June 19, 2021

June 2021 Bloor Update

Last summer was a game changer for Bloor-Danforth with the Bloor bike lanes permanently extended west from Shaw to Runnymede, as well as the temporary installation of ActiveTO corridors along Danforth (from Broadview to Dawes) and the Sherbourne to Avenue gap. However, a small gap remains under the West Toronto Railpath while Toronto City Council is expected to decide the fate of the temporary parts of Bloor-Danforth this fall. With this in mind, the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition is already pushing for a further western extension from Runnymede to Six Points and along Dundas to The East Mall.

Martin Reis (left) and volunteers from the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition preparing to deliver postcards calling for the extension of the Bloor bike lanes to Six Points
On April 10, 2021, a letter of support was prepared by TCBC highlighting the successes of Destination Danforth, the high bike counts, prior TCAT economic impact studies for Bloor-Danforth, and the Housing Now developments at Six Points and Bloor-Islington as reasons for extending the bike lanes. The letter has 24 signatories so far including four resident associations – Bloor West Village, Mimico, Sunnylea-Stonegate, and Islington – two businesses, several equity groups such as BikePOC, the Better Dundas Coalition, and others. A broader business outreach is under way, while a related petition launched on May 14, 2021 – the one year anniversary for TCBC – has gotten over 600 signatures so far.

Last week, several TCBC volunteers started distributing postcards within the Bloor West Village area and plan to work their way west over the next few weeks. The postcard shows the current conditions courtesy of fellow bike blogger Jun N, as well as a rendering of what Bloor can look like thanks to Sahel Alsabouni. The postcard – which drives the point home that we belong on Bloor – encourages people to e-mail Mayor Tory, as well as Councillors Perks and Grimes, to express support for finishing the job on Bloor. TCBC’s website is provided for those wishing to learn more, including accessing the letter of support and petition.

New postcards for the Bloor bike lane campaign

Long time advocate Martin Reis dressed up for the occasion, while several volunteers were admiring my new puppy Mozzie and the Basil Buddy bike carrier. (more on that soon) Dave Edwards prepared a short clip of the postcard drop and the current conditions along Bloor which you can watch below.

Within City Hall, there are plans to release the next near term cycling implementation plan next month which will cover up to 2023. The bike lanes were raised at a couple of recent Etobicoke related public consultations. During the Sunnylea-Stonegate Neighbourhood Association’s traffic safety meeting, Councillor Mark Grimes acknowledged that extending the bike lanes to Six Points is “inevitable”, but that he wanted them to be “aesthetically pleasing”. The inevitability was also confirmed by a couple of city staff members who answered that question. During a Housing Now meeting on April 28, 2021, Mary Campbell – with Councillor Grimes’ office – confirmed there would be consultation happening later this year. I’ll post more details on my Twitter and in the Cycling in Toronto Facebook group when available. 

On May 31, 2021, TCBC, Bells on Bloor, and Parkdale High Park Bikes sent a joint letter to Becky Katz and local Councillors Gord Perks and Ana Bailao urging them to fill in the gap sooner than the currently projected December 2021 timeline. Unfortunately, no firm commitments have been made to move that timeline forward.

Mozzie checking out the postcards from his bike carrier

For those of you who wish to express support for the Bloor campaign, please sign and share the petition, as well as e-mail Mayor Tory, Councillor Perks, and Councillor Grimes. If you represent a business or community group and wish to sign onto the letter of support, please contact me. Finally, please contact TCBC for those of you who wish to become more involved with the campaign.

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