The Richmond Street, Adelaide Street, Peter Street, and Simcoe Street bikeways were installed as a pilot project between 2014 and 2016. After installation, the cycle tracks on Richmond Street and Adelaide Street have become the highest volume cycling facilities in Toronto, with over 6,000 daily cycle trips. On January 30, 2019 the cycle tracks were made permanent by City Council (IE1.5).
In 2022-2024, the Adelaide Street cycle track will be switched from the south side of the street to the north side of the street, with additional safety measures incorporated.
In 2019, the pilot cycle tracks on Richmond Street and Adelaide Street from Bathurst Street to Parliament Street were made permanent. Subject to the Adelaide cycle tracks being approved as permanent bikeways, Transportation Services proposed to move the existing cycle tracks from the south side of the street to the north side of the street to improve safety, motor vehicle and delivery operations. Today, people cycling are required to merge with motor vehicle traffic in front of First Canadian Place and Scotia Plaza. At these locations, over 300 commercial vehicles per day are required to access the truck elevators serving these properties. Moving the cycle track to the north side will eliminate the conflicts between people cycling and turning trucks by removing the requirement for people cycling to merge with motor vehicle traffic.
In 2022-2024, Transportation Services is moving forward with the installation of the north side cycle tracks on Adelaide Street between Bathurst Street to Parliament Street. The cycle track switch is bundled with watermain, streetcar and road resurfacing work.
As part of the project, protected eastbound left-turn phases for motor vehicles will be installed at Adelaide Street West from Spadina Avenue to Yonge Street, and at Adelaide Street East from Victoria Street to Parliament Street intersections. This will improve traffic flow for left-turning motor vehicle movements and eliminate potential conflicts between pedestrians and people cycling.
In 2011, Transportation Services completed a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of uni-directional and bi-directional cycle tracks on both Richmond Street and Adelaide Street.
It was identified that a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) would be required to implement any permanent bikeways, and that a pilot project could be implemented in advance or as part of an EA study process. Thus, Transportation Services initiated an EA with commitments to consider implementing a pilot project as part of the study process. (PW9.9)
In 2013, Transportation Services launched the Richmond-Adelaide Bikeway Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study to explore the potential to install cycle tracks on Richmond Street and Adelaide Street between Bathurst Street and Sherbourne Street. The study also evaluated the feasibility of bikeways on Wellington Street, Peter Street and Simcoe Street.
In 2014, the first two phases of the EA study were completed. Based on extensive traffic analysis and public consultation, Transportation Services recommended and moved forward with the installation a pilot project as part of the next phase of the EA study. The pilot recommendations included a westbound cycle track on Richmond Street between York Street and Bathurst Street, an eastbound cycle track on the south side of Adelaide Street from Bathurst Street to Simcoe Street, cycle tracks on Simcoe Street from Front Street to Queen Street West, and bicycle lanes on Peter Street from King Street West to Queen Street West.
Also in 2014, Transportation Services recommended and installed a permanent westbound contra-flow bicycle lane on Richmond Street West from Bathurst Street to Niagara Street, a southbound bicycle lane on the west side of Bathurst Street from Richmond Street to Adelaide Street, a westbound contra-flow bicycle lane on the north side of Phoebe Street from Beverley Street to Soho Street, and a westbound contra-flow bicycle lane on Stephanie Street from John Street to Beverley Street. (PW31.7)
In 2015, after the installation of the shorter segments of pilot cycle tracks on Richmond Street and Adelaide Street- staff recommended extending the limits of both pilot projects. On Richmond Street, staff recommended extending the westbound cycle track on the north side from Parliament Street to York Street. On Adelaide Street, staff recommended extending the eastbound cycle track on the south side from Simcoe Street to Parliament Street. The recommendation was based on the first phase of the evaluation, which found increases of cycling trips from approximately 500 to over 2,000 daily trips on the corridor. The extensions were approved by City Council and installed in 2016. (PW6.12)
In 2015, amendments were approved to the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment which reclassified the Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Tracks as a pre-approved Schedule A + project. As a result, the EA project planning procedure was no longer required to be completed.
Transportation Services continued to monitor the project. In 2018, cycling volumes increased to over 6,000 daily cycle trips, making Richmond Street and Adelaide Street the highest volume bikeway corridor in the City of Toronto. There was an average increase of one minute and 20 seconds in motor vehicle travel times in the AM and PM periods after the installation of the cycle tracks. Collisions rates for all modes of travel were reduced, including an 18% decrease in motor vehicle collisions and a 73% decrease in cycling collisions.
Based on the before and after study, in 2019 City Council approved the pilot cycle tracks on Richmond Street and Adelaide Street as permanent bikeways. (IE1.5)
Prior to installation of the pilot bike lanes, the City consulted with the public and stakeholders through workshops, meetings, and extensive communications. Public Consultation Summary – 2013
Following the installation of cycle tracks on Richmond, Adelaide, Peter and Simcoe Streets, the City received feedback through public online surveys, meetings with local business representatives, and email and voicemail to the project inbox. Public Consultation Summary Report – 2015 and Online Survey Results Special Report: Opinions of Property Representatives & Drivers.