What is Contraflow?
Contraflow bicycle lanes are installed on one-way streets and allow cyclists to legally travel in both directions. They are cost effective, safe, and ensure that cyclists are not forced onto busy arterial roads that lack proper cycling infrastructure.
Contraflow lanes are used all over Europe and North America.
Contraflow Lanes in Toronto
Many west-end neighbourhoods in Toronto have short sections of one-way streets that make it difficult to establish continuous routes for cyclists to travel across the city. Installing contraflow bicycle lanes on some of these one way streets would help to connect these streets and create safer cycling routes.
Why the delay?
In 2008 and 2009, The City of Toronto approved the installation of 13 contraflow lanes but their installation has been stalled for almost 5 years.
Why? Because the City is concerned that the provincial Highway Traffic Act does not allow contraflow lanes on designated one-way streets. The City of Ottawa has interpreted the Highway Traffic Act differently and installed contraflow bike lanes.
Toronto needs clarification from the Ontario government to end this confusion, and allow our city to move ahead with our bike plan.