Jarvis bike lane removals called off for the day because of protest: they'll try again tomorrow

The Jarvis bike lanes were slated to be removed today (above image from Toronto Star). The 5th lane light has already been installed. The parking meters for cars are back. But protests today have stalled the removal.

Around 1 p.m. Monday, workers began scrapping the white bike lane lines off of Jarvis St. using a large “Stripe Hog” truck. They didn’t make it far. At 1:34 p.m., 33-year-old Steve Fisher sat down in their path just before Wellesley St. E.

“I know you’re doing your job but I’m not going to move,” he said.

“I don’t believe the Jarvis bike lanes should be removed,” he said. “Before the lanes were involved I was hit twice by cars.”

Supervisor Jim Gillberry contacted the city for advice. After a wait of about 10 minutes the scrubbing truck pulled around Fisher and began work south of Wellesley, where another protester was waiting.

The truck pulled around the second protester only to encounter another person sitting in the street, as the sit-in continued.

Read more at the Star. I'm interested to see how things continue tomorrow.

Mayor Ford applauded the removal, saying he's just doing what he was elected to do.


You're really not helping the situation. So thousands of drivers now think less of us, and you've accomplished nothing? Well done.

I just read about the installation of on-street parking meters. And I am crying and screaming at the same time.

What, you actually thought this was about bikes taking up urgently needed road space?

Pay & Display parking was previously in place along the west side of Jarvis between Isabella & Wellesley.

I assume that is exactly what is coming back?

Automobiles are used for TRAVELLING. Bicycles are used for TRAVELLING. Shoes are also used for TRAVELLING. Jarvis used to have separate TRAVEL lanes for automobile, separate TRAVEL lanes for bicycles, and separate TRAVEL lanes (sidewalks) for shoes (walking). Without the separate TRAVEL lanes for bicycles and automobiles, they will now have to SHARE the same lane. That means automobiles will have to follow the slowest vehicle in their lane, which now means a bicycle.

Bicycles can still use Jarvis Street, they just have to SHARE the lane with automobiles. They will have to travel in the center of the lane to avoid potholes, debris, and sewer grates, but they have the right to use the same lane as the automobiles. The automobiles will just have to now travel at the bicycle speed.

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

@ Seymore

Yes, bikes could use the right lane on Jarvis to travel... or they could use the dedicated lane on Sherbourne. If not, I suggest we rip that out too.

Good point, david. So I guess you agree that cars could use the new, narrower 5-lane "superhighway" on Jarvis to travel...or they could use the dedicated motorist-only lanes on the Don Valley Parkway.

If not, I suggest we rip that out too.

@ david davis - And that's relevant because...?

It's relvant becuase that was thequid pro quo for removing the Jarvis bike lanes and it's the next street over.

@ david davis - I still don't understand your comment.

It's relvant becuase that was thequid pro quo for removing the Jarvis bike lanes and it's the next street over.

You mean the lanes that are not complete? (Unless they finished the whole thing since last Saturday.)

And, I don't think the "quid pro quo" was one that anyone asked for. In my judgement, the cry for separated bicycle facilities is misguided, because the execution of the Sherbourne lanes is pretty awful. While I don't live in the area any more, there wasn't anything wrong with the painted lanes, and the separated lanes have several serious drawbacks.

In other words

  1. If anyone agreed to exchange Jarvis bike lanes for separated Sherbourne lanes, they made a dumb deal. (I would not have done so.)
  2. The Jarvis lanes are gone, but the Sherbourne ones are not complete. (Despite the BS from Minnan-Wong, Grimes, etc. that the Jarvis lanes would only be removed after the Sherbourne separated lanes were done.)

My point is that the dedicated Sherbourne lanes where negotiated by Kristen Wong Tam in exchange for the removal of the Javis lanes. Why would a cyclist continue to cycle on Jarvis Street when there are dedicated lanes on Sherbourne? If they continue to cycle on Jarvis street just to make a point that they are entiled to a full lane, then I really don't see the need for dedicated lanes on Sherbourne. The cycling movement in Toronto is basically shooting ittself in the foot. Even KWT said the Jarvis lanes are not being used and that was the greatest threat to their existence. If Sherbourne isn't utilzed, it could suffer the same fate.

