City explains how impact of Bloor Street bike lane pilot project will be studied
Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Friday, August 12, 2016 10:59AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 12, 2016 4:56PM EDT
The city has released new details on how they will evaluate the impact of having blocked-off bike lanes on a busy Bloor Street strip.
The bike lanes, protected by painted buffers and flexi-posts, were recently installed on Bloor between Shaw Street and Avenue Road as part of a year-long pilot project.
"Whenever we change the makeup of our streets, we must carefully measure and monitor the impact on our community," Councillor Jaye Robinson, Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, said in a press release. “The city will work to keep all modes of traffic moving safely and smoothly during this pilot while ensuring we have credible, verifiable data at the end of this pilot project.”
Vehicular traffic will be most impacted as the installation of the bike lanes means that one lane in each direction had to be repurposed to accommodate cyclists. Street parking is now limited to one side of the street.
The pilot’s effectiveness will be evaluated as part of a partnership with the city, traffic data collection company Miovision and the Research Institute at the University of Toronto. Together they will “capture and analyze multi-modal traffic data” to study the impact on traffic flow in the Annex, Korea Town and Christie Pits neighbourhood, according to the release.
James Barr, client services team lead at Miovision, told CP24 Friday the company will also focus on safety issues.
"We're looking at movements, and identifying where we see indications of potential safety issues," he said. "We use that information and feed it to quality control and they say, 'yes, that makes sense' and that gets forwarded to the engineers."
The Toronto Parking Authority will also turn over some data and the local Business Improvement Area associations as well as the Metcalf Foundation and the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation will study the economic impact on the area.
Finally, the public will be able to sound off on how they feel about the new infrastructure in a survey to be released this fall.
Council is expected to have the results of the study by the fall of 2017.
Construction, the condo boom and the ensuing traffic congestion has made cycling a popular mode of transit in the downtown core.
The city conducted a study in 2010 to determine just how many cyclists are using local roads.
It found that during the week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., about 19,162 cyclists rode their bike into the downtown core while 15,241 cyclists rode their bikes out of the core.