Mississauga Cycling Now!

▶ Bloor Street

Bloor Street is a key east-west cycling route which is planned to connect with Bloor Street in Toronto at the Etobicoke Creek border. Currently an unsafe street for cycling, there are plans to upgrade Bloor as a safe multimodal transportation corridor as part of various planned road improvements.



Bloor Street Integrated Project

[Posted: February 17, 2022; *Updated* (Home Page): April 6, 2022]

BLOOR STREET INTEGRATED PROJECT (BSIP): Community Meeting #3 was held March 9, 2022.  Here is the chronology of events and outcomes.

CITY'S PROJECT WEBPAGE: Bloor Street Integrated Project.  NOTE: Slides for Presentation #3 (35p PDF) are posted on the project webpage.

PUBLIC FEEDBACK: The commenting period closed April 1, 2022 via a Survey link on the City's BSIP webpage.  As we noted at the time: "It is important for the cycling community to speak up -- when the Report goes to Council, the number and nature of responses is included.  To support safe cycling infrastructure on Bloor Street, say so!"

TORONTO ADVOCACY: Toronto advocates are supporting the Mississauga cycling community!  ▶ See Bloor BLOGS and Bloor Ride VIDEOS.

OVERVIEW: This blog in particular is a good way to get up to speed with the project, in order to comment:
▶ Two Wheeled Politics by Robert Zaichkowski (March 23, 2022): Mississauga Momentum for Bloor Bike Lanes.  In-depth analysis (including slides) of the 3rd Bloor Street Community Meeting on March 9, 2022 and the outcomes.  Also includes information about MCN!

ALTERNATIVE #5: Attendees from the Mississauga cycling community were pleasantly surprised at Community Meeting #3 on March 9, 2022!  Alternative #5 is now recommended.  Most of the community's requests were met, per Slide 27 of ▶ MCN! Bloor Street Discussion Paper & Photo Tour.  ▶ See MCN! Vision Zero webpage for more on the design elements.

Image (left): Roadway width will be reduced for narrower traffic lanes (to slow traffic); Intersections will be protected for people on foot or bike; Driveway treatments will keep cyclists and pedestrians safer when crossing; Cycle Tracks are uni-directional, and buffered from sidewalks.


*MUTUAL GOAL*: As highlighted in the City of Mississauga presentation at Community Meeting #3 on March 9, 2022: for this project the cycle tracks will extend just to the signalized intersection at Bridgewood Drive (Google map), which is approximately 300m west of the Mississauga-Toronto boundary at Etobicoke Creek.  The City will protect for implementing the one-way cycle tracks east of Bridgewood Drive to the Etobicoke Creek border in the future.

MAP (left): The red circle marks the intersection where the Bloor bike lanes will end pending Toronto implementation east of Etobicoke Creek.

The City of Toronto Cycling Network Plan includes Bloor Street as a cycling route and it is considered a high priority although there is no timeline associated with these improvements and a separate study will be required.  During the Bloor Street detailed design phase (within Mississauga), City transportation staff will contact their Toronto counterparts for an update, to determine how to best coordinate infrastructure.  Mississauga staff has stated the goal is to provide residents with seamless cycling infrastructure between the City of Mississauga and the City of Toronto.

*HEAR! HEAR!* ▶ Toronto Star, Opinion by Robert Zaichkowski (March 30, 2022): Let’s finish bike lanes job on Bloor Street.  "It’s time for the cities of Toronto and Mississauga to finish the job with bike lanes on Bloor from Runnymede Road to Central Parkway".


RIDE FOR BLOOR BIKE LANES (REGIONAL EDITION): On the afternoon of Sunday, March 20, 2022, riders from Toronto and Mississauga rode west/east on Bloor Street respectively, for a rendezvous at the Toronto-Mississauga border.  ▶ See MCN! Group Rides for more.

THANK YOU: To Toronto Community BikeWays Coalition for reaching out in mutual support for safe cycling infrastructure on Bloor Street and initiating this ride!  See: Facebook Event Page.  MAP by Bells on Bloor.


BACKGROUND:

LOCAL PETITION: This unexpected third public meeting was called in response to a last-minute Petition (image) received at Council on January 19, 2022 from the Applewood Hills & Heights Residents' Association (AHHRA) in Ward 3, expressing opposition of local residents to the bike lane component of the Bloor Street project.  View the entire Petition (14p PDF) as posted on the Council Agenda.  View the AHHRA Bloor Street Integrated Project/Study (BIP) webpage to read their complaints.

Click Petition image at left to view all the bullet points given for opposition.

IT'S ABOUT PARKING: As the Petition makes clear, local residents are concerned about "Loss of homeowners additional Driveway spaces".  It must be noted that these extra driveway spaces are on the boulevard in the public right of way and therefore subsidized by the property taxes of all residents in the City.  The generous boulevard is indicative of the road width available to enable a multi-modal approach to transportation through the Bloor Street Corridor.  The City's Traffic By-Law disallows boulevard parking unless it is explicitly allowed under Schedule 31: Driveway Boulevard Parking-Curb to Sidewalk (Bloor Street is not listed).


VIDEOS (JANUARY 19, 2022): View the Deputation by A. Tagidou, AHHRA President to Council (7:45 min), in opposition to the bike lanes.  A second Deputation by C. Kells (5:01 min) followed, in favour of the bike lanes, per Council Agenda (Jan. 19, 2022).  View the Discussion by Council (35:15 min) which includes comments to deputants.

LEGAL REFERENCE: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  AHHRA claims: "The city, by constructing bicycle lanes on Bloor Street between Cawthra and Dixie, would strip us of the freedom to make fundamental personal choices of our individual dignity to live without fear and the individual independence to choose how we live our lives in our homes as well as out on Bloor Street."  At Council the AHHRA deputant invoked Section 7: Life, liberty and security of the person.


MEDIA: Mississauga News article (Feb. 16, 2022): 'It's frustrating': Mississauga residents group [AHHRA] says bike lane project violates their Charter rights...[their] claim that biking infrastructure creates risk of injuries, death is contested by advocates.  Made front page of the MN Thursday print edition (Feb. 17, 2022).

Canadian Cycling Magazine article (Feb. 16, 2022): This residents group [AHHRA] is saying a bike-lane project violates its Charter rights. The City of Mississauga is increasing its cycling infrastructure.

BONKERS AWARD: Cracked Magazine (February 26, 2022) cited the Mississauga Bloor Street bike lanes Charter rights argument in: Weird World: 12 Times Utterly Bonkers Stuff Happened On This PlanetImage.


DISCUSSION: Above are the facts and context of the present case.  How does the cycling community address this all-too-familiar scenario?  The case of the Bloor Street bike lanes has catalyzed the cycling community in Mississauga.  Perhaps because of the extraordinary claim of a Charter Rights violation (which could actually cut both ways), and citizen fatigue with approved plans that never seem to get implemented (remember The Collegeway?), people who ride bikes in Mississauga are leaning in on this one.  Although barely any promised cycling infrastructure has been built in Mississauga over the past three (3) years, NOTHING will get built if this Charter argument or other speculative reasons are entertained.

ADVOCACY: This is a political decision.  Collective participation can make a difference!

 - Review the design and benefits of the Bloor Street project.
 - Post your comments on social media, including on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
 - Note the online Request for Feedback and prepare to respond by the deadline of April 1, 2022.