Ed - I agree - the Jarvis lanes should not be removed until Sherbourne was complete... I suspect Sherbourne ran into some significant delays while Jarvis was already committed. As for the trade, I think its a fair one made by KWT. The cycling community was screaming for dedicated lanes.. we now have one. It's on a calmer street, the lane is wider than Jarvis, and it connects to Queens Quay. As for the design of the dedicated lane, I can't really comment - but its partly a learning experience... hopefully they get better designed as we build more.

My point is that the dedicated Sherbourne lanes where negotiated by Kristen Wong Tam in exchange for the removal of the Javis lanes.

No. The motion to remove the bicycle lanes on Jarvis was introduced with no notice in a PWIC meeting. There was no "negotiation". As for the Sherbourne separated lanes, they were a brainchild of Denzil Minnan-Wong back in 2010 or 2011. If there was any "negotiation", it was "please don't remove the Jarvis lanes before the Sherbourne ones are completed". There was no negotiation about whether one was a tradeoff for the other, it was only about timelines on what was otherwise a fait accompli.

If you have any different information, please post it here.

The cycling community was screaming for dedicated lanes..

Some were. If you look back here, I was always a skeptic of the "separated lanes are a saaaaafe place to ride (for the kids!)" rhetoric.

It's on a calmer street, the lane is wider than Jarvis, and it connects to Queens Quay.

The lane is not wider than on Jarvis. The curbs, in fact, make it a nasty narrow ride where passing another bicycle is basically not possible.

I agree that Sherbourne is a calmer street. But that's why the existing painted lanes on Sherbourne were fine (to all but the "we need to be separated!") crowd. And it turns out the separation does nothing because cars park on the lane, while bicycles have a hard time getting over the curb to get around the parked cars.

Not only was none of this nonsense "negotiated" in any meaningful sense, I would say that the separated Sherbourne lanes + no Jarvis lanes is a worse situation for bicycles than the 2009 status quo of painted Sherbourne lanes + no Jarvis lanes. And it is a much worse situation than painted Sherbourne lanes + painted Jarvis lanes.

Meanwhile, Minnan-Wong can say "see, you got separated bicycle lanes on Sherbourne, now piss off you whining cyclists."

Ed - I rode on Sherbourne yesterday... although not as wide as the previous lane (I'm not sure why) there is more than enought space to pass another cyclist. I really don't see any downside to these lanes. Still a win-win for residents.

There's only room to pass, barely, if the overtaken cyclist cooperates by moving all the way to the right.

If you watch the riders in the Sherbourne lanes--in fact, just about any bike lanes, painted or separated--they will tend to ride right down the middle of the lane, or even a bit to the left of the middle. You can confirm this by looking at tire tracks where there's been a puddle or some mud--they just about all track within about 10cm of the middle of the lane.

That is most likely where you rode, too.

A big part of the reason is because there are sewer gratings in the right-hand part of the lane. This, by the way, is one of the lousy aspects of the Sherbourne lanes that I have criticised before: there should be NO gratings on dedicated bicycle infrastructure. Of course they cost money to move, so they were left, pretty much making the right half of the lane anywhere from bumpy and unpleasant to dangerous when it's wet (bicycle tires have zero traction on wet metal).

There is nowhere near enough room to pass another cyclist who is riding in the natrual position, which is the middle of the lane.

I have passed other cyclists in bike lanes of the same 1.6m width as we have on Sherbourne, e.g. on College. The safe way to pass is to move left of the painted line. This is not possible on Sherbourne.

As far as coaxing slower riders to move over into the sewer grate zone so I can pass them, I don't think this is particularly fair to the slower riders, and I am not sure how much room there would be to squeeze by on the left.

Let us know if you actually passed another cyclists, and how comfortable it was for both you and the rider you passed.

I'll let you know if its a problem... I suspect most people cycle in the centre lane but would move over when someone passes... I always bike right beside the curb. I bought fat slick tires specifically for this purpose and so should all cyclists. Anyone cycling with a tire that can get stuck in a sewer is just asking for trouble. Worse than riding without a helmet IMO.

pennyfarthing ok frye