Rendering of Yonge Street just north of Gerrard looking west by Norm Li.
This week, the City of Toronto unveiled its final recommendations for the design for the future of downtown Yonge Street from College Street to Queen Street. This project has been years in the making, and we are encouraged by the recommended vision for downtown Yonge.
The City’s recommendation includes protected bike lanes on Yonge, several pedestrian-priority blocks where active transportation is allowed but driving is not, and some sections with limited access for drivers. These are all promising signs that the design has moved in the right direction: prioritizing people over cars.
Map of proposed changes to Yonge Street. Click to enlarge
On Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 6:30pm, the City will hold its final public meeting about this project. Please register to learn more about the design and share your feedback:
The Vision: creating safe space for walking, rolling, and cycling
We have made great progress in securing protected bike lanes north of the pedestrian priority section, although the recommended design is not a perfect solution. These bike lanes pave the way for a natural connection further up Yonge, from College to past Bloor Street or Eglinton Avenue, all the way up to Steeles Avenue.
Many of the remaining sections can be made very comfortable for people on bikes through operational changes such as lower speed limits and reduced car volumes. We are committed to pushing for these changes and getting bike lanes built along the rest of Yonge Street.
The details of this project have yet to be worked out and it will take hard advocacy work to ensure that people are put first. We have to keep pushing because some vocal voices prefer that cars remain the focus of our urban design; this includes outsized business voices that put cars before the experiences of the community members that use Yonge every day. We must continue to work hard to amplify the community voices that are calling for active transportation to be prioritized along Yonge.
We’ve partnered with city building and road safety organizations as well as City councillors to build a coalition of support for a bold vision for downtown Yonge. You can support our efforts by signing the petition:
Destination Danforth showed us what can be done to transform neighbourhoods through intense community involvement; bold changes can be made that satisfy the needs of the community and their businesses. Downtown Yonge and everyone in Toronto deserves this same opportunity to improve their neighbourhood.
Keep the momentum going
Donors and members are crucial to Cycle Toronto's success. Our advocacy has shifted a lot since the pandemic started and we're still keeping tabs on long-term projects like YongeTOmorrow while also pivoting to include new temporary bike lanes and expanding our efforts in the suburbs.
We're fundraising through Ride for Safe Streets, running Bike Month for the entire month of September, showing first-time and returning cyclists the ropes with the Start Biking Challenge, and helping parents with the Bike to School Challenge. Your support helps us do this and more! Even $5 a month helps us work through the pandemic toward a safer, healthier and more vibrant cycling city for all.
Thank you for your support,
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