In December 2020, the City consulted the public on two proposed road safety improvements:

  1. Adding physical separation in the painted buffer area of the existing bike lanes on Rathburn Road, between Martin Grove Road and The East Mall in 2021.
  2. Installing new separated bike lanes on Martin Grove Road, south of Rathburn Road to approximately 100 metres north of Burnhamthorpe Road in 2022.

In addition to the proposed projects, the City is planning to reconstruct the intersection of Martin Grove Road and Rathburn Road with a new design, following the completion of watermain replacement work on Martin Grove Road.


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Recommended Designs – March 2021

The recommended designs have been updated in response to feedback from the public.

Martin Grove Road, from Rathburn Road to Donalbert Road (Segment 1)

  • Separated bike lanes with pre-cast concrete curbs with bollards (cycle tracks) are recommended.
  • In response to feedback from local residents, the painted median and concrete islands would be maintained from Rathburn Road to Saralou Court.
  • The concrete island just north of Saralou Court would be slightly reduced in size to accommodate driveway access and turns from Saralou Court onto Martin Grove Road.

Martin Grove Road, from Donalbert Road to Burnhamthorpe Road (Segment 2)

  • Buffered bike lanes, the preferred design presented during consultation, are recommended.

Rathburn Road, from Martin Grove Road to The East Mall

  • Pre-cast concrete curbs with bollards are recommended.
  • This design provides greater visual guidance for people driving into and out of driveways, and provides the same intended benefits of physical separation as low profile barriers.

Responses to Feedback

A number of important issues were raised during the public consultation. The Consultation Summary report provides an extended summary of the feedback received during the comment period. Below are some of the most frequently mentioned concerns with responses.

The cost to install and maintain physical separation is not warranted, given the low volume of people cycling 

Response: Current design guidelines recommend physical separation on streets with volumes exceeding 6,000 vehicles/day, which applies to both Rathburn Road and Martin Grove Road. Physical separation improves safety and comfort for people cycling; it also encourages less confident or more vulnerable road users to cycle more often.

Funds for the installation and maintenance of cycling infrastructure are allocated through the City’s annual budget process. The budget is approved by City Council.

Physical separation will impact the delivery of City services

Response: All City services, including solid waste removal, snow clearing and annual leaf removal, would continue to operate at the current level of service delivery. The City has different types of equipment that would be used to clear snow, leaves and debris from the bike lane.

Physical separation would create delays for people driving and increase traffic congestion  

Response: With the recommended designs, the number and direction of general traffic lanes would not change. Gaps in the physical separation in front of driveways, at bus stops and at intersections would allow people driving to safely pass other vehicles. During annual leaf removal operations, people driving may experience minor delays.

‘No stopping’ regulation on Martin Grove Road would create inconveniences

Response: Vehicles that need to make deliveries or pick up/drop off passengers on Martin Grove Rd will need to stop in driveways or on side streets, as they do in other parts of the city where curbside stopping is not permitted.

Physically separated bike lanes on Martin Grove Rd would not reduce vehicle collisions or speeding

Response: The cycle tracks recommended for Martin Grove Road (Segment 1) would narrow vehicle travel lanes to approximately 3.0 metres. Research shows that reducing the width of lanes results in lower vehicle speed, which reduces the incidence of collisions.

Creating the perception of less driving space through the addition of objects in the roadway, such as physical separation, also has a similar effect on drivers’ speed.

The painted median and concrete islands on Martin Grove Road have reduced vehicle collisions and assist residents with driveway access

Response: The recommended design for Segment 1, has been revised. With the new design, cycle tracks would be installed from Rathburn Road to the curve in the road north of Donalbert Road. and the existing median and traffic islands would remain from Rathburn Road to Saralou Court.

South of Saralou Court the painted median and one traffic island would be removed because there is insufficient space in the road for both bike lanes and a median.

Over half of survey participants prefer physical separation (cycle tracks) in Segment 2, from Donalbert Road to Burnhamthorpe Road

Response: The recommended design for Segment 2 is separated bike lanes with a painted buffer. The curb-to-curb width of the road in Segment 2 limits the width of the painted buffer areas to 0.5 metres. Adding physical separation to a narrow buffer would create challenges for effective maintenance.

Bike lanes are not needed on Martin Grove Road, given low volume of people cycling

Response: The City’s approach to growing the cycling network is guided by several policy objectives, including the TransformTO Climate Change Action Plan, which has set a long-term goal for active transportation: 75% of trips under 5 km walked or cycled by 2050.

The proposed network in the City’s Cycling Network Plan was identified through a scoring process that considered several key factors such as proximity to transit stations and linking parts of the existing network, in addition to current and projected usage.

As the city’s network of safe, connected bikeways grows, so will the number of people who choose to cycle. The proposed bike lane on Martin Grove Rd would establish connections with existing cycling infrastructure on Rathburn Road, on Martin Grove Road north of Rathburn Road, and to local trails. Connection south of Burnhamthorpe Road to the Kipling Transit Hub is proposed and will be studied starting in 2021.

