January 30, 2023

What's Next After Midtown Yonge?

Today, the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot was unanimously approved by the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, and will be off to City Council on Tuesday, February 7. Prior to the meeting, Yonge4All held a media event to deliver the petition to Mayor John Tory which gathered over 8,500 signatures which was attended by Councillors Bradford, Moise, Morley, and Saxe. With this project just about behind us, there are several other projects Toronto residents can look forward to.

Yonge4All Media Event at City Hall (Via Jun Nogami)

January 23, 2023

Here We Go Again (on Yonge Street)

On April 6, 2022, Toronto City Council voted to extend the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot until January 2023. Nine months and a municipal election later which saw nine new councillors elected, the pilot has been confirmed for debate at the January 30, 2023 Infrastructure & Environment Committee meeting (and at City Council on February 7, 2023). A petition from Yonge4All got almost 7,000 signatures at the time of writing in support of making the pilot permanent, while a counter-petition calling for the pilot’s removal has over 5,000 signatures.

Even by foot, the Midtown Yonge pilot is safer for Mozzie to walk! 😊

January 12, 2023

A Budget Worth Raising Hell About

While this year’s budget doesn’t have much new to offer from a cycling perspective, it is overall the biggest disappointment since Mayor John Tory took office in 2015 and one every Torontonian needs to raise hell about. Especially when we look at the budget’s impact on marginalized communities. Let's look at Toronto’s budget shortfalls, the police budget increase, TTC service cuts, and how you can get involved.

January 05, 2023

Improving Rosedale Valley Road

Earlier this week, Twitter user @TransitJakeTO floated the idea of turning Rosedale Valley Road and Bayview Avenue south of River Street into car-free zones. There is certainly a good case to do this for Bayview given the lack of destinations between River Street and Corktown Common, as well as the fact it was turned into a one-way southbound street last year to accommodate a new multi-use path.

ActiveTO on Bayview before the road was reduced to two lanes

To take some inspiration from Matt Elliott’s intersection inspections from his City Hall Watcher e-newsletter, I reviewed traffic counts on that part of Bayview which fell by 73% from 5,568 on March 29, 2018 to 1,508 on March 24, 2022. However, I would like to explore Rosedale Valley Road a little deeper.

Rosedale Valley Road is seen by drivers as an alternate route from Yonge and Bloor to the Don Valley Parkway which bypasses a fair number of intersections and traffic signals. Excluding June 2020, between 10,000 and 13,000 cars used Rosedale Valley Road daily. Given this reality, banning cars on that street would be considerably more difficult than on the southern part of Bayview.

However, it doesn’t mean that Rosedale Valley Road couldn’t benefit from some improvements. The multi-use path from Park Road to Bayview Avenue is very narrow and bumpy, which is expected to be upgraded sometime this year in conjunction with the Glen Road pedestrian bridge replacement.

Proposed Rosedale Valley Road trail (via City of Toronto)

One glaring omission from this project is the trail ends abruptly at Park Road with no connection to other bikeways such as those on Bloor and Yonge Streets.

The most logical solution would be to extend the Rosedale Valley trail west along Aylmer Avenue to Yonge Street. However, Aylmer Avenue is only seven metres wide and has a bridge crossing the Line 1 subway; making widening prohibitively expensive. Extending the trail would require making Aylmer one-way from Yonge Street to 100 metres west of Park Road where Rosedale Valley branches off to serve some apartment buildings and Severn Creek Park. There would be enough green space to build a trail on the remaining 100 metres.

As for which way the one-way treatment would be most appropriate, eastbound traffic shows slightly higher volumes and would make one way eastbound the most appropriate. Not to mention, heading towards the Don Valley Parkway would be a more direct shot. One disadvantage is the trail would need to be placed on the northbound side; thus requiring two traffic signal crossings instead of one.

Here is a very rough mock of how the proposed configuration could work.

By making Aylmer one way eastbound and extending the Rosedale Valley trail to Yonge Street, a key gap in Toronto’s trail network can be filled in which can provide people biking a shortcut from Yonge Street to the Lower Don trail system. It would be a relatively inexpensive fix and one that can help reduce traffic on Rosedale Valley over the long term.

December 30, 2022

My Highlights from 2022

Having tallied up this year’s numbers for Toronto’s bike lane installations, it’s time to reflect on some of the other highlights of 2022. With two elections, a return to the office and in person events, a new place, some long distance rides, and the first international trip since COVID-19, it’s been quite the crazy turn of events. Let’s dive in!

One of the Berber villages we hiked through in Morocco

December 22, 2022

Final Bikeway Tally for 2022

It’s hard to believe, but another year has just about come and gone. The City of Toronto’s Pedestrian and Cycling Unit recently tweeted that this year saw approximately 20 kilometres of new bikeways and upgrades to another 20 kilometres. When I crunched the numbers based on some information provided by the City, I determined the final number of new bikeways to be closer to 13 kilometres. A far cry from the 30 kilometres installed in 2020 and 20 kilometres in 2021, but there were some notable additions to highlight.
Danforth at Victoria Park Avenue in July 2022

December 11, 2022

Will the Fourth Time be Mississauga’s Bloor Charm?

Back in March, there was a sense of momentum for getting bike lanes on Bloor in Mississauga. The third public meeting for the Bloor Street Integrated Project saw more than 100 people take part, while 80 to 100 people from Toronto and Mississauga rode along Bloor to show support for bike lanes on both sides of Etobicoke Creek. Given yet another public meeting was held on Tuesday, November 29 while I was on vacation in Morocco, it’s time to offer a quick recap of what had happened since March.

Alternative #5 was presented at the third public meeting for Bloor Street in March 2022