February 22, 2023

More Consultations for eglintonTOday

The City of Toronto held their initial consultation for eglintonTOday in June 2022 in order to pursue a quick build complete street on Eglinton Avenue along the underground stretch of the Crosstown LRT. A second consultation was held last night at Marshall McLuhan School near Avenue and Eglinton which saw dozens of people take part. Let’s look at what has happened since last June, as well as some of the points participants raised.

Changes Since First Meeting

While most of the initial street designs were carried forward from the first meeting, a new design proposal was prepared for the Oakwood to Bathurst stretch to address concerns numerous residents raised regarding the Allen Expressway interchange during the first meeting. The proposal now calls for four traffic lanes during peak hours with parking allowed in the curb lanes during off-peak hours.

Revised Eglinton design proposals (via City of Toronto)

Detailed roll out plans for Eglinton were prepared this time around which confirmed the Winona-Eglinton-Marlee intersection will now use one combined traffic signal to assist people biking north-south there. Six intersections were flagged for the installation of parkettes; one of which could lead to a full street closure at Shortt Street.

Parkettes proposed at six intersections along Eglinton (via City of Toronto)

Contraflow bike lanes are proposed for Croham Road – to connect with the start of the York Beltline Trail with a proposed traffic signal – as well as at Jimmy Wisdom Way and at Glen Cedar Road. I was least impressed with Glen Cedar given the contraflow goes only one block to Dewbourne followed by shared lanes to the Glen Cedar pedestrian bridge. When I asked a member of city staff about this, he informed me this was to provide a connection to the Vaughan Road bikeway. I still would have preferred a contraflow on Everden Road to connect with the Cedarvale Ravine trail.

Shared lanes were proposed for most of Glen Cedar Road (via City of Toronto)

The bike lanes on surface section of Crosstown LRT are painted in from Brentcliffe to Kennedy, while Metrolinx continues streetscaping work from Avenue Road to Holly Street. The cycle tracks have taken shape in both directions from Duplex to Eastbourne Avenues, as well as westbound from Eastbourne to Avenue Road when I biked to the meeting.

Remaining Issues

While there is a lot of potential for the eglintonTOday complete street project, a few issues remain to be resolved. The most stupid of them is Metrolinx leaving an 80 metre gap between Yarrow Road and Bicknell Avenue despite them putting in cycling infrastructure on both sides of the gap! I understand the City is trying to get Metrolinx to fill this gap.

This Google Street View shows the stupid 80 metre gap from Yarrow to Bicknell

Another short gap exists between Pearen Street and Weston Road. This will be addressed by the installation of a temporary bi-directional trail from Jane Street to Keelesdale Road which will remain until 2030 when the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is completed.

With the Midtown Yonge bikeway being recently made permanent, there is a strong desire to have those bike lanes extended north to at least Eglinton (or even Lawrence), though some participants did express opposition.

Would be nice if the Midtown Yonge bikeway could start at Eglinton instead of Davisville

Finally, it would be great if the City could put some attention on filling the Marlee bikeway gap from Eglinton to Roselawn Avenue.

Participant Feedback

During the meeting, I was told at least one person yelled at city staff to not install bike lanes on Eglinton, while some still expressed concerns over Allen Road. Another person I overheard was more reasonable who appreciated the fact the City plans to install the bikeway as soon as Metrolinx finishes their work to minimize the impact on those who use the street.

Holly with Yonge4All raised a good point about ensuring protection is added to these islands marked with diagonal lines which she called “informal loading zones”. Here is Holly making that note on the roll out plan.

Several other good points that were noted included installing protected right turn signals such as those found at Bloor and Parkside, fixing the road on Dufferin Street, improving lighting on side streets, moving bus stops to the far side of intersections, and adding a scramble crossing at Yonge and Eglinton. There was a suggestion to extend the York Beltline Trail across the GO corridor to Caledonia station, but I think the contraflow on Croham will be more than sufficient. There were some other questionable remarks such as limiting density near Yonge and Eglinton, as well as getting rid of homeless people lingering. (facepalm)

Next Steps

For those of you who missed today’s meeting, you can still submit your feedback by Tuesday, March 7. Depending on the impact of the mayoral by-election, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee and City Council are expected to debate eglintonTOday in June 2023 while the project could be installed by Summer or Fall 2023. Metrolinx anticipates most of the construction activity will be done by April 2023 with some sections near the Allen Expressway and Avenue to Yonge to be done by Summer 2023.

More sticky notes voicing support or opposition to extending the Midtown Yonge bikeway

If Toronto can get this project extended to Brentcliffe Road by 2024, Toronto could have not one, but TWO key east-west bikeways along Eglinton and Bloor-Danforth-Kingston measuring 30 kilometres each! Something I would not have expected when I started advocating ten years ago.

During the meeting, I got to meet with several advocates such as Ali, Jun, and Ben. Got a group shot with them before riding home along Yonge.

One final piece of feedback I have for Marshall McLuhan School is to please install some bike racks! 😉

UPDATE: You can check Jun N's take on yesterday's public meeting here.

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