New separated bike lanes are being proposed at this time to coordinate installation with the planned watermain replacement on Martin Grove Road and the redesign of the intersection at Rathburn Road in 2021. This allows for more efficient contracts and reduced duration of construction.

Next Steps

The recommended designs will be presented to the Infrastructure & Environment Committee of City Council for consideration in May 2021.

If approved, pre-cast curbs with bollards would be installed on Rathburn Road in Spring/Summer 2021. Separated bike lanes would be installed on Martin Grove Road in 2022, following the completion of watermain replacement and reconstruction of the intersection at Rathburn Road.

Consultation Summary

The Consultation Summary report summarizes public feedback about the proposed road safety improvements on Rathburn Road and on Martin Grove Road received through all channels. See the News & Updates section for responses to some of the feedback.

Virtual Public Meeting – December 7, 2020

A Virtual Public Meeting was held on December 7, 2020, to share information about the options that are being considered for road safety improvements on Rathburn Road and Martin Grove Road and the options for realigning the watermain below Mimico Creek.

The Virtual Public Meeting included:

  • presentations on the reconstruction of the intersection of Martin Grove Road and Rathburn Road and the watermain replacement from Rathburn Road to Lorraine Gardens.
  • a Question & Answer period

The Consultation Summary report includes a summary of questions raised at the public meeting with responses from the project team.

What We Heard

When the City of Toronto proposes new cycling infrastructure, local residents and the wider public are invited provide feedback on the designs. For this project 3,100 notices were delivered by Canada Post in the neighbourhood, over 100 people participated in the Virtual Public Meeting on December 7, 2020, and comments were received from over 275 people through the online feedback survey and by phone and email.

Overall there was strong support for physical separation (cycle tracks) on Martin Grove Road and strong support for low profile barriers in the existing buffer on Rathburn Road. A number of important concerns were raised by residents, and these were considered by the project team in the development of the recommended designs.

Map showing the location of the watermain replacement on Martin Grove Road, the location of the proposed safety improvements on Martin Grove Road and the proposed safety improvements on Rathburn Road

Legend for the preceeding map

1. Proposed Safety Improvements on Rathburn Rd: Adding physical separation in the buffer

Photo showing the buffered bike lane on the south side of Rathburn Road, looking east
Existing buffered bike lane on Rathburn Road, looking east

In 2020, painted buffers were added to the existing bike lanes on Rathburn Road from Martin Grove Road to approximately 100 metres east of The East Mall as part of road resurfacing work.

The City is proposing to add physical separation to the existing buffered bike lanes on this section of Rathburn Road in 2021.

Physical separation is being proposed to improve the safety and comfort of people cycling, to reduce speeding, and to encourage more people to cycle. Design guidelines and international best practice recommend physical separation between people cycling and people driving when traffic exceeds 6,000 vehicles/day. When physical separation is present, drivers are more cautious, vehicle speeds are lower, and people cycling feel safer. On this section of Rathburn Road, the volume of traffic is between 9,000 and 12,000 vehicles/day.

Design Options for Physical Separation on Rathburn Road

Two design options for physical separation on Rathburn Road are being proposed. With both options, the city is proposing to reduce the speed limit from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr from The East Mall to Edenwood Drive.

Option A:

Pre-cast concrete curbs with flexible posts (bollards)

Photo showing separated bike lane with pre-cast concrete curbs and flexible posts

Option B:

Pre-cast low profile barriers with reflectors and hazard bollards

Photo of a cyclist riding in a separated bike lane with pre-cast concrete barriers with reflectors
With Option B, there may be the potential to cover the low profile barriers with art in the future.

 

With both options:

  • The pre-cast curbs or pre-cast barriers would be spaced to ensure that drivers can safely enter and exit driveways.
  • Snow would be plowed from the bike lane separately from the road, and snow would be piled and stored in the buffer as well as at the curb
  • Solid waste would continue to be collected from the curb.

View the proposed locations pre-cast concrete curbs (Option A) and proposed locations of pre-cast low profile barriers (Option B) presented during the consultation. If you need assistance with these files, please contact us.

2. Proposed Road Safety Improvements on Martin Grove Road: New separated bike lanes

The City is proposing to install separated bike lanes on both sides of Martin Grove Road from Rathburn Road to approximately 100 metres north of Burnhamthorpe Road in 2022.

Artist rendering of Martin Grove Road with cycle tracks
Artist rendering of Martin Grove Road with cycle tracks

The Council-approved Cycling Network Plan outlines the City’s planned investments in cycling infrastructure from 2019 to 2021 and beyond. The plan identifies new cycling infrastructure on Martin Grove Road south of Rathburn Road. The separated bike lanes that are currently being proposed would establish one section of a future proposed bikeway connecting the existing bike lanes on Rathburn Road and the West Deane Trail with the future Kipling Transit Hub at Dundas St. West.

Design Options: Martin Grove Road

Two design options are being considered for Martin Grove Road from Rathburn Road to 100 metres north of Burnhamthorpe Road.

