The Bike Lanes on Cosburn Avenue were installed in 2004 in spite of stiff opposition from the local Councillor Case Ootes. (See previous article - Cosburn bike lanes approved...). At the Council meeting to approve this project Councillor Ootes moved a motion asking for a detailed report on the impact on traffic after the bike lanes are installed. That report is coming to the Community Council meeting this Tuesday, June 13th, 2006. You can read the full report here Summary of the traffic impacts resulting from the installation Cosburn Avenue from Broadview Avenue to Oak Park Avenue. (Toronto-Danforth, Ward 29; Beaches-East York, Ward 31).
If Councillor Ootes was hoping for a report that stated that the new bike lanes caused traffic chaos, giving him ammunition to try and remove the bike lanes he should be disappointed. The report said that the bike lanes had "little, if any, impact on traffic operations" for most of the day with "a small reduction in the 24 hour motor vehicle traffic volume". The report did note that there were small increases in travel times during peak periods in the mornings and afternoons. In tests they found it would take drivers and average of between 25 to 58 seconds longer to drive between Woodbine and Broadview after the bike lanes were installed. The report does not recommend taking out the bike lanes. It does suggest making one change to an intersection at Coxwell that should alleviate some of the delay. This is proposed by Janet Davis Ward 31 Beaches-East York. To see her proposal click here: (Item 86) I am not sure if Councillor Ootes may try to do something something else based on this report but supporters of the Bike Plan should be watchful.
| This Map of Ward 29 shows the existing bike lane on Cosburn Avenue (solid red line) and the proposed bike lanes that need to be built (dashed red lines) to connect it into the Bikeway network. (Dashed blue lines are proposed signed routes)|
The base image is from the Toronto Bike Plan Map for District 1, click the image to go to the full map.
The report also included information on the cyclist traffic. It showed that cyclist traffic had doubled on the street after the installation of the bike lanes but also indicated that it still had a low level of cyclist traffic relative to other streets with bike lanes in the city. A survey done of local residents found that many felt that 35% of the residents on the street who owned bikes said that they were more likely to ride them now that the bike lanes were there. One of the reasons given for the fact that cyclist traffic has not risen to the levels seen on other bike lanes is that those lanes on Cosburn are not yet connected to other bike lanes in the Bikeway network. The best way to increase the cyclist traffic on this route is to link it with routes to the west, east north and south.
The Toronto Bike Plan recommends bike lanes be installed on four routes that intersect with Cosburn: Broadview, Donlands, Coxwell and Woodbine. A bike lane on Broadview from Cosburn to Chester Hill and a proposed signed bike route on Cambridge would make a link between Cosburn and the bike lane over the Bloor viaduct giving cyclists from the East York neigbourhoods along Cosburn Ave. a safe and direct route from their homes to down town. The Broadview bike lane project is proposed for 2008. Building a bike lane on Woodbine and over the O'Connor Bridge would extend this route west and allow cyclists to travel between these two sections of East York that are divided by the Taylor Creek Ravine. Once bike lanes are constructed on Donlands they would make the connection between Cosburn and the existing lanes on the Millwood bridge making a link for cyclists between East York and Leaside.
When the Community Council considers this report they should take measures to make the Cosburn Bike lanes an integral part of the Bikeway Network. They should also adopt the recommendation from Councillor Davis for modifications at Coxwell and Cosburn that would reduce the delays. They should reject any attempt to remove the bike lanes. If your councillor is on the Toronto and East York Community Council contact them and let them know you want to expand the network of bike lanes in this area and connect the Cosburn Bike Lanes to the other parts of Toronto's Bikeway Network. Martin Koob