SIDEWALKS & STREETS

LPRO is very committed to a better community for all of us to enjoy and as such we are a strong supporter of active transportation, whether you walk, cycle or roll. We believe in sustainable, affordable, healthy and enjoyable ways for us to get around our neighbourhood and city. We demonstrate this commitment through a close relationship with several advocacy organizations, including Cycle Toronto, the City’s leading cycling advocacy group, elected officials from all three levels of government, neighbouring residents' associations, and the local Business Improvement Areas (BIA’s).
Our Advocacy has had a favourable impact on the community with several safety enhancements over the past several years. We were instrumental in having the city install a refuge island on Bathurst Street to connect the Belt-Line Trail for the benefit of walkers, joggers and cyclists. We also consulted on the establishment of the Avenue Road Pedestrian Safety Zone that resulted in a speed limit reduction to 40km/h, added a curb-side buffer-zones to protect pedestrians and eliminated parking. This has resulted in a calmer and safer experience. More work still needs to be done on Avenue Road and all major arterial streets with a view for safety.
Yonge Street Makeover!

Yonge Street Makeover!

Major changes are coming to our iconic Yonge Street over the next several years that will fundamentally change the way we interact with the street. Three council motions have been approved involving different sections on Yonge from downtown Toronto to downtown North York.

The first motion was proposed by Councillor Colle calling for City staff to study the feasibility of adding Bike Lanes on Yonge Street from Lawrence to Bloor St. If the lanes are implemented with the CafeTO patios that extend on the street, they will create a more complete style of street that is conducive to shopping and dining out. Spring of 2021 is the expected implementation.

The second motion, proposed by Councillor Fillion, is known as the Transform Yonge project. Transform Yonge is an initiative to revitalize Yonge Street by transforming this major artery between Finch and Sheppard into a liveable main street where people can enjoy shopping, restaurants, and a vibrant cityscape. The plan is to rebalance the use of the shared street space by reducing six traffic lanes to four, widening sidewalks, adding planters, benches and outdoor patios and creating a protected cycle track separated from motorists and pedestrians. Construction is expected to begin in 2026.

The third motion focuses on the downtown section of Yonge Street and is known as yongeTOmorrow. The section between Queen Street and Carlton/College Street has a distinct character within the broader downtown context – it has a high concentration of pedestrians, street-related retail, and entertainment uses.This area attracts a large number of events, visitors, and tourists. Work to replace the water main below street level provides the opportunity to enhance space for pedestrians, cyclists, cafe patios and landscaping. 2025 is the estimated date for completion.

All three motions passed with a strong majority at Council and were met with enthusiasm by advocates for traffic safety and the environment who see these initiatives as part of a necessary and growing trend in major cities worldwide.

Eglinton Connects

Eglinton Connects

Canada’s longest continuous bike path is coming in 2022!

The new streetscape design will include protected and marked cycle lanes along the Eglinton Crosstown route from Mt. Dennis to Kennedy Road. This is one of our highest priorities: once completed it will represent the longest bike lane in Canada at 19km long. Our task is to lobby all three levels of government to make sure funding is in place so that the bike lanes can be completed as planned and at the same time as Eglinton Crosstown is put into service, estimated for mid 2022.

Cycling Myths Debunked

Cycling Myths Debunked

As cycling becomes more popular as a means to travel around our city, opinions versus facts also seem to increase. The link below attempts to address this controversy:

Additional Midtown Cycling Projects

Additional Midtown Cycling Projects

We are actively advocating for a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists to traverse the bridge over the 401 on Avenue Road to connect North Toronto and North York and adding a multi-use pathway through Eglinton Park to connect the north/south bike route from Rosewell Avenue to Lascelles Avenue.

Sidewalk Snow Clearing Comes to Midtown

Sidewalk Snow Clearing Comes to Midtown

Program Expands Across Toronto!

Councillor Josh Matlow’s motion to expand a pilot program for winter sidewalk snow clearing to include our Midtown neighbourhood was passed 24 to 1 by City Council in November 2020. Thank you to all the residents who contacted the Mayor and Councillors regarding this motion. This impacts all of us who use sidewalks, especially seniors, families with strollers, people in wheelchairs and other mobility devices, people walking to transit or to our struggling businesses, and employees and service workers like mail carriers. Expanding City sidewalk clearing across all Toronto neighbourhoods will help to prevent slip-and-fall injuries from putting added pressure on our hospitals during COVID and would also save the City some of the $7.5M it pays annually to settle slip-and-fall lawsuits.

Toronto has about 7,029 km of sidewalks and the Transportation Department mechanically clears approximately 5,785 km (about 82%), with the exception of areas where a snow plow is unable to navigate the space to physically clear the snow. In February 2020 Transportation began a pilot program testing eight new pieces of equipment in selected areas across the city where existing contractor’s sidewalk plows cannot operate. The trial, which prioritizes locations that serve seniors and residents with disabilities, will continue throughout this upcoming winter season with a ninth machine covering an additional 230 km of sidewalk. As a result several streets north of Eglinton and within the Lytton Park area will now be included in the pilot, including sidewalks on Craighurst, Albertus, Briar Hill, St. Clements, Castlefield, Roselawn and Duplex (Lytton to Roselawn).

A map of the new streets covered in the pilot can be found here:  Sidewalk Trial Beat 1-9

Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI)

Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI)

A very effective Vision Zero tool

This program provides an advanced walk signal so that pedestrians begin to cross the street before vehicles get a green signal. The purpose of LPI is to provide pedestrians an advantage over turning vehicles at intersections where it is determined that pedestrians, wishing to enter the crosswalk, were being hindered by aggressive right turns. The LPI is used to improve motorist yielding behaviour toward pedestrians in a crosswalk. The LPI is particularly helpful for older or handicapped pedestrians, as they may take longer to occupy the crosswalk following the start of a “walk” indication, making them less obvious to turning motorists. There are currently two LPI’s in our community, both on Yonge St. at Briar Hill Ave. and Castlefield Ave.

Automated Speed Enforcement

Automated Speed Enforcement

Enforcement is a key driver of street safety

Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is an automated system that uses a camera and a speed measurement device to detect and capture images of vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limit. It is designed to work in tandem with other methods and strategies, including engineering measures, education initiatives and traditional police enforcement. ASE is focused on altering driver behaviour to decrease speeding and increase safety. The images are reviewed by Provincial Offence Officers and then tickets are issued to the owner of the vehicle regardless of who was driving. Upon conviction, the only penalty is a fine – no demerit points will be issued nor will the registered owners driving record be impacted. Automated Speed Enforcement systems are currently active in Community Safety Zones near schools. In the first month, it handed out 22,301 of them. Mayor Tory said that’s a “horrifying” number of people speeding in school zones.

See the current locations of speed cameras in the City of Toronto: Camera Locations.
Our goal at LPRO is to make North Toronto’s sidewalks and streets safe for its residents of all ages. You can help us by identifying high risk areas to pedestrians and cyclists and making suggestions on how to improve them.

If you love to ride your bike to commute, shop or exercise and would like to get involved in our advocacy journey, consider joining the CycleTO Midtown group – a committed and fun group to engage with. Send us an email: tworrall67@gmail.com

Further references

The City of Toronto is a great resource for all aspects of cycling from the novice to the veteran: City of Toronto - Cycling in Toronto

CycleTO is a non-profit advocacy and the most effective voice for cycling in Toronto: www.cycleto.ca

Cycling from a by-gone era!

Walking up the hill to St. Clair, 1907
Nude bike ride from 1912?
Passing Old City Hall when it was new, 1899