Ford's team has voiced "no opposition" to a comprehensive plan put forward by the newly minted public works and infrastructure committee chair, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, which would see an connected network of curbed cycling routes along busy roads such as Sherbourne, Wellesley and Richmond Sts.
"I think there's a misconception that Mayor Ford has an opposition to bike lanes. He wants to create bike safety. He wants it where it makes sense," said Minnan-Wong, adding that both the cycling community and local community groups support the plan.
"This shouldn't be about ideology. It's about making a pragmatic choice and recognizing that cyclists need solutions and those solutions don't have to conflict with cars."
The separated lanes will affect parking in some areas, but cars could be accommodated by constructing the bike route next to the sidewalk. Cars would be able to park next to the curbed bike lane, adding yet another layer of safety.
Minnan-Wong's plan has two major north-south and east-west routes, and extends to the lake at Queens Quay. Smaller roads such as St. George, John and Beverley Sts. would be used to provide a seamless network.
Most of the streets affected already have bike lanes, with some minor additions needed to connect the existing patchwork. The one big exception is Richmond.
A two-way bike lane would need to be constructed along that one-way street, which would likely mean removing one of its four lanes, Minnan-Wong said. Not ideal, but necessary to connect the network.
Photo: curbed bike lane in Berlin