March 07, 2024

Leaside-Danforth Consultation (+ Other Upcoming Events)

Tonight marked the second cycling consultation I attended this week after the West Parkdale bikeway one on Tuesday which was also well attended. There was some security present at this consultation; probably because of last week’s event in Etobicoke. Even so, I didn’t see any protest signs tonight and there wasn’t a petition against this project as far as I know of, while there were still some concerns to be had. I already discussed the project in an earlier blog post, but wanted to take this opportunity to provide some additional information, as well as highlight some other projects coming down the pipe.

Situation on Pape

Given the project called for sharrows on Hopedale, I intentionally brought my “Sharrows Are Bullshit” t-shirt for this meeting and made that point clear.

Thanks Brian J for taking this photo

Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who opposed sharrows and instead called for bike lanes on Pape.

However, I did have a word with Katie with the City of Toronto about a potential problem with routing bike lanes on Pape. Metrolinx is planning to build the Ontario Line along Pape and has ruled out the possibility of putting in bike lanes on that street during construction. The street is also a busy bus route connecting Danforth with Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. I was informed Donlands – a candidate for the 2025-27 Bike Plan – will likely get bike lanes sooner than Pape, while extending Broadview to Chester Hill Road – another popular ask – is also being considered for that plan. We will find out later this year which routes make the final cut for that plan.

Logan (and an Unexpected Suggestion)

One suggestion Community Bikeways and the local Ward 14 Bikes group hadn’t considered – but had several sticky notes for it – was installing a bikeway along Mortimer to act as a connection to the Pottery Road trail. We instead suggested using Broadview to act as that connection, but Mortimer could be worth considering as well.

As for Logan, I heard from a concerned resident that the City’s data collection for that street wasn’t optimal because it was collected when Broadview from Gerrard to Danforth was closed for construction. When I asked her which of the three options was preferred (or the least bad), she preferred the first option of a continuous northbound street for drivers and a continuous southbound contraflow bike lane. As expected, I did notice the suggestion of diverters was not as well received. I voiced my preference for the third option during the survey which switched the direction for one block – and that of Carlaw – to allow drivers to drive north without having to use Pape.

Other Upcoming Projects

This year has been shaping up to be another busy one for bike related public consultations which I had noticed for 2022. Here is a brief update on some of the other projects.

  • Oakwood Village Streets Plan – A public consultation was held on Monday for this project which asked residents in the area which safety improvements they would like to see. Even though the consultation already happened, the City is still collecting feedback until Sunday, March 24 via a survey and interactive map. One thing I noted was the need for a connection between the Winona contraflow and the existing bike lanes on Rogers. Earlsdale would probably be the better candidate because of the wider road width, while a short bi-directional cycle track on Oakwood would be needed to make that connection. Some others also suggested contraflows on Northcliffe and Glenholme, as well as making the Vaughan Road bike lanes continuous.
  • Wallace Emerson Neighbourhood Streets Plan – A Phase 2 consultation will be held for this project on Monday, March 25 (6-8 PM) at the Wallace Emerson Community Centre. While the materials won’t be available until Monday, March 11, one action that has been revealed is a cycle track on Hallam Street between Bartlett Avenue and Dufferin Street. It’s possible a contraflow on Millicent Street could be in the cards, while a north-south bikeway will be needed as well. Perhaps on Emerson Avenue?
  • Bathurst – North York Complete Streets – This is actually three projects in one with one of them (Champagne – Alness) having already been approved by City Council last month to extend the Chesswood bikeway north to the Finch Hydro Corridor. The second will see a complete street built on Bathurst Street in two phases; the first being from Steeles to Finch in 2025 followed by Finch to Bainbridge in 2027 to connect with an eventual trail through Earl Bales Park to York Mills station. The third project is the Steeprock – Bathurst Manor Cycling Connections which leaves a lot to be desired. Cycle tracks are proposed on Steeprock along with painted bike lanes on Whitehorse and Rimrock, but this project offers nothing but sharrows between Dufferin and Bathurst Streets. An epic fail as far as I’m concerned.
  • March 27 IEC Meeting – Last, but not least, the IEC meeting on Wednesday, March 27 will see the eglintonTOday project be debated, while the Avenue Road Study could be dealt with at the same time. The Eglinton project will cover from Keele Street to Mount Pleasant Road, while Cycle Toronto has sent out a notice about a virtual event discussing the project on Monday, March 11 at 7:30 PM. Eglinton is a critical piece of the puzzle to building a citywide cycling grid, so be sure to e-mail when the final report is ready on Wednesday, March 20 once the motion number is available.

Next Steps

This year is an exciting one to follow not just for all the public consultations happening, but also that the 2025-27 bike plan will be finalized later this year. Given how opponents for safe streets organized for last week’s Etobicoke dumpster fire of a meeting, we need to make our presence known to show there is a big tent of support for safe streets across this city.

Finally, the deadline to submit your feedback for the Leaside-Danforth bikeway is Thursday, March 21.

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