The Toronto cycling community held a rally on Sunday, after Premier Doug Ford shared his views on the newly completed bike lanes in West Toronto. This new infrastructure project aims to connect bike lanes across the city, with a particular focus on Bloor Street, to improve safety for cyclists in Toronto.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Ford mentioned how he hoped the mayor of Toronto would do something about the new bike lanes, because he didn’t think they were necessary.
David Shellnutt, a.k.a The Biking Lawyer said that the rally was a success.
“Yesterday 250-300 cyclists congregated at High Park and took off west towards the new Bloor West Bike lanes that have been getting a notable amount of attention. With bright smiles and loud bells cyclists pushed back on the idea that the new lanes are under utilized,” he said.
Back from today’s”Bloor Bike Lanes Rally” which roughly 250 to 400 people took part! Here’s a video of the ride leaving #HighPark which I had to speed up 2.5X to fit the whole thing within a minute and a half. #BikeTO #TOpoli #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/0NlMxCcI0m
— Robert Zaichkowski (@RZaichkowski) November 5, 2023
“They wanted to send a clear message that making roads safer for all road users does not by any statistical measure hurt businesses or cause congestion. In fact, moving people by bike quickly and efficiently can reduce congestion and we know from credit car sales along bike routes that bike lanes boost business.”
Ford’s statement that he never sees cyclists on the new bike lanes was met with outrage from Toronto cyclists, who say the extension is necessary for safe riding. The Premier speaking out against the infrastructure was more than just his opinion, Shellnutt said, as it can galvanize support from the wrong people.
“With the Premier amplifying the false narratives of anti-bike lane advocates, now more than ever people on bikes and other concerned citizens must support municipalities that are attempting to thoughtfully and purposely address real issues on our roads,” he concluded.