TORONTO, Ont. – A hotly-contested chapter in this city’s transit history will continue on Monday as Toronto work crews begin to remove the bike lanes on Jarvis Street.

A centre-reversible lane for vehicle traffic will be installed between Queen and Isabella streets, and pay parking will be re-introduced on the west side of Jarvis.

Lanes will be reduced during the construction, the city warned.

Once the work is completed, which the city said should happen by early December, the centre lane will run northbound from approximately 3:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

It will be southbound at all other times.  

The bike lanes on Jarvis were installed in July 2010 at a cost of $86,000.

City council voted on July 13, 2011 to get rid of the lanes but was met with huge protests. The lanes were a subject of heated debate at council, with protesters holding “ride-ins” along the busy corridor.

According to a city report released in June 2011, the number of daily cyclists on Jarvis rose from 290 to 890, while the number of motorists has remained constant at 13,000.

City staff said that travel times have increased by approximately two minutes in both directions during the morning rush, and by three to five minutes in the evening rush.

Council voted 19-24 to remove the lanes on Oct. 2 at a cost of about $300,000.  The lanes wouldn’t be removed until the separated lanes on Sherbourne Street, one block east, were finished.

The Sherbourne bike lane is now complete.