All hail our cyclist overlords! Jarvis bike lanes going in; bike racks colonize Spadina
Most days, talk of Toronto’s “war on the car” seems like so much overheated rhetoric. The vast majority of roads have no bike paths, streetcars or pedestrian scrambles; parking in downtown remains expensive but ample. If this is a war, imagine what surrender would look like. But then some days, the headlines conspire to make it seem that Toronto will soon look like 1970s Beijing, dominated by bikes, with cars rare and/or spat on. Today is one of those days.
First comes the not-unexpected news that creation of the Jarvis bike lane will start this Friday, beginning with the removal of street parking. The Toronto Sun gives us this fair and balanced report:
The bike lanes were originally not part of a $6.3-million project to make Jarvis St. more “pedestrian-friendly.” But last May, Mayor David Miller and his minions bowed to pressure from the bike lobby and decided to add the bike lanes to the plan.
Welsh said they’ll be doing the rest of the improvements in the plan during the next decade.
Yup, Sue-Ann Levy called them “minions.” Note also the immense power of the bike lobby, whose many tentacles apparently make it the most powerful octopus of last year, anyway. The facts that Jarvis was going to lose a lane of traffic no matter what happened and that the bike lanes were the least expensive option for the city is mentioned nowhere in Levy’s article.
On a less acrimonious note, props to the folks at Spacing for getting bike parking increased outside their HQ by (gasp!) converting two car parking spaces to 16 bike rack spaces. The switchover was spearheaded by publisher and street hockey defender Matthew Blackett, who got the idea on a trip to northern Europe. The temporary spaces will disappear as the weather turns and sane cyclists store their steeds for the winter.
With these victories under their belts, we’re sure to see all of Toronto’s car dealerships razed to make way for bike shops and MECs any day now.
• Jarvis lane to disappear [Toronto Sun]
• On-street parking spots converted to bicycle parking [Globe and Mail]
• City hands car parking spots over to bikes [Toronto Star]
• Bike parking takes over car parking spaces [Spacing]