Mayor Rob Ford’s City Hall is poised to “dramatically expand” the city’s off-street bike trail network, public works chairman Denzil Minnan-Wong vowed Tuesday!
Minnan-Wong trumpeted the city’s plan to spend $60 million to add around 77 km of off street trails over the next 10 years and vowed approvals for the trail expansion will be going to the public works committee in May.
“(The plan) will propose to dramatically expand the off street trail network in the City of Toronto,” Minnan-Wong told the Ontario Bike Summit Tuesday.
Projects proposed this year include extending the Finch Hydro Corridor Trail east of Yonge St. to connect with the Don Trail, extending the Waterfront Trail further west in Etobicoke and further east into Pickering, and commencing an Environmental Assessment for the expansion of the East Don Trail.
The public works chairman said the bikeway trails network would have investments of around $6 million a year for the next decade.
“The new trails will reach into many more neighbourhoods across the city and encourage more Torontonians to get on their bikes,” he said. “The trails provide some of the most pleasant and safest opportunities to get around and to explore our city.”
If approved by the public works committee and city council, bikeway trails will connect more of the city’s existing trails and provide better trails into the downtown.
“In Scarborough you’ll have a route to go from Scarborough, the eastern parts of Scarborough, all the way down to the downtown, to the waterfront, without having to ride on a road,” Minnan-Wong said. “I think that’s a really good option … it is a really safe alternative and I think that a lot of cyclists would appreciate that.”
Toronto is opening 30 km of new trails this spring worth more than $17 million including 10 km along the Finch Hydro corridor in North York, 12 km within the Gatineau Hydro corridor in Scarborough and four km on the Don Mills Trail.
Minnan-Wong also heralded the city’s move towards building a separated, on-street bike lane network starting with Sherbourne St. this year and hinted staff will come forward with a strategy this fall to expand Toronto’s BIXI bike-sharing program.
Are you excited for the expansion proposal? Woud it make you want to ride your bike more in the city?