February 8, 2023
Today, Toronto City Council voted in favour of making the ActiveTO Midtown Complete Street Pilot on Yonge Street between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue permanent, with several changes to address the immediate concerns of local residents and businesses.
The City of Toronto’s ActiveTO Midtown Complete Street Pilot is an example of a Complete Streets project that accommodates all road users, enhances local neighbourhood context and character, and delivers on Council’s commitments to the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan and the TransformTO Climate Action Strategy.
Mayor John Tory and a majority of City Councillors did support several requests for changes to help improve the bike lanes and address legitimate concerns raised by local residents.
- Traffic signal and physical intersection modifications to better facilitate traffic flow, turn movements and pedestrian safety
- Additional parking and loading spaces to support local business
- Creating a dedicated traffic management plan as it relates to construction, current and projected, in the corridor, including the deployment of traffic agents as needed
- Install LED signs at Yonge Street and Delisle Avenue to prohibit left-turns during prohibited times to support shuttle bus operations
- Directing staff to continue to identify opportunities to improve traffic flow including traffic signal and physical intersection modifications to better facilitate traffic flow and turn movements, opportunities to mitigate concerns with traffic diversion onto local roads to improve safety and traffic flow, particularly to improve sight-lines and ingress/egress for east/west streets at “landlocked” intersections in the area, where feasible
- Working with local Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) on initiatives to support main street local businesses, including identifying and implementing additional parking and loading spaces, where feasible
- Identify opportunities to improve safety and attractiveness of the corridor such as transforming painted curb extensions and buffers into concrete or planted islands, where feasible
- As part of the development review process along the corridor, the City should work with adjacent developers to incorporate upgrades such as raised cycle tracks and green infrastructure into the streetscape frontages of redevelopment sites, where feasible, and minimize the impact of construction work zones in the right-of-way
- Requesting Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Fire Services to provide granular data regarding response times in the project area
Council first approved the installation of the pilot in April 2021 as part of the City’s Pandemic Mobility Recovery Strategy. In April 2022, Council approved extending the pilot on a provisional basis to enable further monitoring and evaluation. Community consultation took place before and during the pilot with local businesses, four Business Improvements Areas, several neighbourhood associations and area residents.
After 18 months of installation, the data demonstrates an increase in cycling trips on the corridor ranging between 57 and 250 per cent, an increase in pedestrian trips ranging between 59 and 145 per cent, and an increase in the number of outdoor dining spaces from 10 CaféTO patios in 2020 to 21 in 2022.
After various adjustments to the pilot, motor vehicle travel times in both directions during most times of day are now less than a minute higher than the pre-pandemic baseline during the fall of 2019.
The most recent data shows:
- When comparing vehicle travel times between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2022, the largest weekday changes occurred on the northbound lanes of Yonge Street during the mid-day period, where travel times increased by 69 seconds, bringing the average travel time to 9.9 minutes for northbound traffic. Average weekday travel time changes across most other times of day were less than one minute (plus/minus) compared to pre-pandemic travel.
- Weekend travel times during the fall of 2022 increased by 65 seconds for northbound traffic and 13 seconds for southbound traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels.
- No spillover travel time impacts have been observed on the parallel corridors of Avenue and Mount Pleasant Roads.
- The increase in the Toronto Fire Services emergency response travel time in the pilot area between January 1 and October 31, 2022, was eight seconds longer than the city-wide increase compared to the same period in 2019.
- The increase in the Toronto Paramedic Services emergency response travel time in the pilot area between January 1 and October 31, 2022, was 36 seconds less than the city-wide increase compared to the same period in 2019.
The City continues to accelerate the delivery of an unprecedented number of new bikeways across Toronto. The City is on track to accomplish its 2022 – 2024 Near-Term Implementation Program plans of building 100 kilometres of new bikeways across Toronto, an increase over the 65 kilometres delivered between 2019 and 2021. In 2022, 18 kilometres of new bikeways were completed, with the construction of an additional 17 kilometres underway, for a total of 35 kilometres of delivery.
More information is available on the ActiveTO Midtown Complete Street Pilot webpage.
The report to Council is available on the City’s website.
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