January 10, 2024

January 2024 Public Consultation Roundup

While the City of Toronto still has a lot of catching up to do with the 2022-24 Bike Plan per last Saturday’s blog post, there are a few public consultations coming up which will affect those who bike. These include the Ferrand Drive Area Safety Improvements, the Jones Avenue Road Resurfacing, and the second phase of the Parkside Drive Study. Let’s look at what these projects have in store so you can provide your input.

A not-so-ideal option for Ferrand Drive (via City of Toronto)

Ferrand Drive Area Study Improvements

If you live, work, or travel through Flemingdon Park and haven’t already done so, today is the last day to provide feedback for this project. Cycle tracks are planned for the Ferrand Drive loop, Rochefort Drive from Don Mills Road to Deauville Lane, and Deauville Lane from Ferrand to where the existing bike lanes start at St. Dennis Drive. The Deauville – St. Dennis intersection is expected to get a protected intersection which a consultation was already held in the past. However, a second option would replace cycle tracks on a couple of short blocks with on-street parking spaces which would unacceptably compromise the safety of those who bike. (See image above)

Ferrand Drive Study area (via City of Toronto)

The Ferrand Drive ramp would be one-way from Eglinton to Ferrand, but bike lanes would be provided in both directions to connect with a proposed traffic signal at Gervais Drive; providing a connection to the Aga Khan Museum and other cultural institutions in the area. In addition, the two southbound on-ramps from Eglinton to the Don Valley Parkway will get protection improvements similar to what was done at the Danforth-DVP on-ramp. However, the City will need to get those on-ramp improvements built quickly before Queen’s Park takes over the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway given this intersection treatment – while a game changer for crossing highways safely – is not compliant with Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation standards. Expect installation to happen later this year if approved by council.

Proposed Eglinton-DVP on-ramp (via City of Toronto)

Jones Avenue Road Resurfacing

The Jones Avenue bike lane is one of the few that was installed before the 2001 Bike Plan was approved. The bike lane was placed in the door zone which is not just a safety hazard from motorists opening doors into the path of those who bike, but also leads to poor winter clearing. There is a resurfacing opportunity later this year from Queen to Dundas Streets and the City is conducting a survey until Friday, January 26 to determine whether to stick with the status quo layout or remove parking on one side to accommodate protected bike lanes.

2001 Bike Plan before map (via City of Toronto)

While pursuing the protected bike lane option should be a no brainer, there are a couple of other points that need to be made when completing the survey. The Dundas and Jones intersection was where Douglas Crosbie was killed while riding his bike in 2018, so it’s critical that a protected intersection be built there as soon as possible. The other point is these improvements need to be extended north to Danforth as soon as possible. Even if the City needs to resort to quick build materials should resurfacing north of Dundas is not planned anytime soon.

Proposed cycle track option for Jones Avenue (via City of Toronto)

Parkside Drive Study

At last, the second phase of the Parkside Drive Study is under way. A public consultation will be held on Thursday, February 1 with an online survey open until Thursday, February 15. Advocates from the “Safe Parkside” group have been calling for bike lanes since long before Valdemar and Fatima Avila were killed on that street in October 2021 when Helen and I used to live near Parkside. While a full road reconstruction won’t happen for at least a decade, an interim solution was proposed which would reduce the number of traffic lanes to two, install a bi-directional cycle track on the west side, keep curbside parking on the east side, and widen the sidewalk where possible. This is consistent with Parkside’s inclusion in the list of candidates for the 2025-27 Bike Plan. Slip lanes at Parkside and Lake Shore are also recommended to be removed which need to be done elsewhere in Toronto.

Parkside Drive rendering (via City of Toronto)

At Bloor and Parkside, the southwest corner will get a protected corner. However, it is important that the intersection be future proofed to allow for bike lanes to be extended north onto Keele Street and Weston Road, though uni-directional cycle tracks would likely be recommended north of Bloor given there are a lot more intersection crossings which make bi-directional cycle tracks impractical.

Bloor-Parkside-Keele intersection proposal (via City of Toronto)

Next Steps

Not only do I encourage you to participate in these consultations, but also share them with your neighbours if you can (though it may be too late for the Ferrand project). I will keep you informed about other consultations happening as they come up, as well as when the projects come to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee for approval.

One More Thing ... Portland-Dan Leckie Update

After I initially put up this blog post, the City of Toronto announced a second round of consultation for the Portland-Dan Leckie bikeway on their Twitter/X feed this morning. They will be presenting updates to the project virtually on Tuesday, January 23 at 6:30 PM. Per the presentation slides, the changes include switching traffic directions from Adelaide to King to one-way southbound (instead of northbound), allowing two-way traffic from Wellington to Front and on all of Dan Leckie Way, and placing the cycle track on the road which leaves the existing path for pedestrians. The project will go to IEC in March for installation this summer.

Portland-Dan Leckie bikeway changes (via City of Toronto)

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