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 to improving safety for all users.
Winter Cycling Tips

Winter Cycling Tips

The first snowfall of the year is behind us, but winter has only just begun. As snow and ice collect on our streets over the next few months, we wanted to share some information on snow clearing processes in Toronto, as well as some tips for biking in the snow and cold.

We all know how frustrating and treacherous it is when the bike lanes are unsafe to ride due to snow and ice. Our Acting Co-Executive Director Alison met with the city’s Director of Operations and Maintenance to discuss the importance of ensuring that all separated bike lanes and sidewalks in Toronto are cleared when snow accumulation reaches 2cm. This is a significant improvement from 2020, when snow clearing began at 5cm. Please keep in mind that all road users need to be mindful of the winter conditions before heading out. While snow clearing operations begin at 2cm, it will sometimes take up to 12 or 24 hours for the job to be complete as the brining, salting and plowing can take multiple rounds to keep the roads clear and safe to travel on, so please be patient when it begins to snow.

This said, if, after 12 hours after a snowfall there remain dangerous conditions that haven’t been properly cleared of snow, report it to 311 by:

  1. Phoning 311, submitting a 311 Service Request online or via the city’s new 311 App
  2. Tweet @311Toronto on Twitter – tag us @CycleToronto, include a photo, and add #BikeTO and #ShovelTO to make sure other cyclists are aware!

Bike in the snow

Sidewalk Snow Clearing

Sidewalk Snow Clearing

Now that the winter season is upon us, it may be useful to once again review both the City’s and residents’ responsibilities for clearing sidewalks.

For years the City has cleared the sidewalks of snow in many parts of the city but some areas have not been included in their program, leaving the responsibility to homeowners. Last winter a pilot program to include previously unserviced neighbourhoods, such as parts of Lytton Park, was initiated. In June 2021 the Sidewalk Snow Clearing Plan was approved for all Toronto neighbourhoods. The official start for clearing all sidewalks in the City including the Lytton Park area was December 1, 2022.

ActiveTO Midtown: Yonge Becomes A Complete Street

ActiveTO Midtown: Yonge Becomes A Complete Street

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 the new EglintonTOday Complete Street project.

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

eglintonTOday

eglintonTOday

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

Automated Speed Enforcement

Automated Speed Enforcement

Enforcement is a key driver of street safety

In fall of 2022 the City announced that they would be installing 25 new Automated Speed Enforcement devices across Toronto. These devices were launched in 2020 as part of the Vision Zero program, and have since issued more than 560,000 tickets. City staff recently made public that the fines accumulated through these tickets over the past two years have totaled 34 million dollars.

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.

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.

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:

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