Safety: Why Toronto Must Install Bike Lanes on Bloor

Tomorrow at 9:30 AM Toronto City Council will decide if pilot bike lanes will be installed on Bloor Street between Avenue Road and Shaw Street. The plan before council is extremely well designed, supported by all local resident groups, will lead to increased local business profits, and generally provides greater transportation options that will reduce congestion in the city. However, the single most important reason why the pilot must move forward is simple: cyclists have a right to be safe on roads.

In this post, I share a simple analysis and mashup of two datasets: 1. the number of cyclists on Bloor and the surrounding areas (as recorded using the Toronto Cycling App that records GPS data), and 2. the location of safe cycling infrastructure that is currently in place. There are many drawbacks to the Cycling App data since it is not necessarily representative of all trips but given there are several thousand trips I would argue it does provide a valid proxy measure of general cycling behavior in downtown areas.

The Bike Land Pilot Area and the total number of cycling trips per road segment are illustrated in the map below - shades of pink show areas with a relatively high total number of cycling trips.

Next, the map below illustrates where there are safe cycling routes in place.

And finally, the map below combines these two datasets, to show the number of cycling trips on roads where there is currently no safe cycling route. This map makes a clear argument for why the City Council must not miss this opportunity to install bike lanes on Bloor Street and close a dangerous gap in the current cycling network.