  • Option A: Cycle tracks: A painted buffer with pre-cast concrete curbs and flexible posts (bollards) would separate people cycling from motor vehicles.
  • Option B: Buffered bike lanes: A painted buffer would separate people cycling from motor vehicles.

With both options, the existing ‘No parking’ regulation on this segment of Martin Grove Road would become ‘No stopping’.

Snow Clearing and Waste Collection

Both design options ensure that City services, including snow clearing and waste collection, will be maintained.

  • With Option A (cycle tracks), snow would be plowed from the bike lane separately from the road. Snow would be stored in the painted buffer and at the curb.
  • With Option B (buffered bike lanes), the bike lane and the road would be plowed together and snow would be stored at the curb.
  • With both options, solid waste would continue to be collected from the curb.
Photo showing a cyclist using a cycle track with snow stored at the curb and in the buffer
Cycle track with snow stored at the curb and in the buffer
Photo showing a buffered bike lane with a cyclists and snow piled at the curb.
Buffered bike lane with snow stored at the curb

Design Considerations

A number of key factors have been considered in the development of the design options, including:

  • available space in the roadway
  • motor vehicle speeds
  • lane widths
  • location of driveways
  • Volume of traffic: Toronto’s draft On-Street Bikeway Design Guidelines and international best practice recommend physical separation between people cycling and people driving when traffic exceeds 6,000 vehicles/day. On this section of Martin Grove Road, the number of vehicles is 6,000-7,000/day.
  • delivery of City services

The design options for the segment of Martin Grove from Rathburn Road to Donalbert Road (Segment 1) are being considered separately from the segment from Donalbert Road to 100 metres north of Burhamthorpe Road (Segment 2) because of differences in the width of the road.

  • In Segment 1, the curb-to-curb road width is approximately 14 metres at Rathburn Road and tapers to approximately 10 metres at Donalbert Road.
  • In Segment 2, the curb-to-curb width is approximately 10 metres.

Segment 1 Design Options: Rathburn Road to Donalbert Road

Option A: Cycle track (preferred)

With this option, the painted centre median and concrete traffic islands would be removed.

Cross section diagram of design option A for Segment 1 of Martin Grove Road, showing painted buffers with pre-cast curbs and bollards.

Option B: Buffered bike lane

With this option, the painted centre median and three of the four concrete traffic islands would remain.

Cross section of the road showing design option B for Segment 1 of Martin Grove Road, with painted buffers between the bike lanes and vehicle lanes.

 

For Segment 1, Option A (cycle track) is the design preferred by City staff. It is anticipated to have greater traffic calming effects than Option B and would provide greater safety for people cycling.

View the original proposed plans for pavement markings and pre-cast concrete curbs with bollards for Segment 1:

Segment 2 Design Options: Donalbert Road to approximately 100 metres north of Burnhamthorpe Road

Option A: Cycle Track

Cross section image showing design Option A for Segment 2 of Martin Grove Road, with painted buffers and pre-cast curbs with bollards between the bike lanes and the vehicle lanes.

 

Option B: Buffered Bike Lane (preferred)

Cross section image showing Option B for segment 2 of Martin Grove Road, with painted buffers between the bike lanes and the vehicle lanes

 

For Segment 2, Option B (buffered bike lane) is the design preferred by City staff because the proposed buffer would not be wide enough to easily accommodate snow storage. The curb-to-curb width of the road in Segment 2 would limit the width of the buffer to 0.5 metres.

View the original proposed drawings for pavement marking plan and pre-cast concrete curbs with bollards for Segment 2:

3. Planned Safety Improvement: Redesign and Reconstruction of the Rathburn Rd and Martin Grove Rd intersection

Photo showing the painted out area and bollards at the southwest corner of Martin Grove Road and Rathburn Road, looking south
Southwest corner of Martin Grove Road and Rathburn Road, looking south

In 2017, a Transportation Safety Local Improvement Project (TSLIP) was programmed for the intersection of Martin Grove Road and Rathburn Road in response to a high number of motor vehicle collisions and resident concerns about speeding. In 2018, interim measures were put in place to improve road safety until more permanent improvements could be implemented. A portion of the southwest corner was painted out and flexible posts (bollards) were installed to adjust the radius of the corner, and a painted median and concrete traffic islands were installed on Martin Grove Road from Rathburn Road to Donalbert Road to narrow vehicle lanes and reduce speeding.

A new design for the intersection has been created that will maintain and enhance the traffic calming effects achieved by the temporary measures and increase the safety of road users, particularly the most vulnerable.

The planned changes include measures from the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

The new design will involve:

  • corner radii reductions: All corners will be extended so that they more closely represent a 90-degree angle in order to:
    • shorten pedestrian crossing distances
    • improve the visibility of people walking and cycling
    • deter drivers from making right turns at high speeds
  • building out the curb at the southwest corner to replace the interim painted area and bollards
  • relocating traffic signal poles to reflect the new curb locations
  • combining through and right turn lanes at the northbound approach
  • aligning north-south through lanes and left-turn lanes

Reconstruction of the intersection is anticipated to begin in Spring 2022.