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.