Jarvis bike lane protest leads to arrest
By Mamta Lulla
Protests continued Tuesday on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto over the city’s plan to remove bike lanes on the busy thoroughfare with police reportedly making an arrest.
The midday arrest was reported on the Twitter page @Jarvistaskforce.
The removal of the lanes was scheduled for Monday but was called off when protestors staged a sit-in.
City council voted last year in favour of removing the lanes, installed just two years ago.
In making the change, the city has returned to an older system where Jarvis Street has a reversible centre lane, which will come back into effect in early December.
Despite the protest, observers say the removal of the bike lanes will go ahead.
“It is happening. It will eventually happen,” Shawn Micallef, of spacingtoronto.ca told Humber News.
One of the protestors, Iva Jericevic, said in an interview with Humber News, “we know we won’t win this at all, but we really want to try,” she said.
“We will keep doing it until we get arrested,” she said.
Jericevic said one of the reasons for the protest was the lack of consultation with the public.
“They didn’t get a say in this at all,” said Jericevic.
“There was no consultation with the community. It came from council. This is the response to that lack of consultation,” said Micallef.
Micallef said the city is going into a backward direction.
“Toronto is the only city in the world that is removing bike lanes. Every city is putting in bike lane structure. And it’s kind of made Toronto, a little famous,” said Micallef.
“Many people don’t use cars to get to work,” cyclist Sue Love told the Toronto Sun when asked about the bike lanes. “All the money they spent putting them in and then all the money to remove them is just wrong,”
Removal of the lane could cost as much as $300,000, the Sun reported.