Bloor Street bike lanes pilot project - update
As the 1-year Bloor Street bike lane pilot project continues, preliminary data on the project was released earlier in February. The preliminary data, collected in early October (6 weeks after the installation was complete), shows the number of cyclists are up, with the City's survey showing that most drivers and cyclists now feel safer. Vehicle travel times certainly do need improvement, but changes are on the way to continue to improve the way the pilot is working.
Preliminary data collection includes an opinion survey, travel-time studies and volume counts for all modes of traffic taken in June and October 2016, before and after installation of the bike lanes.
Preliminary findings include:
- A 36 per cent increase in the number of cyclists using Bloor Street has been recorded since the installation of the pilot, with about 25 per cent of the increase being new cycling trips;
- About 63 per cent of drivers surveyed indicated they feel comfortable driving next to cyclists on Bloor Street, compared to 14 per cent surveyed in 2015 before installation of the pilot;
- More than 10,800 online surveys were collected, showing a broad level of support for the bike lanes on Bloor Street. Local residents are generally supportive of the initiative (64 per cent), while businesses are somewhat supportive (53 per cent). About nine out of 10 cyclists are in favour of the pilot project (92 per cent), while about one-third of motorists are supportive (34 per cent); and
- Vehicle travel times have increased on Bloor Street between Bay Street and Ossington Avenue by an average of four minutes in the morning “rush hour” period and about 8.5 minutes in the afternoon rush hour period.
The City is continuing to work with partners to measure and evaluate the pilot project through:
- a partnership with Miovision and the University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute to capture and analyze multi-modal traffic data to study changes to traffic operations and safety impacts during the pilot project;
- multimodal video traffic counts and GPS-tracked travel time analysis studies conducted by Ontario Traffic Inc. to be taken in June 2017 – 10 months after installation;
- parking utilization data collected by the Toronto Parking Authority, and
- an economic impact study by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation in partnership with the University of Toronto, local Business Improvement Areas, the Metcalf Foundation, and the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services and Economic Development & Culture divisions.
To address the travel time impacts and continue to improve the way the pilot works, the City will be making traffic flow improvements including signal retiming, enhanced signage, and intersection modifications following the first phase of measurement.
A report detailing the performance evaluation of the pilot project will be presented to City Council in the fall.
More information about the findings is available at toronto.ca/bloorbikelanes.