November 26, 2019

Fixing the College and Dundas Intersection

On November 26, 2019, Councillor Ana Bailao’s office and City of Toronto staff hosted a public meeting to show local residents plans for improving the safety of the College and Dundas intersection for people who walk or bike. About 20 to 30 people attended what I would call a very engaging discussion with no shortage of ideas brought up. This development is important for my Parkdale neighbourhood, given many people living there use Lansdowne Avenue and Dundas Street West to get to the West Toronto Railpath which is an uncomfortable experience.

The meeting focused on three interim improvements to be done next year in conjunction with planned road and TTC streetcar track work.
  1. Close off St. Helens Avenue from College Street to College Street North with various streetscaping improvements. (e.g. street murals, stones, planters, bike share, seating)
  2. Add a traffic signal and bicycle lay-by at Dundas and College to allow for a more direct eastbound connection from Dundas to College Streets.
  3. Reconstruct College Street North, St. Helens Avenue, and Lumbervale Avenue with three traffic arrangements proposed.
The three traffic options proposed are as follows; all of which maintain two-way traffic on Lumbervale.
  1. Maintain two way traffic on College North and St. Helens.
  2. One way southbound on St. Helens and eastbound on College North.
  3. One way westbound on College North and northbound on St. Helens.
Among the three traffic arrangements, the third option is recommended from a safety and traffic flow standpoint and saw more support at the meeting compared to the other options. This can be further improved by banning left turns from College eastbound onto College North.
Prior to the presentation, one of the residents brought up a very good idea to make the left lane of Dundas eastbound left turn only onto College while the right turn lane would be used to continue onto Dundas. This option would allow Dundas from College to Lansdowne to be reduced from four lanes to two and allow the Dundas bike lanes to be extended to Lansdowne with protection. That – along with a bike box at Lansdowne and Dundas - would greatly improve access to the West Toronto Railpath for Parkdale residents.

Another resident suggested tightening the turning radius at Lansdowne and Dundas to improve pedestrian safety; something which is called for elsewhere in the project area. There was a suggestion to improve the closure of St. Helens by moving the stones next to where the curb would go; something Shawn Dillon (former cycling unit manager) said wasn't feasible for interim projects. A longer term solution is to convert the closed off street into a parkette along with the existing triangle which would be subject to another study. One last idea which got lots of cheers was to ban motor vehicle access on College from Dundas to College North; something unlikely to happen anytime soon without significant studies.
The presentation briefly discussed several ongoing projects including the West Toronto Railpath extension and a multi-use path along the Barrie corridor; the latter of which is currently in limbo. Another long term solution being proposed is to build a bi-directional cycle track along the north side of Dundas and College to Brock Street to connect with the existing West Toronto Railpath. As with the parkette, the bi-directional cycle track would be subject to further study.

The College and Dundas intersection staff report is expected to be completed in January with the Infrastructure and Environment Committee and City Council voting on it in February. If you wish to provide comments, the deadline to do so is on Tuesday, December 10.

Ride safe!
Rob Z (e-mail)

1 comment:

  1. These plans could be augmented by no right turns from Lansdowne nor College on to Dundas, on red lights.