Bike Lanes Coming to University Ave as Part of COVID-19 Response

This morning, I’m proud to share that separated bike lanes will be coming to University Avenue to create more space for physical distancing and help people get around the city safely. As part of the City’s ActiveTO program, these bike lanes will make it easier for residents and front-line workers to cycle to work and practice safe physical distancing.

As we begin to transition to recovery in Toronto and more businesses and workplaces open back up, how we will get around is a pressing challenge. For safe physical distancing we need to create alternative and safe methods of transportation to make distancing possible on public transit. Switching to driving isn’t an option for many, and even if it was, the resulting gridlock will grind traffic to a halt, strangling our city and economy. It’s time for a new approach. 

Bike lanes on University Avenue will run from Adelaide, up through Queen’s Park Crescent, and to Bloor Street. These lanes will provide relief to the TTC, creating more space on the subway for those who need to ride transit, and offering a new cycling option that is safe and uses our limited road space as efficiently as possible to move the most people.

Along with Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 11), a bike lane on University is something I’ve advocated for as part of an interconnected grid of protected bike lanes across the city. I’m proud to join major hospitals in the area, including SickKids and University Health Network, and physicians who work on University, in supporting this new development. 

The ActiveTO announcement this morning also included new cycling infrastructure in other areas across the city, including extensions to the Bloor Street bike lane which will create a continuous 15 kilometre cycling route across Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue, stretching from Runnymede in the west to Dawes Road in the east.

Cities across the world are opening up streets to create more space for safe physical distancing. Expanding our cycling grid is the right thing to do -- for our health care workers, for our own mental and physical health, and for the health and safety of our city. You can read my full statement with Councillor Layton and Councillor Wong-Tam here.