Toronto's mysterious street art activists have a new campaign: Get the city to connect it's bike lanes so they're actually useful.
The Urban Repair Squad, an activist group from Toronto that has been using street art and stencils to advocate for improvements to the city's transportation infrastructure in clever ways (see "Pothole Onomatopoeia"), just completed a new project. This latest work highlights the nonsensical gap in a Toronto bike lane.
Martin Reis, the group's media liaison (it's unclear who the actual members of the URS are), emailed us this statement:
As you can imagine most North American cities have bike lanes networks like Swiss cheese. Lots of holes in them. That's simply a bad idea for everybody. A very bad case can be found in Toronto along Harbord street. For very long time now this super popular bike lane on Harbord street leading right into the University of Toronto, Ontario Provincial Gov't Offices and downtown has a big gap in it. Why? Local councillor Adam Vaughan prefers to maintain a few parking spots instead of making the street safer for all forms of transportation.\n
To highlight the need for a bike lane, the group used these bike-lane-cum-question-mark stencils and posters.
Broken or discontinuous bike lanes are indeed a problem beyond Toronto. Back in 2008, Slate found a bike lane in Los Angeles, in the middle of the city, that ran for one block and no more, and it wouldn't be hard to find other examples.
You can see more pictures of the URS bike lane work on Flickr.
Photos courtesy of Martin Reis