map showing the project study area from Dupont Street to Harbord Street
Click to enlarge.

Shaw Street (Harbord Street to Dupont Street) and Roxton Road (Harbord Street to Bloor Street West)

In June 2020, the City will be resurfacing Shaw Street, between Dupont Street and Dewson Street. This will provide an opportunity to improve safety on Shaw Street, between Harbord Street and Dupont Street.

Since the installation of the contra-flow bike lane in 2013, Shaw Street has become a popular north-south cycling route. This is clearly evident in data collected between 2016 and 2019 where the following trends were observed:

  • 300 people cycling per hour during morning rush hour
  • More than 3,000 people cycling per day.
  • At least 21 per cent of people who live on or near Shaw Street ride a bike to work or school.
  • More than 75 per cent of people on Shaw Street either walk or bike during the morning rush hour.

In addition to having become a popular cycling route, it has been determined that the volume of drivers on Shaw Street exceeds the City of Toronto’s Guidelines for a shared lane (for people driving and cycling). Recent data shows that 20 to 30 per cent of traffic volume on Shaw Street is due to cut through traffic.

Once the resurfacing work is completed, work crews will install new signage for changes in traffic direction and road markings on Shaw Street and other impacted streets. It is worth noting that the changes will maintain access for people driving to local destinations and accessing their homes. Depending on the street, residents may end up with limited access to their homes and will have to take a different route to get home. For details on safety improvements, please refer to ‘Safety Improvements Summary’ below.

The purpose of this project is to reduce cut-through traffic and create safer and more comfortable conditions for people walking and cycling. 

Next Steps

Project Approval

The safety improvements were approved at the City’s Infrastructure & Environment Committee on March 11, 2020, and City Council on April 30, 2020.

Construction Notices & Updates

The City has been sending notices in advance of the construction work and safety improvements being implemented.

Post-Construction Monitoring & Data Collection

After all work is completed, the City will observe the new behaviour, obtain new traffic data on Shaw Street and evaluate before and after conditions. If there are operational challenges, further changes will need to be considered.

Map of Area 1 – Changes on Shaw Street (Dupont Street to Bloor Street West)
Map of Area 1 (Click to enlarge)

Area 1 – Changes on Shaw Street (Dupont Street to Bloor Street West)

  • Shaw Street from Dupont Street to Essex Street:
    • Change to northbound-only travel for people driving.
    • Provide southbound contra-flow bike lane on west side of street.
    • Provide on-street parking on east side of street.
  • Shaw Street from Essex Street to Bloor Street West:
    • Maintain southbound-only travel for people driving.
    • Provide northbound contra-flow bike lane on east side of street.
    • Provide on-street parking on west side of street.
  • Change Essex Street from Ossington Avenue to Shaw Street to eastbound-only travel for people driving and cycling.
    Shaw Street at Essex Street:

    • People would not be permitted to drive north-south through along Shaw Street.
    • People driving east on Essex Street must turn right and travel south on Shaw Street.
    • People driving west on Essex Street must turn right and travel north on Shaw Street.
    • Emergency vehicles and people walking or cycling would be allowed to travel through north-south along Shaw Street.
  • No changes to public lane or driveway access points.

These changes result in the removal of 18 on-street parking spaces in Permit Parking Zone 3L (which has 605 total spaces) in order to provide better sight-lines for all road users, City permit parking records show there are more on-street parking spaces available in the area than are currently being used.

Map of Area 2 – Shaw Street (Bloor Street West to Harbord Street)
Map of Shaw Street Area 2 Changes (Click to enlarge)

Area 2 – Shaw Street (Bloor Street West to Harbord Street)

  • Shaw Street, from Bloor Street West to Harbord Street:
    • Change to northbound-only travel for people driving.
    • Change existing southbound sharrows on west side of street to southbound contra-flow bike lane.
    • Change existing northbound contra-flow bike lane on east side of street to northbound sharrows.
    • Change existing on-street parking on west side to the east side of street.
  • Change Roxton Road, from Harbord Street to Bloor Street West to southbound-only travel for people driving and cycling (to avoid having three parallel northbound-only streets).

The City undertook a public consultation exercise between November 8 and December 5, 2019, through an online survey (December 5 closing date) and public drop-in event held on November 21, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bob Abate Community Centre. A total of 45 people attended the public consultation and 190 people participated in the survey. Notice of the open house was mailed to over 5,800 properties in the area bounded by Dupont Street, Ossington Avenue, Christie Street/Grace Street and Harbord Street.

Several different street design options were developed with the overarching goals of:

  • reducing the volume of neighbourhood cut-through traffic (while still allowing local traffic access);
  • improving safety for people walking, cycling, and driving; and
  • minimizing the impacts to on-street parking. Each option proposed disallowing motor vehicles to travel continuously along Shaw Street from Dupont Street to Bloor Street.

The options all maintained bicycle travel in both directions along Shaw Street.

For more information, please refer to the following documents:

Will existing speed limits be reduced as a part of these changes?

There are no plans to reduce the speed limit on any of the streets in the area bounded by Dupont Street, Harbord Street, Grace/Christie Street and Ossington Avenue

Do these changes mean that it will take me longer to get home?

Depending on the street, residents may end up with limited access to their homes and will have to take a different route to get home

Will the traffic and parking changes happen at the same time as the road resurfacing work?

Yes, the City’s contractor will begin by resurfacing the road as well as repairing any deficient sidewalks and curbs.  Once this work is completed, the traffic and parking changes will be implemented by the contractor. These changes will be in the form of pavement markings and signage.

Will existing speed humps and/or bumps be removed as a part of this project?

No, any existing traffic calming measures and speed humps/bumps will be maintained. Any existing damaged speed humps will be repaired.

If I utilize an Accessible Parking Space, or Accessible Loading Zone and it’s currently on my side of the street, will it be relocated across the street if the contraflow bike lane is placed on my side of the street?

One of the goals of this project is to have on-street parking and the contraflow bike lane on opposite sides of the street. In the event that the contraflow bike lane in place, all parking spaces including Accessible Parking/Loading will also be relocated across the street.

How many parking spaces will be lost as a result of these safety improvements?

The installation of the proposed changes will require that 19 on-street permit parking be removed. This is necessary in order to improve sight lines and accommodate driveways, fire hydrants, etc. Shaw Street is located in Permit Area 3L where 21 per cent of permit spaces remain available. The current demand for permit parking can continue to be accommodated with the proposed changes.

Why is the City recommending Option 4 between Bloor Street West and Dupont Street, and Option 1 between Harbord Street and Bloor Street West?

For Shaw Street between Dupont Street and Bloor Street, Option 4 is being recommended. This is based on consultation feedback and because the design is expected to result in the reduction of the number of motor vehicles travelling along the corridor, making it safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities walking and cycling.

For Shaw Street between Bloor Street West and Harbord Street, Option 1 is being recommended, based on consultation feedback and also to avoid having three parallel northbound-only one-way streets in a row.

Will the City monitor the safety improvements once they are implemented?

After all work is completed, the City will observe the new behaviour, obtain new traffic data on Shaw Street and evaluate before and after conditions. If there are operational challenges, further changes will need to be considered.

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