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Watch these kids give a passionate and convincing argument for bike lanes

Toronto staff heard arguments on why the Midtown pilot project should be made permanent

Two kids read to Toronto City Council about bike lanes Photo by: @KevinRupasinghe

On Monday, Toronto City Council committee met to discuss the future of the Yonge Street bike lanes, a temporary pilot project that came into effect in 2021. Members of the public made their arguments for or against the ActiveTO Midtown Complete Streets Pilot. The committee heard from several cycling advocates, and ultimately, staff agreed that the changes should be made permanent. The topic will now go to council on Feb. 6 for further debate.

Complete streets include bike lanes

Robin Richardson, a spokesperson from Yonge4All, a cycling advocacy group, says it’s the right move for the lanes to be made permanent.

“Toronto’s population is growing, as can be seen on busy sidewalks downtown, at the many construction sites throughout the city, and in our crowded public schools. There is an unfortunate feeling of competition among various groups for the finite amount of public space, particularly on our roadways. It’s easy for drivers to see this as a zero-sum game, where every bike lane means less room for them and their cars,” she said. “There simply isn’t room for every resident to drive their private car everywhere they want to go. The only way that we can keep our city moving is to make it safe and appealing for people to choose other modes of travel—not just cycling, but walking and transit, too. Complete streets have space for all methods of transportation.”

Parents and kids use bike infrastructure

As a parent, Richardson says bike lanes are important to families. “What detractors often don’t understand is that people walking and cycling aren’t only doing so for recreation; these are increasingly popular modes of transportation for daily trips such as commuting, shopping and taking kids to school. My family uses the Yonge Street bike lanes for all of these purposes, and we’re not alone.”

During the deputation, two young cycling advocates came to the floor and told city staff why they want the bike lanes made permanent. The two kids, Aubrey and Nick, said they live in the area and were there to ask the city to support bike lanes.

Watch this great speech by the two youngsters below.