Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business

A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto's Annex Neighbourhood

The Clean Air Partnership

Proposals to install bike lanes on major streets are often met with opposition from merchants who fear that the reallocation of road space from on-street parking to on-street bike lanes would hurt business. The purpose of this study is to understand and estimate the importance of on-street parking to business on Bloor Street in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto.

To encourage more Canadians to use bicycles for utilitarian trips more often, it is essential that the implementation of bike lanes on major streets be accelerated. The Bloor-Danforth corridor is a particularly attractive option for a city-wide east-west bike lane in Toronto because it is one of the only long, straight, relatively flat routes that connects the city from end to end; there are no streetcar tracks; and it has one of the highest incidences of bicycle collisions in the city.

This report is about the development and testing of new analytic tools to determine the public acceptability and economic impact of reallocating road space. The study — conducted in July of 2008 — surveyed the opinions and preferences of 61 merchants and 538 patrons on Bloor Street and analyzed parking usage data in the area.

Filed in: Engineering, Promoting Walking and Bicycling

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