Recommended Design Concept 4c was presented for public feedback from September 2 – October 5, 2020. The feedback is currently under review and a report to Council will be made in January 2021.
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Over the past seven months, COVID-19 has changed how many Torontonians use and prioritize space on city streets.
Under the direction of Council, lane closures and other changes to city streets have been installed as part of the ActiveTO, CaféTO and CurbTO programs to support social distancing. The City is monitoring these temporary installations to identify challenges and opportunities in the short and long term.
YongeTOmorrow has also asked stakeholders how their use of the street and priorities have changed in 2020 and have considered that feedback.
YongeTOmorrow continues to evaluate concepts based on the life span of the road and the needs of people using the street many years from now.
Short term, the Recommended Design Concept supports recovery needs by providing more space for walking, cycling, cafés, on-street retail and public outdoor areas for downtown residents with limited access to parks and private yards.
Recommended Design Concept 4c includes has two pedestrian priority zones flanked by one-way local driving access. It also adds a cycle track from College Street to Gerrard. This option balances the priorities of people walking, cycling, taking transit and accessing local properties by car or truck. It has been identified as the recommended design concept.
The proposed daytime operation from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. is shown below. Overnight, there would be two-way driving access for buses, cars and trucks on all blocks. The plan also includes a cycle track on University Avenue from College Street to Adelaide Street.
Although operations vary, the road width, curbs and paving materials are the same from College/Carlton Street to Queen Street to create a consistent look and feel.
By flanking each pedestrian priority zone with one-way streets, access is maintained, but traffic volumes are kept low to create a pedestrian-friendly environment very similar to the pedestrian priority zones all the way from Gerrard Street to Shuter Street.
Cycle tracks have been added to the recommendation for this block because it has a wider right-of-way, lower pedestrian volumes, higher vehicle volumes and provides links to the existing cycling network.
Northbound local access has been added to the recommendation for this block during the day to provide more support for deliveries and ride hailing on Walton Street and Yonge Street.
The recommendation for his block stayed the same because it has high pedestrian volumes and more development is planned.
Southbound local access was added to the recommendation for this block during the day to provide more support for deliveries, ride hailing and service to loading docks from Gould Street.
The recommendations for these blocks stayed the same because they have the highest pedestrian volumes, east-west foot traffic and special events.
The recommendation for this block stayed the same, providing northbound local access and lots of curbside activity space on the east side. This is because this block has the most ride hailing and tour bus use supporting tourism and entertainment. This block also provides access to the Green P parking garage entrance located on Dundas Square.
The recommendation for this block stayed the same because two-way driving access connects parking garages and tourism sites to major routes in/out of the downtown, limiting traffic congestion. This block also has lower pedestrian volumes.
Automated gates are recommended to limit vehicle access to pedestrian priority zones during the day. The gates would be wide enough to visually discourage drivers, while allowing emergency services and people cycling to pass. Gates open overnight to allow access for the night bus service and can be opened in the event of subway closures.