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Bloor “foremost a public space”

August 28th, 2015 · No Comments

In calling for bike lanes on Bloor Street, the Gleaner’s editorial (“It’s really a village, not a freeway”, July 2015) makes an obvious, yet routinely overlooked, point about how transportation planners still rank the movement of (single-occupant) cars far above neighbourhood values.

Bloor Street may be officially a highway, or a “major arterial” under Toronto’s Road Classification System, but in the everyday life of the Annex community it’s a road along which residents stroll to get a coffee, go for dinner, or visit the gym; across which students walk on their way to school; and on which many residents cycle to get to work or to run errands.

Bloor Street is foremost a public space, so how that space is shared is the community’s business, not merely that of a traffic planner whose priority is moving motor vehicles from a distant Point A to a distant Point B.

Indeed, if the street was shared according to shoppers’ mode of transport to get to local businesses then 90 per cent of the streetscape would be dedicated to pedestrians, transit users, and cyclists.

Instead, the greatest part of the public streetscape is today turned over to cars and car parking.

We can do better. A pilot bike lane on Bloor Street beginning in the spring of 2016 is a good start.

Thanks to the Gleaner for standing up for the community.

—Albert Koehl, Vice Chair, Annex Residents’ Association

Tags: Annex · News · Editorial