Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot Project

Below is a letter to Toronto's PWIC (Public Works and Infrastructure Committee) to request their support of the planned Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot Project planned for this summer (and well described here). Take what you want from this. Use it yourself to send your own letter urging the committee's support.

I’m writing to implore you to support the bike lane pilot project on Bloor Street.

Bloor is easily one of the most important east-west routes in the city. As a fairly flat route it can take you across town to many important landmarks, workplaces, institutions and places of worship. From High Park to Christie Pits to access to ravines, public libraries, schools, Universities, theatres, churches, museums and to countless restaurants and shops, Bloor Street is an exemplar of what makes Toronto great. That’s why this bike lane pilot project is so important.

  • A lane for people who bike would make a safer Bloor Street for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • It would make Bloor Street less stressful for people who drive, bike and walk.
  • A bike lane on Bloor would ease congestion - the fact that Bloor has two lanes of moving traffic and two lanes of parked cars makes no sense. Open up the available street real estate to people on the move.
  • It would allow for more shoppers to access stores, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, galleries and theatres and spend more money in those establishments.
  • A Bloor Street bike lane would give students a safe, healthy and quick way to get to school.
  • A Bloor Street bike lane would give residents a safe, healthy way to access libraries and community services. We’ve made these services with our hard earned tax dollars, why make it difficult and dangerous to get to them?

I’ve lived in Toronto for almost two decades and for last five years I’ve gone without a car. That means I have personally made more space on our streets. By not owning a car, I’ve personally freed up at least 8 parking spots (by some estimates, that’s the average number of spots available for each car). By riding a bike, I’ve given up my seat on the bus, street car or subway for someone unable to ride a bike or drive a car. I ride roughly 2000 km per year saving approximately 340 kg of carbon dioxide from Toronto’s air. Multiple that by five years and I have personally prevented over a metric ton of CO2 from entering our air. That is just the impact one cyclist has, think of the difference the thousands of people who bike in Toronto make every day.

Lastly, by riding a bike, I keep healthy enough to stay out our health care system - now it’s up to you to make it safe enough for me to stay out our health care system.

Help make Toronto a smart, modern, mobile and safe city to live, work and play. Please support the Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot.

Thank you for your consideration.