Bicycle politics in Toronto just got uglier.Toronto’s Public Works Committee met June 23rd to map out the future of the City’s Bicycle infrastructure. It was not a good day.

The city showed its usual multiple personality disorders by effectively killing bike lane expansion on Bloor-Danforth, stripping out the newly established lanes on Jarvis and all the while looking into extending the BIXI bike-sharing scheme. Wait … what?

The bright spot was promising 100 km of off-street trails and physically segregated bike lanes in the core connecting Sherbourne, Richmond, St. George, Beverley and Wellesley.

The problem is that this is hardly a communter-friendly infrastructure.

When it came to the vote, Minnan-Wong, Grimes, David Shiner and John Parker all voted to eliminate the aforementioned lanes and turned down amendments for public consultation. Councillors Perks and Mike Layton opposed the elimination of the bike lanes.

What is worse is that the Toronto Cyclist Union found itself betrayed by the Counselors who had reached out to it to lend support for the new plan.

Toronto Cyclist Union founder Dave Meslin was visibly angry about developments at the committee. Councillor Minnan-Wong and Meslin had collaborated on the draft report.

Meslin confronted Minnan-Wong about the lack of public consultation during a press scrum.

“Why are you scared of hearing from them?” he asked, his hand shaking while he held out his phone to record the councillor’s answer. “Why wasn’t it on the agenda?”

“I like to move forward and take decisions,” Minnan-Wong responded. “I think with bike lanes in general, there’s been far too much delay.”

Add to this but the plan is looking to institute a “cycling education centre” – why bother? The safest cycling route is the one that is well established by city planners, demarcated and protected. Nothing in the plan does much more than segregate cycling as a fringe activity.

Time to build our own bike infrastructure since the City clearly cannot do it.

via Bike Lanes Be Gone | Toronto Standard | News, Media, Art, Business, Technology, Fashion, Events.

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