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The Globe and Mail

Ford's hands off Jarvis Street bike lanes - for now

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he is in no hurry to rip out the bike lanes on Jarvis Street, even though he makes no bones about his dislike for them.

Responding to reports that the controversial lanes could be on the chopping block, Mr. Ford said he is in no rush to undo this particular legacy of former mayor David Miller's time in office.

"Eventually would I like to see them go? Absolutely," Mr. Ford told reporters. "It is not something that is going to happen immediately ... It is just a rumour for now."

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Rumour or not, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam says she feels she has been "put on alert" that the Mayor and his supporters are ready to go after a piece of infrastructure in her ward, just as they succeeded this week in delaying a $22-million pedestrian and bike link to Fort York.

"We saw what happened to Councillor [Mike]Layton and this bridge. He never saw it coming," Ms. Wong-Tam said.

If Mr. Ford decides to whip up a vote, she has no doubt the bike lanes could be history, but if changes are to be made, the public needs to be involved and other improvements to the street need to be considered, she said.

The chairman of the public works committee, Denzil Minnan-Wong, said it should come as no surprise that the bike lanes on Jarvis Street have come under fire, since there has been talk of removing them since they went in last year.

Bike lanes are expected to be on the committee's agenda in June and Jarvis Street could be discussed then, he said.

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