Protected bike lanes would replace two lanes of vehicle traffic on a remade north Yonge St. if Jennifer Keesmaat is elected Toronto mayor.
Keesmaat told reporters near Yonge and Finch Ave. on Tuesday she would proceed with a city-staff recommended plan to make the six-lane, condo-lined corridor a vibrant pedestrian and cyclist destination between Finch and Sheppard Ave.
Bike lanes would not impede traffic and would bring cyclists to shops which front sidewalks that would be widened and improved with better pedestrian crossings, said the former Toronto chief planner.
Mayor John Tory, seeking re-election, opposes the part of the plan that would see bike lanes replace Yonge St. vehicle lanes, citing concerns from some residents of increased gridlock.
He wants to put the bike lanes on nearby Beecroft Rd., and beautify Yonge St. where possible. He says he’s confident his plan won’t cost the extra $20 million predicted by city staff.
When it appeared the plan with bike lanes on Yonge would be rejected, despite strong support for it from local Willowdale Councillor John Filion, Councillor Joe Cressy proposed the project be put on hold until after the Oct. 22 civic election.
David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering Toronto politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider