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Toronto Danforth ‘Complete Street’ transformation sneak peek


TORONTO, ON., June 19, 2020 — Toronto city councillor Brad Bradford, City Councillor for #Ward19 Beaches – East York tweeted out some of the drawing plans for the reimagining of the Danforth. The City of Toronto had been hinting over the past several weeks that the ‘Complete Street’ Danforth Study was in the works and now they have released their vision and plan for the Danforth into the future.

The study is a joint project between Transportation Services, and City Planning and Economic Development & Culture. The plans feature a protected cycle track, curb extensions, expanded space for patios, and 24/7 parking on both sides of Danforth Avenue.

Also, as part of this pilot project there will be streetscape improvements such as planters, brightly painted curb extensions to reduce pedestrian crossing distances, and opportunities for new and expanded patios to create an attractive streetscape with more outdoor seating and retail space.

A separated bicycle lane in both directions will provide safe mobility options for local shopping, etc. trips, and serve as a transit relief valve. There will be one traffic lane in either direction and turn lanes would be added at intersections.

In terms of the area sidewalks the plan is to have adequate pedestrian space for circulation, safety and maintaining physical distancing.

The project had been paused because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it then became one of the projects that City Council voted to accelerate around the City to support the Pandemic recovery as well as the city’s Mobility Strategy while also addressing Toronto’s emerging transportation issues.

The project is part of the City’s ‘Complete Street’ strategy with placemaking, people and prosperity as its cornerstones.

The timelines for this project move forward in phases with Phase 1 Implementation beginning in mid-July. As part of Phase 1 will be the implementation of expanded patio space if permitted, planters, curb extensions, and a cycle track. Also in Phase 1 will be the installation of additional bike parking, Bike Share stations and some street art components.

As part of Phase 2 Implementation in 2021 there will be ongoing monitoring, iterative design modifications, murals/street art. and more extensive community consultation, with specific feedback on what works well and what doesn’t from Phase 1. Beyond 20201 there will be ongoing monitoring, iterative design modifications, and new pedestrian crossings upon review from traffic Operations/Council approval.

Throughout the entire process the City says that “City staff will be working with businesses through the BIAs on key issues, including loading, patio expansion opportunities, design features, and installation timelines.”

One of the key areas of concern for residents and visitors has always been parking and City staff are working with stakeholders and on traffic analysis optimization to minimize these impacts, as well as review potential for more side street parking.

Danforth traffic analysis infographic , City of Toronto, Danforth Study

In terms of the project’s affect on traffic City staff will be continuing to monitor traffic counts (for all modes of transportation, including pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, and transit users) following the pilot implementation using data collected by cameras along the corridor. Information will be used to evaluate whether the pilot is meeting goals and objectives of the project.

The City says the cost of the proposed corridor-wide implementation is approximately $4M, roughly $1.5M of which would go specifically to public realm improvements (eg. planters, curb extensions, murals, etc.). The overall cost estimate includes: the implementation of the new Danforth cross section (full-time parking lanes, cycle track,curb extensions, planters, bicycle parking, and street art.

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