With COVID-19 making it vital for people to keep their distance from one another, the city of Toronto undertook the largest one-year expansion of its cycling network in 2020, adding about 25 kilometres of temporary bikeways.
Yet, the benefits of helping people get around on two wheels go far beyond facilitating physical distancing, according to a recent study by three University of Toronto researchers that was published in the journal Transport Findings.
Bo Lin, Shoshanna Saxe, and Timothy Chan, all of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, used census, city and survey data to map Toronto’s entire cycling network – including the new routes – and found that additional bike infrastructure increased low-stress road access to jobs and food stores by between 10 and 20 per cent, while boosting access to parks by an average of 6.3 per cent.
- Toronto’s COVID-19 bike lane expansion boosted access to jobs, retail, study finds (February 22: Phys.org)
- Toronto’s COVID-19 bike lane expansion boosted access to jobs, retail (February 25: Bioengineer.org, EurekAlert!; March 2: Science Connected Magazine)
- Toronto’s COVID-19 bike lane expansion boosted access to jobs, retail: U of T Engineering Study (February 26: Environmental News Network)
- Study: Toronto’s bike lane expansion increased access to jobs, retail during COVID-19 (March 1: GlobalSpec)