Cycling is Growing in the City’s West End Neighbourhoods
The City of Toronto installed contra-flow and shared travel lanes on Argyle Street from Ossington Avenue to Shaw Street on the week of June 29, 2020. Street reversals on Bruce Street and Rebecca Street were included in this work. This project was approved by City Council on July 19, 2019.
From January to May 2019, public and stakeholder consultations took place to inform and request feedback on the proposed bikeway, related traffic changes and two alternative options. Public feedback was available online and at a public drop-in event (April 23, 2019 at the Gladstone Hotel).
Forty-nine attendees signed in at the event. Many of the 100 comments received supported the recommended bikeway on Argyle Street and opposed the proposed street reversal of Halton Street (from Ossington Avenue to Givins Street).
Most of Argyle Street has a road width (curb to curb) of 7.2 metres, which allows for one travel lane (shared by motor vehicles and bicycles), one contra-flow bike lane, and on-street parking on one side of the road. This design currently exists west of Ossington.
However, the road width between Ossington and Givins is 6.0 metres. The City’s proposal to permit two-way cycling did not remove any on-street parking. Eastbound motor vehicle traffic was prohibited from entering the block from Ossington and nearly all motor vehicle traffic on this block was westbound.
Objectives for the Argyle Bikeway Proposal
Provide legal two-way cycling on Argyle Street
Maintain motor vehicle access in and out of neighbourhood
Minimize impacts to on-street parking
Reduce motor vehicle traffic infiltration to make the street more comfortable for cycling and walking
The bikeway proposal for Argyle Street from Ossington Avenue to Shaw Street
The proposed bikeway on Argyle Street included:
Ossington Avenue to Givins Street: an eastbound contra-flow bike lane for cyclists only for 15 metres, which became a shared travel lane for cyclists and motor vehicles; a westbound shared travel lane for cyclists and motor vehicles.
Givins Street to Shaw Street: a westbound contra-flow lane for cyclists only; an eastbound shared travel lane for both cyclists and motor vehicles
Changes to local traffic on nearby streets
The following changes to traffic flows were required to provide motor vehicles access in and out of the area.
Argyle Street Reversal
The eastbound 15-metre contra-flow bike lane at Ossington Avenue only allows cyclist access and prevents eastbound motor vehicle traffic from entering Argyle Street. This eliminated eastbound traffic infiltration.
Motor vehicle traffic will generally travel westbound from Givins Street to Ossington Avenue. Traffic volume on this block was expected to decrease.
How motor vehicles will access Argyle Street:
Motor vehicles will enter Argyle Street via Halton from either Ossington Avenue or Shaw Street to Givins Street
Motor vehicles will exit Argyle Street to either Shaw Street or Ossington Avenue
Three new street reversals
Halton Street was changed to eastbound from Ossington Avenue to Givins Street
Bruce Street was changed to eastbound to provide direct access from Ossington Avenue to Argyle Place
Rebecca Street was changed to westbound to accommodate reversal of Bruce Street
Streets without traffic changes:
Halton Street (Givins Street to Shaw Street) remained westbound
Argyle Street (Givins Street to Shaw Street) remained eastbound for motor vehicles
Givins Street remained southbound
Turning restriction for motor vehicles
No right turns from Argyle Place onto Argyle Street eastbound so that eastbound traffic is minimized
Note: Properties with driveways between Ossington Avenue and Givins Street may turn in both directions.
Street Parking on Argyle Street
The proposed changes do not remove any existing on-street parking spaces on Argyle Street. Parking was located on the driver’s right side:
Between Givins Street and Shaw Street, street parking was shifted to the south side
Between Ossington Avenue and Givins Street, street parking remained on the north side
A shared travel lane can be marked with “sharrows” (bicycle markings with chevrons) to identify where cyclists should ride in motor vehicle traffic and remind drivers to share the road.
A contra-flow bicycle lane can be installed on a one-way street, which then becomes two-way for bicycles, while remaining one way for motor vehicles.