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The Globe and Mail: "Ambitious plans and political will: This is cycling’s pivotal moment in Toronto"

Link to web site

"So when it comes to cycling infrastructure, why is Toronto so far behind cities such Montreal, which is notably colder?

One historic factor was a fight within the cycling community. As Montreal was building separated bicycle lanes, activists in Toronto were more likely to call for sharing the road. The thinking of so-called vehicular cyclists – who believe that bicycles should take their place on the road amid other vehicles – was influential for a long time in much of North America. But the tide finally began turning in Toronto and in other cities.

" 'Recently, very recently, a lot of planners and advocates changed their mind and realized [separated lanes were] an option to look at seriously,' Jean-François Provonost, a vice-president with the advocacy group Vélo Québec, said in an interview last summer in Montreal, in a café beside one of the city's successful bikes lanes. 'If we want to have dedicated spaces for cyclists, this is probably the way to go.'

"The research backs him up. Studies find that a minority of people will never ride a bicycle, no matter what facilities are built. A smaller group will ride in any conditions. But the majority of people remain in the middle. They are prospective riders – as long as they can feel safe."

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