Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, planning - safety/accidents, policy - parking, place - north america, mode - bike


Traffic volume, Toronto (Canada), Safety measures, Safety, Public safety, Parking capacity, Parking, North America, Design, Cycling, Case studies, Bicycling, Bicycle usage, Bicycle travel, Bicycle lanes, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel


Bicycle lanes have been installed progressively in downtown Toronto, Canada, since 1993. This marks an important trend, as perhaps for the first time in North America since the invention of the automobile, road space for motor vehicles is being reallocated to bicycles. Toronto's experience has demonstrated that bicycle lanes need to be carefully designed and implemented with ample opportunities for consultation with all key stakeholders. They have shown that many four-lane roads can operate satisfactorily with two midblock and three intersection motor-vehicle lanes. Loss of on-street parking is one of the most controversial issues associated with their implementation. On the other hand, bicyclists feel safer than they did before the lanes were installed. Bicycle-traffic volumes have increased on streets with bicycle lanes, while remaining static or possibly declining citywide. The impacts on motor-vehicle capacity are relatively modest and are considered an acceptable tradeoff for the benefits that arise from encouraging cycling.