No middle of the road on Jarvis bike lanes

Cars crawled bumper-to-bumper in both directions on Jarvis Streetduring yesterday morning’s commute, but the centre lane stayed empty.

Cars crawled bumper-to-bumper in both directions on Jarvis Street during yesterday morning’s commute, but the centre lane stayed empty.

No longer does the middle lane of the five-lane arterial accommodate either north- or southbound traffic on four or two wheels, depending on the time of day. As of next week, new bike lanes will be painted on both sides of the road, at the curb. And the centre lane will disappear.

For now, instead of the changing green arrow or red X that lets drivers know whether they could use the lane, the middle of Jarvis is lined on both sides, one lane wide by a thick yellow line, which seemed to confuse everybody.

Motor vehicles mostly stayed out of the centre lane, though some used it to make left turns. One lone cyclist swooped south, but otherwise, most stuck to the curb.

Once told why the middle lane was out of service, drivers were divided on whether it was a good idea.

“Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb,” said a woman in a champagne-coloured Maxima.

“Give us back our middle lane!” called out a man with a moustache in a silver VW as he zoomed south.

But another silver VW driver stopped at Shuter Street to express her support of cyclists. “I love it. I love the bike lane,” said the middle-aged woman.

One lone cyclist in a red helmet zoomed south on Jarvis down the middle of the street, but though the lane is currently empty, it’s not meant for bikes.

 
 
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