January 05, 2022

January 2022 Consultation Round Up

Happy New Year!

After some much needed rest over the Christmas holidays, it’s back to the advocacy grind. Especially considering there are several public engagement opportunities relevant to Toronto’s cycling community. Two projects – Sheppard Avenue East and Douro-Wellington – have comments due soon, while two BRT projects will have next steps planned and the City of Toronto’s 2022 budget launches on January 13.

All images used (except for the BRT illustration) are from the City of Toronto

Sheppard Avenue East and Willowdale Extension

The proposed resurfacing and reconstruction on Sheppard Avenue from Bonnington Place to Leslie Street is a promising route to help relieve the Sheppard subway line. As with The Queensway project, several protected intersections are being proposed along the corridor with the most important ones located at Willowdale Road – which itself will have bike lanes extended to Sheppard this year – Bayview Avenue, and Leslie Street. Hopefully, this trend continues with all future cycling projects given the majority of collisions happen at intersections. The Bonnington to Bayview resurfacing is expected to be done this year while reconstruction from Bayview to Leslie will happen in 2023-24.

Most of the corridor west of Bayview calls for street level cycle tracks with concrete barriers, though the parts with existing paved boulevards will get raised cycle tracks. Raised cycle tracks will be exclusively used east of Bayview, though some short stretches of bi-directional cycle track will be used to service the Betty Sutherland Trail (at Leslie Street), the Bayview Village Shopping Centre, and a future community centre opposite from Bessarion station.

A western extension to Yonge will probably happen at the same time as REimagining Yonge – scheduled for 2026 – while the bridge crossing Highway 404 is expected to be rehabilitated this year or next with the north sidewalk expected to be converted to a multi-use path. The Leslie to Don Mills / 404 segment is not expected to happen before 2024, while a date has yet to be determined to complete the link from Highway 404 to the Huntingwood bike lanes. Please send in your comments by Friday, January 7.

Douro-Wellington Upgrades and Extension

Bike lanes were put in on Douro and Wellington Streets from King to Niagara Streets in 2020, but only a short stretch from Shaw Street to Strachan Avenue is protected. Thanks to some watermain work planned for this year, those bike lanes – along with the one way westbound lanes from Bathurst to Niagara Streets – will be replaced with a bi-directional cycle track on the south side given Wellington is too narrow for uni-directional cycle tracks. This bi-directional treatment will then be extended east to Blue Jays Way; finally providing a true replacement for the West Toronto Railpath south of King. 😊

Speaking of the Railpath, the 2022-24 bike plan calls for a bikeway along Sudbury Street from King to the planned Railpath extension terminus at Abell Street to complete the gap. Let’s hope Sudbury gets the same bi-directional treatment instead of the bullshit sharrows proposed back in 2014.

The presentation slides showed some parking losses can be expected – especially between Portland and Spadina – while a cross-ride planned at Spadina will legalize biking across the street. The proposed intersection design at Portland looks awkward with the street jog and the bikeway being moved to the north side from Portland to Spadina.

While looking at the project map which people can post their feedback until Sunday, January 9, several people expressed support for extending the bikeway further east. An extension to Simcoe Street would provide a connection to the Waterfront, while going even further to Yonge Street would serve the Financial District. Especially if the Yonge and Bay bike lanes could be extended north to Wellington. Support was expressed for the Palmerston-Tecumseth bikeway, as well as adding bike lanes on Portland – also in the 2022-24 plan – to connect with the pedestrian and cycling bridge over the rail corridor.

Durham-Scarborough and Dundas BRT’s

Per a Metrolinx blog post from last month, a Notice of Completion for the Durham-Scarborough BRT is expected in January. (read the review here) Once issued, stakeholders will have 30 days to provide final comments before detailed design, procurement, and construction can begin. The latest update for the Toronto section is bike lanes on Ellesmere Avenue from Morningside Avenue to Kingston Road are part of the recently approved 2022-24 bike plan, though nothing concrete is proposed for crossing the Rouge River.

As for the Dundas BRT in Etobicoke, the third Public Information Centre is expected to happen in January which will focus on providing a short list of alternatives for the Toronto segment. More information for both projects will be provided once Metrolinx makes them available.

2022 Toronto Budget

Last, but not least, the 2022 Toronto budget is expected to be launched on Thursday, January 13 with public presentations to be held on January 24 and 25. Expect a follow-up post after the budget launch to find out what’s in it for people who bike.

UPDATE 2022/01/06 - City staff have confirmed the Sheppard/404 bridge rehabilitation will be future proofed for people who bike. Post has been updated accordingly.

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