Yonge Street is iconic. The street plays a significant role in the cultural and economic identity of Toronto and forms the spine of the city’s transportation network. Dramatic growth is changing the character of built form along the street and the needs of its users, placing increased demands on aging infrastructure.
We have an opportunity to re-examine how Yonge Street can best respond to our diverse and changing city. This presents the opportunity to elevate Yonge Street’s physical form and the experience it brings to its users to reflect the significance it holds in both the city’s landscape and in our minds.
Learn why Design Concept 4c was chosen as the Recommended Design Concept.
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The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) is a planning process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. It provides the framework for municipalities to plan, design and construct infrastructure projects. YongeTOmorrow is following the process for a Schedule ‘C’ Class EA.
|May 2019||Public Event #1||Long List of Street Design Options & Evaluation Criteria: 15 possible cross sections and a set of evaluation criteria were developed. There were three
consistent themes among
|October 2019||Report to
|Short List of Street Design
Options: Evaluation identified a Short List
of three cross sections:
It was recommended cycling facilities be evaluated on Bay Street, Church Street and University Avenue.
|November 2019||Public Event #2||Short List of Alternative Solutions: Four Alternative Solutions were developed by applying one of the three cross sections to each block of Yonge Street. Alternative 4 with cycling facilities on University Avenue was identified as the preliminary preferred.|
|Block||Alternative 4||Online Approval Rating
(out of 5)
|College Street to Gerrard Street||Two-Way Traffic||2.92||
|Gerrard Street to Elm Street||Pedestrian Priority||3.72||
|Elm Street to Dundas Square||Pedestrian Priority||4.38||Increase consideration for: accessibility and cycling.|
|Dundas Square to Shuter Street||One-Way Traffic Northbound||2.61||Increase consideration for: accessibility, cycling,
goods movement and curbside movement and transit.
|Shuter Street to Queen Street||Two-Way Traffic|
A pedestrian priority zone is an area dedicated to walking and cycling were motor vehicles are restricted during the daytime from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
You don’t need to dismount your bike in a pedestrian priority zone. Cycling at safe speeds while yielding to pedestrians is encouraged in pedestrian priority zones.
There would be 4 m wide traditional sidewalks next to the buildings on each side of pedestrian priority zones for pedestrians only. These sidewalk areas would be elevated from the pedestrian priority area by a rolled curb and tactile paving strip.
The daytime bus route would be discontinued or rerouted. The night bus and subway replacement shuttle service would not be impacted.
From 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. buses would share the road with cars and trucks.
No east-west streets will be closed. Access is maintained across Yonge Street for all east-west streets and transit lines.
Access to all existing driveways, loading docks, laneways and parking garages have been maintained. You can also be dropped off within 50 metres of any front door on Yonge Street.
Given Yonge Street would no longer provide a through route connection, only vehicles accessing a property on Yonge Street would choose to use the street which would lower traffic volumes.
Studies in Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, California and Copenhagen, Denmark, also found that people who walk and cycle visit shops more often and spend more per month than drivers.
In 2009, New York City closed Broadway from 42nd Street to 47th Street to vehicular traffic in Times Square to improve the experience for pedestrians.
Between 2007 and 2011 economic activity increased by 22 per cent (compared to a 9 per cent increase city-wide).
The Short List of Alternative Solutions were modelled and tested at a network level to compare performance.
The graph compares how the Alternative Solutions perform in 2031 compared to the existing design of Yonge Street.
Alternative 1 had the lowest delay increases, but also provided the lowest level of improvement for people walking, biking and enjoying the street.
Alternative 2 and 3 provided greater levels of improvement for those using the street, but also had higher delays.
Alternative 4 provided significant improvements to the street experience and much lower delays than 2 or 3. The highest delays in Alternative 4 were less than 90 seconds.
Factors considered in the development of the Round Two traffic analysis:
Round Two feedback and modelling results confirmed Alternative 4 as the Preferred Alternative Solution. It best addressed the project objectives and the diversity of stakeholder priorities.
Feedback also indicated that more consideration was needed for:
Alternative 4 has been developed into three Design Concepts. Design Concepts are different ways to implement and operate Alternative 4.
|September 2020||Public Event #3||
|December 2020||Infrastructure and Environment
|Confirm Recommended Design Concept: A staff report will recommend a Design Concept for City Council’s consideration|
|December 2020||Completion of Study||Environmental Study Report
(ESR): An ESR will be submitted to the province with a 30-Day Public Review period.
|Future||Future Implementation||Detailed Design and Construction|
The Design Concepts are more detailed plans showing three different ways to design and operate Alternative 4.
The concepts divide Alternative 4 into smaller blocks to address feedback and provide more detail.
4a provides the most improvement to the pedestrian experience with pedestrian priority zones from Gerrard Street to Dundas Square.
4b provides the most driving access and support for loading, deliveries and ride hailing.
4c balances the priorities of people walking, cycling and accessing local properties by car or truck.
Design Concept 4c has been selected as the Recommended Design Concept as it completed as it best supports the four objectives: Mobility, Livability, Sustainability and Prosperity.
A detailed evaluation has been completed. Below is an overview of the key differences in the evaluation of the design concept.
|Evaluation Criteria||Concept 4a – Most Pedestrian Priority||Concept 4b –
Pedestrian Priority with Two-Way Driving Access
|Concept 4c –Pedestrian Priority with One-Way Driving Access & Cycle Tracks|
4a has the most pedestrian priority zones and fewer curbside activity areas which allows it to provide the most space to support walking and
4b has two pedestrian priority zones and is serviced by two-way driving access and the most curbside activity areas. This provides the least support for walking and improvements that
4c has two pedestrian priority zones and is serviced by one-way driving access and fewer curbside activity areas. This provides lower traffic volumes and good support for walking and improvements that contribute to a positive street experience.
4a provides more pedestrian priority areas for people cycling and reduces traffic volumes on one-way driving access blocks, but does not include
4b has the greatest amount of two-way driving
4c is the only concept that provides cycle tracks on
Three one-way driving access blocks provide lower traffic volumes for people cycling.
4a provides the least driving access and support for curbside activity. As a result, travel times are greater for all types of vehicles and activities like
4b provides the most two-way driving access with fewer intersection restrictions. It also has the most space for curbside activity. As a result, travel times are lower and activities like deliveries are easier.
4c falls in the middle, by providing the most one-way
All three concepts would have similar construction
Less space for programming, planting, cafés
Less space for programming, planting, cafés and furnishings in 4c mean operations and maintenance costs would be lower.
Design Concept 4c best achieves priorities of people moving through and experiencing Yonge Street across all modes. It offers ways to access and experience Yonge Street by walking or cycling, by using transit or driving a vehicle.