Toronto Bike Plan Not Delivering on Infrastructure and Spending
Ben Spurr reports on the status of Toronto’s Cycling Network 10 Year Plan, which the city council approved in 2016. Biking advocates say the city is not meeting the milestones needed to keep the plan on track.
The city has completed only about 6 percent of the almost 350 lane miles outlined in the plan. In addition, annual expenditures of the $153.5-million plan have been below target amounts. Last year, for example, investments should have totaled $16 million, but the city only spent $10 million.
City officials acknowledge that the plan is running behind schedule and say more staff is needed. They also say that the planning and implementation process takes time and that bike lane installations are often dependent on other road projects, which can face delays or rescheduling.
Still, bike advocates want to know why the city is not keeping up with a detailed project schedule that was part of the approved plan. In addition, critics say the city needs to prioritize corridor studies to identify bike lane sites on main arterials. "Councillor Joe Cressy, a vocal cycling advocate, said major streets need to be added back into the plan, otherwise the city will be confined to improving cycling routes on less-used residential streets," notes Spurr.