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Bloor Bike Lanes: Assessing The Economic Impact Of Bike Lanes In The Planning Of A 21st Century Street

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posted on 2022-10-05, 17:39 authored by Anthony Leighton Galloro

Cycling and cycling-specific infrastructure are timely topics that addresses the mounting need for an improved and sustainable transportation network in Canadian cities (Litman &  Burwell,  2006).  The  accompanying  need  for  increased  regulation  and  appropriate  space  in  the  public  realm  has  resulted  in  cyclists  gaining  their  right  to  access  public  space through the installation of bike lanes in cities like Toronto (Ellison, 2013). In 2016, the  City  of  Toronto  adopted  the  Cycling  Network  Ten  Year  Plan  (hereafter:  the  Plan),  a  comprehensive  roadmap  directing  the  city  towards  a  bicycle-friendly  transportation  grid. The Plan represents Toronto’s commitment to building an integrated transportation network serving the needs of cyclists. The Plan’s mandate is trifold: connect the gaps in the existing cycling network, grow the cycling network, and renew the quality of existing cycling  routes  (City  of  Toronto  Transportation  Services,  2016b).  In  addition,  in  2016,  Toronto City Council approved the Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot Project, a one-year project along a major transportation corridor that includes Line 2 of the city’s subway line. The Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot is identified as a priority corridor in the Plan. As part of the evaluation,  a  major  corridor  study  will  assess  the  implementation  of  cycling-specific  infrastructure across Bloor Street (City of Toronto Transportation Services, 2016a).The  City  of  Toronto  Transportation  Services  will  present  the  Bloor  Pilot  Bike  Lanes  Evaluation Report to City Council in Fall 2017; the evaluation report will in part assess the economic impact of bike lanes on the study corridor. While there is a growing base of grey literature that demonstrates the relationship between cyclists, bike lanes, and economic vitality, it is not as well documented in the academic literature. Bloor Bike Lanes: assessing the  economic  impact  of  bike  lanes  in  the  planning  of  a  21st  Century  Street  synthesizes  interdisciplinary research, exploring the role of bike lanes in a changing urban landscape through the context of Bloor Street.This  report  speaks  to  a  growing  trend  in  bicycle  ridership  (Mitra  et  al.,  2016)  and  acknowledges  the  value  of  bike  lanes  to  the  contemporary  city.  In  Toronto’s  planning  of  a  street  network  that  facilitates  movement,  growth,  dynamism,  and  interaction  among diverse road users, this report contributes to this discussion by articulating the importance of bicycle-friendly streets. This is the primary objective of this report.  The  Toronto  Centre  for  Active  Transportation  (TCAT)  in  collaboration  with  the  Toronto  Cycling Think & Do Tank at the University of Toronto, have partnered to undertake a study evaluating the economic impacts of the Bloor Street bike lanes on local business (2015). This report speaks to their work by synthesizing existing and recent literature about the economic vitality associated with bike lanes. 





Master of Planning


Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type