In Canada’s biggest city, 2016, suffice it to say, is going to be a big year for cycling.
Recently, Canadian Cycling Magazine reported that a new bike lane running along Bloor Street through the heart of Toronto—one of the city’s busiest, for both cars and bikes—would be installed beginning this year. While the idea has generated some controversy, it’s also elicited a great deal of support, both from cyclists and local businesses. Many of the latter, reports say, recogning the value in embracing Toronto’s cycling culture, rather than presuming that a loss of parking spaces for cars will mean less businesses.
As updated a little more than a year ago, the city’s records list a number of projects, all bike-related, with plans—in varying degrees of firmness—to move forward in 2016. Some of those projects include improvements to existing bike lanes, while others, as in the case of Bloor Street, involve the construction of new ones altogether. Overall, it’s part of a 10-year plsn to invest ambitiously in bike infrastructure which local advocates have been calling for, something that will include a significant budget increase.
At the centre of the flurry of initiatives is the city’s manager of cycling infrastructure and programs, Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, whom the Globe and Mail recently profiled as one of several prominent Torontonians to watch in the new year. With that all-important year for Toronto cyclists off and running—or riding, as it were—the attention paid to her efforts, no doubt, will only focus more closely.
“It’s a realy great time to be working on cycling on this city,” Gulati told reporters with the Globa and Mail. “There’s a recognition that major urban cities are building [infrastructure] for cycling.”
As the last year neared a close, several major achievements were scored by the city’s cycling scene. Newly-installed lanes on Richmond and Adelaide streets were met by robust numbers of riders, while the city recently committed to plowing several high-use bike routes through the downtown core.