Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Media Release - Traffic Count Indicates Huge Demand for Bike Lanes on Danforth

Danforth Bike Count Indicates Huge Demand for Bike Lanes

TORONTO - Tuesday, July 3, 2018: A recent Danforth Ave. bicycle count confirms what
active transportation advocates have long known: there are thousands of cyclists on the
Danforth and the potential for growth with a long-awaited bike lane would send the
numbers skyward. A comprehensive bike count conducted on Danforth Avenue confirms
that Danforth is ready for a fully-protected bike lane. In this new video count, over 3,000
cyclists were documented on a recent weekday, a number similar to the pre-bike lane
volume on Bloor Street.

Graph - Vehicle Counts along Danforth Ave., June 14, 2018
Autos and Bicycles on Danforth + mode share on June 14, 2018 - graph by Kevin Rupasinghe - July 2, 2018

The video recording was conducted from a rooftop along Danforth Ave., overlooking its
intersection with Jackman Ave., between Broadview and Logan Ave. A full 24 hours of
video was reviewed by a team of 14 volunteers to count each bicycle and automobile.

“Video technology allows us to capture data conveniently,” said Kevin Rupasinghe, a U.
of T. engineering graduate and a volunteer on this count. “And perhaps as importantly,
video recordings allow for verification of data.” (The data and video are available to
media. A YouTube clip for 5:20 to 5:40pm is also available.)

“These numbers were not a surprise. The Danforth is a logical east west route for people
on bikes, as well as being a fantastic destination. It connects to existing lanes on Jones,
Greenwood, and Woodbine, plus the Bloor Viaduct. The Danforth is long overdue for
protected bike lanes," said Mary-Ann Neary, Chair of Ward 32 Spokes. Despite lacking
infrastructure, Danforth currently handles more cyclists than some of the City’s most
popular cycling facilities, emphasizing the demand for a bike lane. Those numbers are
likely to increase substantially if a protected cycling lane is installed - Bloor saw a hugespike in cycling traffic after the pilot was built, while the Richmond-Adelaide lanes saw
increases of 600% to over 1,100% with no major impact on vehicle travel times.

A 1992 city report identified Danforth Ave. (along with Bloor Street) as an ideal east-west
route that could form the spine of a city cycling network. The volume of automobile traffic
along the Danforth exceeds the City’s own guidelines for where dedicated cycling
infrastructure should be built. However, a bike lane cannot be built until a major corridor
study is conducted to collect data such as those collected in this volunteer count. The
corridor study has been delayed in June 2016 and again in November 2017, when City
Council approved making the pilot Bloor Street bike lanes permanent.

The recent Danforth Planning Study Report shows significant community support: for
fully-protected bike lanes:

"... most participants included on-street bike lanes within their concept designs for
Danforth Avenue … and, in particular, the provision of separated, on-street bike lanes to
provide greater and safer cycling opportunities ...."

That report is coming to Toronto and East York Community Council for approval on July
4, and some Councillors are demanding that the City begin the Corridor Study for a
Danforth bike lane. Since 2016, the city has installed only 6% of the 280 km in its
Ten-Year Cycling Network Plan, a mere 17 km. Toronto continues to lag other cities like
Montreal, Edmonton, and Vancouver in terms of protected bike lanes. And the 93
pedestrian and cyclist deaths since the city launched it's Vision Zero road safety plan
demonstrates how desperately the city needs more protected cycling lanes so that
people can move safely throughout the city.

"We're urging the Mayor and City Councillors to commit to carry out the Danforth
Corridor Study in Q1 2019," said Gerry Brown, Co-Chair of Ward 30 Bikes. "We have
great support from our local Councillors and the community; the time for action to back
the city's commitment to road safety is now."

Gerry Brown, Co-Chair, Ward 30 Bikes: gpbrown257 @ gmail.com, tel. 647-267-5742
Mary-Ann Neary, Chair, Ward 32 Spokes: MaryAnn.Neary @ uhn.ca, tel. 647-891-3855
Val Dodge, Co-Chair, Ward 29 Bikes: val @ cabal.org, tel. 647-891-3855
Kevin Rupasinghe, Bells on Bloor: kevin @ rupasinghe.ca, tel. 647-504-7797


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