Local residents were expecting discussion of Re-Imagining Yonge (Sheppard to Finch) at the Public Works Committee this quarter. But this week, Executive Committee approved the following motion by Councillor Shiner:
6a - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor David Shiner
1. City Council decrease the 2017 - 2026 Budget Committee Recommended Capital Budget and Plan for Transportation Services by $4.0 million in 2017 cash flows, and defer consideration of the Re-Imagining Yonge Street Sheppard to Finch capital project to the 2018 Budget process.
Apparently Shiner said that he was against the removal of a lane of traffic on Yonge, and that the loss of street parking will be bad for businesses. He also thinks it's unsafe having the cycle tracks terminate at Bishop Ave, because "inexperienced cyclists" will ride north on Yonge St in the cycle tracks, and then get to Bishop and decide to continue riding further north where there is no bike lane (for now).
This delay could kill the project altogether and lose funding from the federal government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, which requires projects to be shovel ready by 2018. Councillor Filion didn't know it was happening. He's outraged. This is just another example of throwing people under the bus with the most thinly veiled excuses.
First of all, Shiner should be more concerned about inexperienced and careless car drivers than cyclists. It's ludicrous to be worrying about losing street parking when the study showed there is ample parking on side streets and underground, and that parking generally contributes only a tiny fraction of a business's customer base. Then there's the stupid assertion that the termination of the bike lane at Bishop Ave leaves cyclists in the lurch with nowhere to go. The intention of the bike plan is to create a network of bike facilities in the area enabling riders to transfer from one route to another (here's a map
). The Yonge bike lane would connect to the Finch Hydro Corridor trail. Cyclists on Yonge who want a safe way of riding north to Steeles can use the Finch trail to transfer onto the planned Willowdale Ave bike lane (to the east) or to the Hilda Ave signed bike route (to the west). If Shiner wants to rant about cycling safety, then maybe he should make sure that Willowdale and and Hilda projects are built too.