Bike lanes gone but reversible traffic lane coming back to Jarvis Saturday morning
A sign warns cyclists about the end of a bike lane on Jarvis Street in this Wednesday, July 13, 2011, photo. (CP24/Cam Woolley)
Sandie Benitah, cp24.com
Published Friday, November 16, 2012 1:43PM EST
The bike lanes have been taken off Jarvis Street and as a result, motorists will have an extra lane come this weekend.
The centre reversible lane that was once a trademark of Jarvis will return Saturday at 9 a.m. between Queen and Isabella streets.
The reversible lane was taken down in 2010 when council voted to put in dedicated bike lanes on the roadway instead.
When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was elected, one of his first orders of business was reinstating the extra lane of traffic.
"Congestion costs Toronto's economy billions of dollars every year," Ford said in a news release Friday.
"Jarvis is a key arterial route. Returning it to full capacity will help us fight gridlock."
Denzil Minnan-Wong, an ally of the mayor on council and the chair of the public works and infrastructure committee, told reporters Friday afternoon that the extra lane of traffic would once again change directions to accommodate the rush hour flow.
Between 3:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, the lane will accommodate people driving north. At all other times, the lane will be dedicated to southbound traffic.
Motorists will be indicated by a directional sign that will be suspended over the reversible lane.
The removal of the bike lanes did not come without its fair share of controversy.
Activists tried to delay the lanes’ removal by sitting on the ground as part of a peaceful protest against the plan.
"We have tried to raise concerns that removing the lanes will put the lives and safety of Toronto citizens at risk but the mayor and city council have refused to listen, or even hold public consultations on this decision," said a statement released by a group calling themselves the Jarvis Emergency Taskforce on Monday.
It cost about $275,000 to tear up the bike lanes which were put in just two years ago. It had cost about $86,000 to install them in the first place.
The plan to reinstate the reversible traffic lane came about last year after city council voted to remove the lanes in favour of bike routes on Sherbourne Street.
Activists have said they want the bike lanes on Jarvis to remain on site until the new ones on Sherbourne between Bloor and Queen streets are ready to use.
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