We all know how important it is for our health to keep active, though it’s been difficult to do since the lock-down and closures of our parks. ActiveTO is about making sure people have space to get outside, have space to get around while respecting physical distancing.
“Our streets are going to look different in many places in the post-COVID world. We will need more road space for walking. We will need quiet streets. We will need more bike infrastructure. We are going about this in a responsible, common sense way with Toronto Public Health, Transportation Services and local councillors all involved in making common sense, health-focused decisions which broaden out our transportation network.”– Mayor John Tory
Creating Quiet Streets
These will be local routes with traffic calming measures that will enable local car traffic only and open up space for pedestrians and cyclists. These projects will roll out fairly quickly and the initial target will be 50 kilometres of quiet streets. In our area, quieter streets include:
- Kensington Market (area that borders Nassau Ave., Spadina Ave, Augusta Ave. and Dundas St. W.)
- Lakeshore Dr./Lake Promenade (First Ave. to Forty Second St.)
- High Park Ave. (Bloor St. W. to Annette St.)
- Brock/Emerson/Cowan Ave. (Dupont St. to King St. W.)
Closing Major Roads
Transportation Services staff and Toronto Public Health have recommended closing some major roads adjacent to major trails or recreational attractions where crowding on weekends and holidays has been observed. These would include some locations with complete closures to all car traffic and would be delivered through recurring short-term road closures, such as on weekends. When this happens, on a trial basis, staff will be monitoring adjacent routes with real-time data and will make adjustments as necessary.
Normal weekend closures (except long weekends) will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturdays until 11 p.m. on Sundays. Public parking lots, such as those with access to parks and beaches, will not be accessible if they fall within the major road closure area.
Major road closures are being planned from Saturday, May 30 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 31 at 11 p.m. Specific locations will be posted on the City’s website here when they are confirmed.
Expanding cycling network
More bike lanes will help people move around the city as the restart gets underway.
A Council report released on May 25 asks Council to approve the installation of approximately 25 kilometres of new bikeways, for a total of approximately 40 kilometres of on-street cycling lanes approved for accelerated installation in 2020. The proposed plan includes flexibility so that bikeway installations can be adjusted based on considerations such as changing traffic volumes, and the evolving needs of residents and businesses in the wake of the pandemic.
If approved, the cycling network would be expanded quickly through temporary installations by repurposing curb lanes along several key corridors. Bloor Street East, University Avenue/Queen’s Park Crescent and Dundas Street East would be among the first installations. For updates, please check on the City’s website here.
Not very confident on your bike? Check out the Bicycle Safety Campaign for tips, resources, and support to get you and your family out there safely!