John Street Redesign Toronto

What do you think of the redesign plans for John St?

The John Street revitalization project has been in the works for years and with a great deal of recent Toronto news devoted to the transit planning war, the final staff recommendations have flown a bit under the radar. On February 6, the finished study put forward a list of recommendations for the "cultural corridor" between Queen and Front streets.

The stated priority of the nearly $30 million redevelopment effort is to beautify the street and to improve pedestrian accessibility by way of widened sidewalks and urban design elements like removable bollards for event-based closures of the street to vehicular traffic.

Bike lanes are not recommended as part of the redesign — an absence that some will find dissatisfactory. Staff argue that the mountable curb — a key component of the redesign — will get delivery trucks out of the way and that traffic calming measures will reduce speeds on the street, but it remains to be seen whether or not John will actually be cycling-friendly if the recommended plans are adopted.

Highlights of the proposed plan can be found below (for the full report, check here). The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will meet on Feb. 15 to consider the study. Should it ultimately be endorsed, the makeover would be completed in time for the Pan Am Games. What do you think of the designs?

Key recommendations from the staff report:

  • The narrowing of the road pavement in order to provide significantly wider sidewalks
  • Exclusive right turning lanes northbound at Adelaide Street West and at Wellington Street West and a southbound left turn lane at Wellington Street West in order to maintain an adequate level of traffic service
  • A continuous "mountable" curb on both sides of the street to enable a seamless transition into a pedestrian-only space for events, for vehicles to mount the flexible boulevard for deliveries or drop-offs, and to accommodate additional vehicular and cycling manoeuvring on either side of the road in emergencies
  • The widening of the east side boulevard between Front Street West and Stephanie Street to provide a 2.5 metre wide flexible space (defined by bollards) to accommodate deliveries and, when not used for vehicular loading/unloading, for pedestrians
  • The provision of urban design elements which consist of a double row of trees where feasible, removable bollards, infrastructure to support special events and distinctive paving materials and patterns.

Lead image from the City's staff report


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