Following the successes of quick-build complete streets such as Danforth Avenue and Midtown Yonge, City Council recently approved the eglintonTOday Complete Street project. Eglinton Crosstown LRT was to be accompanied by Eglinton Connects Streetscape – a complete street installation with space for walking and cycling, street beautification and designated areas for parking, deliveries and accessible loading. As the Eglinton Crosstown LRT nears completion, the City has initiated the eglintonTOday project to bring the complete street benefits to the corridor sooner using a quick-build approach, with the permanent installation to be scheduled coincident with future road work projects. As the map above shows, Metrolinx is delivering the streetscape and cycle track sections at station frontages, and for the demonstration area between Avenue Road and Holly Street (just east of Yonge Street). As an interim solution, the eglintonTOday project will implement complete street amenities on Eglinton between the stations. Phase 1 will be completed in 2023 from Keele Street to Mount Pleasant Road. Phase 2, which goes from Mount Pleasant Road to Brentcliffe Road is planned to proceed in 2024 “subject to public consultation, Council approval, feasibility of route alignment and detailed design and capital infrastructure coordination.” Note that Metrolinx is also delivering an on-street bikeway for the section east of Brentcliffe, to Kennedy. Visit toronto.ca/eglintonTOday for more details
In April 2021, Toronto City Council approved the installation of a Complete Street Pilot on Yonge Street between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue. A Complete Street is a transportation policy approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. The Complete Street on Yonge incorporates two programs that were introduced by the City in 2020: ActiveTO, an enhanced network of protected bike lanes to allow cyclists to move around Toronto more safely, better connect the city, and mirror major transit lines; and CafeTO, an on-street dining initiative to support restaurants, bars and cafes. The objectives are:
- Support Vision Zero, the plan adopted by the City to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities related to vehicle collisions.
- Support climate change goals such as TransformTO, designed to reduce GHG emissions to net zero by 2050. Walking and cycling are much easier on the environment than driving.
- Encourage neighbourhood shopping at a time of unprecedented competition from e-commerce, big-box retailers, and bigger shopping malls.
- Reduce speed, including street racing, a dangerous problem all along Yonge Street.
- Manage increased population density by making alternatives to driving viable.
- Support equity on our streets. Walking and cycling are the least expensive ways to travel and put less wear-and-tear on infrastructure than cars.
- Create a north-south route for cyclists that connects to an east-west network.
Yonge4All is a community-based of group including local residents who are working to make the changes permanent when Council decides its fate early in 2023. If you wish to see the Complete Street become permanent, please show your support by signing the online petition and sending an email to the Mayor at the same time! Petition to Make the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot permanent
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.
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:
Further referencesThe 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