Over the last year, I’ve written extensively about the pending removal of the Jarvis bike lanes. There are so many reasons why Council should back down on this plan: reasons related to safety, fair process, wasted dollars, and community support for Complete Streets.
Now, we can add another reason. Not only is the removal of the Jarvis bike lanes a colossal waste of money (the lanes are brand new) – but guess where the money is coming from? I’ve been able to confirm with the City that the money to REMOVE the lanes is being pulled directly out of the limited budget the City has to INSTALL bike lanes! So not only are cyclists losing a major bike lane, serving 1000+ cyclists during rush hour, … but we’re seeing our own capital budget reduced at the same time.
Imagine if the province ripped out a subway line – with no debate or consultation – and then invoiced the TTC for the cost. It would drain the TTC’s capital budget for building new lines. Salt in the wound.
I feel terrible for the stellar City staff who are responsible for building bike lanes in our City. Not only is our Bicycle Plan years behind schedule, but now they are being asked to spend their limited budget dollars to rip out the exact same bike lanes that they just spent money on a couple of years ago.
If Jarvis is being converted back into a five-lane highway, against the advice of staff, against the recommendation of the Environmental Assessment, against the will of the local Councillor, against the wishes of the local residents groups… shouldn’t the cost of removing the bike lanes come out of our highway budget?