How Complete Streets Improve Commutes For City Cyclists—and Motorists
By Claire McFarlane
This article was originally posted on Torontoist
After heated debate in City Council and the eventual passage of the Bloor bike-lane pilot project, the feasibility of cycling on Toronto’s roadways has been brought to the fore. How can cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers share the city’s streets safely and fairly? Can Toronto’s roads accommodate all forms of transportation?
That’s the question the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation’s Nancy Smith Lea and researchers set out to answer in the new book, Complete Street Transformations in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region.
The book, penned alongside researchers from Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, examines nine Complete Street transformations—that is, roadways that are upgraded to better accommodate all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and public transit commuters—in southern Ontario, including two in downtown Toronto at Queens Quay and Richmond and Adelaide.
The study of the improvements made to Richmond and Adelaide streets, which included the addition of a cycle track separated from vehicle traffic by flexi-posts and planter boxes, concluded that the upgrades resulted in an increased number of cyclists using the roadways and reduced travel times for drivers. During off-peak hours, a motorist’s trip was 30 per cent faster after the cycle track was installed and 12 per cent faster during peak hours.
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