Woodbine Bike Lanes Q&A with Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon

Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon Ward 32 Beaches-East York is really excited about the new bike lanes on Woodbine that span her ward and Councillor Janet Davis' ward.

She's so happy about them, they're throwing a party on September 9 and you're invited. All the details are here on the Facebook event page.

dandyhorse caught up with the bike-friendly east-end councillor to find out why she's pleased as punch to see more people pedalling safely in her part of town.

Why are the Woodbine bike lanes important?

We need to work on our connectivity with our bike lane network and our last most easterly north/south route is Greenwood, so we don’t have anything further east and it will be a natural corridor to get people from the Danny down to the Beach… let’s just see when we get the Danforth bike lanes in!

Did you say "Danny"?

When my granny was 16 and she came from Ireland with her sister they called it the Danny in the 30s… So, people can call it what they want. I call it home.

How are the Woodbine bike lanes going to improve Ward 31 and 32?

Well they have the Cosburn bike lane north of me in Councillor Davis’ ward and we want to provide infrastructure that provides for a safe commute for cyclists.

I think this will help to make people recognize it's great mode of transportation [by making it safer for them to ride longer distances].

Is the east end lacking in bike lanes?

I don’t know… you’ll have to talk to the people who were here before me. I ran on term limits and I have a year and a half left in my eight year stint and I’m a big doer and I came in guns-a-blazing and wanted to get things done.

So, three years to get a contra flow on Dixon was frustrating, but now we have 10 year plan … we can roll it out now!

It helps to have other councillors on board – Councillor Davis has been great. We have great local cycling advocacy groups.

Did you know that these are the only new bike lanes being installed in all of Toronto this year?

I just found out this is not true. I heard from Shawn Dillon head of cycling that on Lakeshore there are a few other lanes going in. Ours is the major one though.

(Note: Shawn Dillon, Manager Cycling Infrastructure and Programs (A) said, the facility on Lakeshore Boulevard West, is a bi-directional cycle track, Norris Crescent to First Street and bike lanes on Renforth Avenue are from Eglinton Ave to Rathburn Road, and a contraflow bike lane from College Street to Richmond Street West on Bellevue Avenue/Denison Avenue are the other new bike lanes this year in Toronto.)

People complain about things moving so slowly but I have to say the woodbine bike lanes took about a year

I think there are improvements. I mean, if the Dixon contraflow took 3 years and now Woodbine took only a year …I mean...I’m into consultation but at the end the day we were elected to lead because people trusted our decision-making skills and judgement and we need to make some tough decision and great decisions and we need to city build.

You can’t please everyone and that’s the nature of the beast...people have options at election time.

What other bike lanes would you like to see in the east end? (cough *Danforth* cough)

Danforth is next absolutely. With Councillor Davis we are doing the Danforth planning now from Coxwell to Victoria Park and we were on a walking tour yesterday with the advisory group. The avenue is quite wide. The planning study should be done by end of year or first quarter.

We are feeling loudly and clearly from residents and businesses that people want the bike lanes as do the councillors.

So we want them to go in and we don’t a pilot.

Just roll out the bike lanes all along Bloor and Danforth and let's make it happen!

Could you please be sure to advertise the Woodbine bike lane party – Septermber 9 from 10 a.m. to noon Councillor Davis and I will cut the ribbon Danforth and Woodbine. at 10 a.m. both sections will be animated.

Come on out – let’s congest those bike lanes!

Related on dandyhorsemagazine.com

Heels on Wheels with councillor Mary Margaret McMahon



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