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Committee report in favour of permanent bike lanes on Bloor

Cyclists on the Bloor Street bike lanes. CITYNEWS

Following a lengthy debate, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee voted Wednesday in favour of keeping the bike lanes on Bloor Street West.

The separated bike lanes, which run from Shaw Street to Avenue Road, were approved as a pilot project by city council in May 2016.

Dozens of cyclists, residents and business owners had their say before the committee on Wednesday. Many cited safety as a reason to keep the lanes, saying they are an essential element in developing the city’s safety, accessibility, affordability and prosperity.

A city staff report released this month also found that businesses reported growth in the number of customers. At least one business owner expressed concerns about the numbers, saying while they want cycling in the city it should not be at the expense of business.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti was among those not sold on the idea of making the lanes permanent.

“If the cars are not moving, and if it’s the city’s agenda to try and stop congestion, why is it okay to do it on Bloor Street.”

The final city report will be up for approval before city council next month.