Dupont Street cycling lanes up for review
Commuters are reflected in a rearview mirror in rush hour traffic in Toronto. (The Canadian Press/J.P. Moczulski)
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:02PM EDT
Toronto city councillors voted yes to address ongoing concerns over traffic problems on Dupont Street.
Daniel Egan, manager of cycling infrastructure and projects, said the city has had these concerns for a while. An initial report, created Aug. 23, 2012 was brought to the Public Works Committee on Wednesday.
Based on this report, the city approved a year-long investigation into solving the congestion.
The initial report focused on issues with the Dupont Street bicycle lane that extends between Lansdowne Avenue to an underpass immediately west of Osler Street.
According to the initial report, there has been increased traffic during morning and afternoon peaks resulting in delays for drivers since the installation of bicycle lanes in 2009.
The lanes’ sudden end at the Dupont Street and Lansdowne Avenue intersection was also cited as a concern as it provides no link to neighbouring bikeways for cyclists.
“Right now it just stops and leaves cyclists hanging,” Sarah Doucette, Ward 13 councillor told CTV Toronto in a phone interview Wednesday. Doucette is pushing for the city to approve the extension of the lanes beyond Lansdowne.
Another option in the report for the city to remove the bike lanes completely, said Doucette. This would return Dupont Street to its former four-lane traffic configuration with off-peak parking on both sides, reducing it to two lanes during slower times.
But Doucette said she won’t be supporting this option.
Major bike lanes were installed in her ward on Annette Street between Runnymede and Dundas Streets in 2009. If Dupont lanes were removed, the Annette bike lane at Dundas Street would be the end point for cyclists travelling eastbound.
Egan said the removal of bike lanes is just one of many options. “It’s important to keep the bike lane, we don’t see [the removal] as a viable option” he said.
An environment assessment will begin later this year and will take nine months to a year to complete. The full report will be released next year.