Cyclists ride in protest of Jarvis bike lane closure
Toronto cyclists protested the city's plan to scrap bike lanes along Jarvis Street on Wednesday by riding en masse along the embattled corridor.
The Toronto Cyclists Union held a massive ride Wednesday evening to protest council's decision to remove the bike lanes, as part of a new biking strategy that favours a network of separated trails over shared roadways.
Andrea Garcia, the bike union's director of advocacy and operations, said this week that cyclists were disappointed by Mayor Rob Ford's stance that cars matter more than cyclists.
"Mayor Ford chose to ignore the facts and the community while making decisions based on an ideology that bikes don't belong on arterial roads," Garcia said in a statement.
Council voted last week to replace the painted lanes on Jarvis, Birchmount Road and Pharmacy Avenue with a lane on Sherbourne Street separated by a concrete barrier.
Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the Public Works Committee, has said he would like the city to create a 100-kilometre network of bike trails separated from roadways.
Garcia said that while the Cyclists Union is excited about plans for a complete bike network, it should not come at the cost of bike lanes elsewhere.
The Jarvis lane cost $75,000 to install a year ago and will cost about $200,000 to remove. Ridership on the Jarvis lanes has grown from 300 cyclists a day to 900.