The numbers are in: Jarvis bike lane adds one to four minutes of travel time, increases bike traffic by 30 per cent

The numbers are in: Jarvis bike lane adds one to four minutes of travel time, increases bike traffic by 30 per cent

Rocco Rossi during his “countdown to congestion” on Jarvis Street last summer (Image: Rocco Rossi) 

Anyone who was awake during the spring and summer months leading up to the 2010 mayoral election in Toronto may remember the controversy over bike lanes in general and the Jarvis bike lane in particular. Exhibit A in the case “People vs. War on the Car,” the Jarvis bike lane was decried by mayoral candidates, most prominently Rocco Rossi. Yesterday evening the city released a report with actual data on the impact of the bike lane. According to the Toronto Star:

A report released Tuesday evening shows that catastrophic traffic delays some motorists predicted on Jarvis St. haven’t materialized since the city removed a car lane last summer to create two cycling lanes.

Some motorists travelling north in the afternoon rush, however, are experiencing delays up to four minutes longer than city staff had forecast….

Much of that delay is due to a northbound left turn at Gerrard St., something that will be corrected this summer when the signal times will be changed, says the Toronto Transportation Services Division report.

So the results of the new lane are well within staff expectations—except for left-turning cars causing a delay at Gerrard. Meanwhile, counts of cyclists on the street show that their number has increased by about 30 per cent.

Having driven up Jarvis during the evening rush hour, and contemplated suicide while doing so, we don’t imagine this report will mollify the bike lane’s harshest critics. But for a bit of fun, the Informer contacted Rossi, the bike lane’s fiercest foe, to see what his reaction was.

“I’m focused now on issues affecting the people of Eglinton-Lawrence and I’m gearing up for the provincial election,” says Rossi. “I care passionately about my city, but have to leave it to municipal officials and the community to respond to facts about Jarvis Street as they experience them.” We seem to have misplaced our vague-to-English dictionary right at the moment, but we think Rossi is basically saying “bygones.” Meanwhile, we’ll see if the Jarvis bike lane can sway any more of its former enemies over the summer.

Slight delays for motorists on Jarvis after bike lanes installed [Toronto Star]