Jarvis Streetscape Improvement - Bike lane update
Following a large volume of communication from the cycling community to the City's consultation team working on the Jarvis Streetscape Improvement Environmental Assessment,
the City has responded. It appears that the City has taken a position
whereby pedestrian and cyclist needs cannot be fully met - a compromise
is needed. The following is an update from the City's public
consultation coordinator working on the project.
"A number of people have expressed their concern
that bike lanes on Jarvis Street were not included in the proposed
alternatives for this study. These concerns have been shared with
members of the project team. In light of these comments, I would like
to share with you information that I have received from Transportation
As you know, the purpose of the Jarvis Street EA study is to
improve the streetscape of Jarvis Street, from Bloor Street East to
Queen Street East, to compliment development and to enhance the
pedestrian environment and to establish Jarvis as a cultural corridor
with an emphasis on its historical significance.
Jarvis Street, from Bloor Street to Queen Street is
characterised by its many heritage properties. Jarvis Street is
classified as a "Special Street" in the City's Streetscape Manual, as
well as a "Cultural Corridor" is the report entitled "Canada's Urban
Waterfront - Waterfront Cultural and Heritage Infrastructure Plan."
Jarvis currently has five narrow traffic lanes with a
reversible center lane. The traffic analysis conducted for the EA has
concluded that the reversible centre lane can be eliminated, which
would reduce the number of traffic lanes from five to four. This
reduction in traffic lanes will result in a modest increase in delay
and travel time for motor vehicles and a reduction in reserve capacity
during emergency road closures.
Eliminating the reversible centre lane will result in
approximately 3.0 metres of roadway width that can be re-allocated.
Providing bicycle lanes on Jarvis Street would require all of this
"extra width" to be dedicated to bicycles, with 1.5 metre wide bicycle
lanes in each direction, and would maintain the current roadway width.
The bicycle lane alternative does not provide an opportunity to
substantially improve the pedestrian realm and, therefore, it does not
fully meet the objectives of the Jarvis Street EA objectives.
Although bicycle lanes are not being proposed on Jarvis Street,
the EA study team recognizes the importance of improving the cycling
environment on Jarvis Street. The existing curb lanes on Jarvis Street
are narrow and do not provide a comfortable environment for cyclists.
The preliminary preferred alternative attempts to achieve a balance by
reallocating a portion of the "extra" 3.0 metres to the pedestrian
realm and to the roadway. This alternative will result in a
significantly improved streetscape design, a more inviting pedestrian
environment and wider curb lanes to improve conditions for cyclists.
I urge you to continue to be involved in this Environmental Assessment process either through the City's site http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/jarvis/index.htm, the Facebook group and upcoming public events."
TCAT will continue to monitor this project, and urge the City not to
choose between cyclists and pedestrians; instead to continue working
with the community to find the best option for all road users.