The City of Toronto has planned road reconstruction on Shuter Street from Sherbourne Street to River Street in 2020. As part of this project, the City is proposing to make changes to the configuration of the roadway on Shuter Street between Bond Street and River Street to enhance safety for people walking, cycling and driving. These changes include upgrading the existing bicycle lanes to cycle tracks – bike lanes that are physically separated from moving vehicle traffic.
The Shuter Street Bike Lanes project was approved by City Council on April 30, 2020.
The commenting period for this consultation is now closed. All comments and survey responses that were received have been reviewed, and this feedback has been considered by the project team in the development of a staff report. This report will be presented to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee of City Council on March 11, 2020, for consideration.
On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the City hosted a Public Drop-In Event to present information about the proposed project and provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions, speak with City staff and provide feedback on the proposed design.
To learn more about the project, view the materials that were presented at the event:
If you were unable to attend this event, you can ask questions by phone or e-mail.
The City has planned road reconstruction on Shuter Street in 2020. This major road work presents an opportunity to consider improvements to the design of the road that will enhance the safety of all road users. Given the current volume of vehicle traffic on Shuter Street, the City is proposing to make changes to the configuration of the road and upgrade the existing bike lanes to separated bike lanes (‘cycle tracks’) between Bond Street and River Street. Separated bike lanes increase the safety and comfort of all road users by reducing conflicts between people driving, cycling and walking.
Starting in Spring 2020, the City will carry out road reconstruction on Shuter Street between Sherbourne Street and River Street. This work involves removing and replacing the asphalt surface and road base, and some sections of curb and sidewalk. This work is needed to bring the road into a state of good repair.
The City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan identifies road construction as an opportunity to consider road design improvements in order to enhance the safety of people walking, cycling and driving. On Shuter Street, proposed design improvements include:
In addition to these changes, new asphalt and pavement markings will improve the safety and comfort of all road users.
Under the proposed design, the configuration of the road would change in order to accommodate the separated bike lanes (cycle tracks). On one side of the road, the bike lane would be separated from vehicle traffic by a lane of parking and concrete traffic islands. A 1.0 m buffer area between the parking spaces and the bike lane would allow passengers to open the car door and exit safely. On the opposite side of the road, the bike lane would be separated by small concrete curb stones with bollards (posts).
To provide the necessary space in the road for separated bike lanes, parking would be retained on only one side of the street from Bond Street to River Street. The preferred configuration of parking in the proposed design maximizes the amount of space for parking and minimizes impact to permit parking spaces (see Project Information Panels 13-15).
In addition to the proposed cycle track, safety improvements are planned for the curb and sidewalk at several intersections on Shuter Street. Corner radii will be reduced (‘tightened’) in order to slow vehicle turning speed, increase the visibility of people who are walking and reduce crossing distances for pedestrians. Tactile plates will be installed to assist people with low vision.
The reconstruction of Shuter St., which is required due to the poor condition of the road and pavement, provides the opportunity to upgrade the existing bike lanes on Shuter St. While Dundas St. E. also has bike lanes and, unlike Shuter St., continues west of Yonge St., the installation of cycle tracks on Dundas St. E. would require the removal of travel lanes. This would also increase delay for transit users on the Dundas streetcars unless corridor-level traffic measures are undertaken (such as on King Street). Upgrading the bike lane on Shuter St. does not preclude future consideration of changes to cycling infrastructure on Dundas St. E. as part of any future study.
In order to accommodate the separated bike lanes that are proposed, the removal of parking on one side of Shuter Street would be required. Under the proposed design (Option A) 45% of all parking spaces on Shuter Street would be retained, and the vast majority (95%) of existing permit parking spaces would be retained. The parking spaces that would be removed are Pay-and-Display spaces and Free (3 hour) spaces.
We recognize this would be a decrease in the historical convenience for those people who travel by car. This trade-off in parking convenience is being proposed in order to improve the safety of people traveling by bike and the comfort of all road users. By improving cycling infrastructure in the area, some existing car trips may also be converted to cycling trips.
Current users of Pay-and-Display spaces could utilize paid parking in various off-street lots in the vicinity. Existing Free spaces have a 3 hour time limit; people who are using these spaces for longer than three hours are violating existing by-laws and should be utilizing alternate parking arrangements.
The City is aware that parked cars sometimes overhang parking-protected cycle tracks, and that this has been a problem on River St. Because Shuter St. has a wider road width than River St., the buffer along the parking lane on Shuter St. would be wider than the buffer on River St. The proposed bike lanes on Shuter St. will also be wider than the ones on River St. This additional width will provide more room for car doors to open and for cyclists to maneuver.
In the proposed design, the physical separation is dropped in front of the school to allow school buses to load and unload directly to the curb. Maintaining the separation along the bike lane would require the children who are boarding or leaving a bus to cross the cycle track, creating a conflict with people cycling. The conflict of a bus crossing the bike lane before stopping beside the curb is brief in comparison to the potential for conflict when children are boarding or leaving the bus. A similar design is used for the Wellesley Street cycle track without complaint.
The separated bike lanes would remain open year round and would be cleared of snow using specialized snow removal machines, like those used on other cycle tracks in Toronto.
With the exception of the school bus loading zone, vehicles would not permitted to stop in the cycle track for purposes of loading or unloading directly to the curb. Drivers would need to use available parking spaces or side streets in the area for deliveries and for picking up and dropping off passengers.
Protected intersections that involve two unidirectional cycle tracks, such as at Shuter St. and Sherbourne St., are not able to fit within the 20 m x 20 m area owned by the City, even if all turn lanes are removed. Property acquisition on all four corners would be required, which would delay the project by many years. Relocation of above-ground utilities (hydro poles) and, potentially, underground utilities would be required, which would also delay the project. Implementation of protected intersection elements (e.g., setback crossings) at other intersections would also require property acquisition on corners.
The existing road width on the Dundas Street bridge cannot accommodate four lanes of traffic and bike lanes. Removal of travel lanes would require all motor vehicle traffic to share a lane with streetcars, causing increased delay to transit customers, particularly eastbound, due to queuing for the left turn onto the Don Valley Parkway.
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