personally won’t miss it that much.

    There is a brand new separated lane going up one major street eastward, however is poorly done and a lot of cabbies and delivery trucks are using it for their quick parking spots which makes it a pain to use.

    I applaud the protesters for standing up from something they believe in but in reality that lane is as good as gone. There are some people in the cycle community that are very fanatical about this and I think it hurts the everyman cyclist credibility here in Toronto.

    It is costing so much money to change this road back to non bike lanes and that is the really sad part.

  2. Ghost Rider

    @Boomcha — thanks for the insight (and the kind words!). I was hoping someone more familiar with the issue would chime in.

  3. Elizabeth

    Chicago wants to remove a bike lane for some construction project and that caused some cyclists to bristle… but now the news reports are saying it’s being relocated:

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