These are the streets Toronto is closing to cars in order to make space for pedestrians
The city is closing off a whole host of side streets and major roads to car traffic in order to give pedestrians and cyclists the ability to spread out, and they just announced which streets in particular will soon be dominated by foot traffic instead of vehicles.
As a part of Toronto's new ActiveTO program, which was first announced last week, the city will be installing 57 kilometres of "quiet streets" across Toronto starting today.
1/Many have written expressing their support for quiet streets, to facilitate safer opportunities to walk, run and cycling. Today, Mayor @JohnTory announced ActiveTO will begin to be rolled out today, to achieve just that. Starting today, we are installing 57km of Quiet Streets. pic.twitter.com/kv1dyMl5R2— Ana Bailão (@anabailaoTO) May 14, 2020
These are neighbourhood streets where car circulation will be limited to local access, and signage and temporary barricades will be put in place at intersections to encourage slow and local driving only.
The first three locations of "quiet streets" are being installed today and they include Kensington Market (the area that borders Nassau Avenue, Spadina Avenue, Augusta Avenue and Dundas Street West), Shaughnessy Boulevard between Van Horne Avenue and Havenbrook Boulevard, and Havenbrook Boulevard between Shaughnessy Boulevard and Manorpark Court.
Some of #ActiveTO's first Quiet Streets were set up today in #KensingtonMarket. Barriers were set up using concrete, barrels, and existing gates. Signs were set up showing how to use a #bikeTO for physical distancing and also that the streets were for people on foot, bike & cars. pic.twitter.com/L1PXeSkO7x— Cycle Toronto (@CycleToronto) May 14, 2020
Here's the full list of confirmed "quiet street" locations as of May 14:
The list of current and planned Quiet Streets is available at https://t.co/zhMdHv25X1 and will be updated when locations are added.— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) May 14, 2020
In addition to creating "quiet streets," the city will also be closing some sections of major roads adjacent to parks and trails to all car traffic on holidays and weekends as per a recommendation from Transportation Services staff and Toronto Public Health.
According to a news release from the city, this will happen on a trial basis and staff will be monitoring nearby routes with real-time data and adjust as necessary.
The first sections along major roads are set to be closed for the Victoria Day long weekend from Saturday, May 16 at 6 a.m. until Monday, May 18 at 11 p.m.
These sections include all eastbound lanes on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road, Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.
In the future, regular weekend closures will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturdays until 11 p.m. on Sundays and locations will be announced as they are finalized.
This is “#ActiveTO” in Kensington Market. Thanks, I guess @m_layton? What we know about Toronto drivers is that they certainly read and respect signs. 🤷🏼♂️— Pedro Marques (@MetroManTO) May 14, 2020
(Note the UberEats guy driving the wrong way up a one way street and the van parked on the sidewalk) pic.twitter.com/rKSyK7xIYr
The city is also working on expanding the cycling network and ActiveTO-related cycling details will be provided in the coming weeks.
"Making additional space, as direction continues to evolve from 'stay home' to 'practise physical distancing when outside for essentials or exercise,' is a consistent and timely approach that will help keep Toronto residents healthier," reads the city's news release.
The city is also continuing its CurbTO program, with 30 pedestrian zones and 17 temporary parking pickup zones installed around Toronto to date and additional zones to be installed this week.
"Today, we are moving ahead with creating more than 50 kilometres of Quiet Streets across the city and starting this weekend we will be closing some major roads near popular recreation trails and areas," said Tory in a statement.
"All of this represents both a quick start and a common sense approach to respond to areas where there is bike and pedestrian congestion right now."
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