Mayor John Tory announced today that the City of Toronto will close sections of three major roads this weekend, in total making more than 10 kilometres of roadway available for walking, running and biking, as part of ActiveTO. This weekend, the closure on Lake Shore Boulevard West will return and the Lake Shore Boulevard East closure will be extended east to Leslie Street.
ActiveTO provides residents with more space to physically distance while getting exercise outdoors, which helps stop the spread of COVID-19.
The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, June 6 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 7 at 11 p.m.:
Vehicle access on these sections of major roads will be closed to provide people with greater space for walking, running and biking. The City will actively manage traffic during these closures through signal timing adjustments on adjacent routes, as well as roadway signage to alert drivers. Motorists who normally travel these roads on weekends should plan alternate routes. Those expecting to use the major road closures to walk, run or cycle should access them as a pedestrian or by bike, since nearby parking is limited and site parking is not provided.
These major road closures have been planned adjacent to City trails to make more space for people, alleviate weekend and holiday crowding, and ensure there is room to be physically active and support physical distancing. These closures will happen on a trial basis and staff will monitor nearby routes and adjust the closures as necessary.
Along with the major road closures, ActiveTO includes installation of Quiet Streets across the city. To date, a total of 50 kilometres of Quiet Street routes have been installed in 24 spots across the city, with more routes planned.
Quiet Streets are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, are placed at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that also welcomes people who walk, run and bike. Parking and drop off areas are not impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, continue as normal.
Toronto City Council has also approved the ActiveTO cycling network plan. This is the largest expansion of Toronto’s on-street bike network ever in one year and will include about 40 kilometres of new cycling routes for 2020. The cycling network will be expanded quickly through temporary installations by repurposing curb lanes along several key corridors. The first temporary bikeway is expected to be in place soon.
The ActiveTO program was developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services to provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as part of the City’s restart and recovery in the wake of COVID-19. At the April 30 Council meeting, staff were requested to look at more active transportation as a crucial part of the restart and recovery and in anticipation of changes in traffic patterns in the coming weeks and months.
While the City of Toronto remains focused on fighting COVID-19 and continuing to provide the essential and critical services that residents and businesses rely on, the City is also looking ahead to the restart and recovery period.
More information and details about ActiveTO are available at toronto.ca/activeTO.
The CurbTO program continues to roll out to immediately address locations where there is sidewalk crowding and temporary parking concerns around businesses. More businesses are permitted to offer pick-up, take-out and delivery services and have created store access line-ups to maintain physical distancing requirements, as recommended by Toronto Public Health.
Details about CurbTO, including a new map, as well as links to the business application are at toronto.ca/CurbTO.
“ActiveTO is an important part of our restart and recovery planning. By giving people space to practise physical distancing while being outside for activity, we are supporting fundamental health advice while continuing to work to stop the spread of COVID-19. Council approved a common-sense, rapid approach to the cycling network last week, we continue to make room for people, bikes and cars on neighbourhood streets, and I am pleased that we will be doubling the size of the Lake Shore Boulevard East closure in the east end along the popular Martin Goodman Trail.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The major weekend road closures are an important initiative of ActiveTO that, during a time when traffic is historically low, allocates roadways for people and active transportation. Traffic calming, pedestrian safety and managing congestion are top priorities of Vision Zero – preventing injuries, fatalities and property damage on our roads. Through extending the footprint of the weekend closures, adding cycling capacity as part of the recently approved cycling network expansion, and making shared space on neighbourhood streets across the city we are using our infrastructure to keep people safe and stop COVID-19.”
– Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre) Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
“Extending the ActiveTO closure on Lake Shore Boulevard East to Leslie Street means that local residents and families will have more space along a busy part of the Martin Goodman Trail. More members of our community can feel safer when they get outside, be physically active and enjoy the warm weather.”
– Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth)
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