Tomorrow, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee will be meeting to discuss a number of items including High Park, the Cycling Network Plan, and the City's TransformTO goals. Read on to learn more about some highlights, and find out how to get involved by emailing the Committee.
At Wednesday, April 26 Infrastructure & Environment Committee (IEC), members will be discussing IE3.8 - Cycling Network Plan: 2023 Cycling Infrastructure Installation - Second Quarter Updates and Missing Sidewalk Program - 2023 Local Road Sidewalk Installations. This is an opus that includes a long list of infrastructure improvements as well as a lot of administrative detail. This said, if approved in its entirety, an additional 4 km of new cycling infrastructure will be built - in Scarborough!
In addition to improvements to the Meadoway Trail, the installation of new sidewalks and traffic signals on numerous roads, and minor changes to the Palmerston Cycling Connections and the College Street Upgrades, the following two projects need your advocacy support:
1) Millwood Road
The city has been planning to upgrade Millwood Road, Pape Avenue, and Donlands Avenue to improve safety for road users, expand green space, and extend cycling network connections. Millwood Road in particular is a connection between the neighbourhoods of Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park, Leaside, and the downtown area. It is also a dangerous corridor for those walking or cycling - in the past 10 years, 1 person has been killed and 3 have been seriously injured on this road.
If approved, Millwood Road stands to become safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, rolling, and taking transit. Write to your councillor and members of IEC that residents of Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park deserve a safe and connected network of bike lanes.
2) Scarborough Golf Club Road
A rendering of the proposed bike lanes on Scarborough Golf Club Road, courtesy of the City of Toronto.
The good news is that City Council approved new protected cycle tracks, protected intersections and new traffic signals on Scarborough Golf Club Road. The first phase of this project includes 4 km between Ellesmere Road and Kingston Road.
The proposed changes will greatly improve road safety for all users as well as create a more vibrant public realm - and residents agree, with 68% of respondents to a survey supportive of the changes being proposed. In the past decade, 12 people have been seriously injured and three people have been killed on this street. This is both unacceptable, and entirely preventable.
We are happy to see that change is finally coming to this area, but are disappointed that these road safety improvements will be implemented in such small segments, not beginning until 2024-2025. We are calling on the City to expedite this road reconstruction so that residents of Scarborough are able to bike, walk, or roll along this road in comfort and safety.
Email Councillor Ainslie and members of IEC today to let them know you would like to see this project implemented ASAP!
High Park on a normal day (left), High Park on a car-free weekend (right) - the difference is undeniable.
Our parks should be reserved for city residents to freely enjoy green space and recreational activities, uninterrupted by cars. There are currently 561 parking spaces in High Park (just 22 spaces - 4%- of which is reserved for people with disabilities), consuming 3km of valuable park land. We can reduce the amount of space dedicated to cars AND improve accessibility.
The City has been evaluating transportation within the park through the High Park Movement Strategy, and has released their final report that will be up for discussion tomorrow at IEC. Here are the highlights.
The good news:
- The report outlines promising traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures, such as widening sidewalks, narrowing roads, and improving signaling
- Parking will be reduced throughout the park by 60%
- A pilot project for recreational sport cyclists is being proposed
The (really) bad news:
- The City Staff report not only does not recommend full road closures to motor vehicles at this time - it proposes diminishing the car-free weekends to just Sundays
We’re not going to lie. We’re disappointed that the city isn’t following New York City’s lead in making their popular parks car free. We’re also disappointed that the city isn’t listening to the over 75% of residents surveyed regarding the High Park Movement Strategy who expressed wanting the car-free option.
Write your councillor and members of IEC today and let them know that you want High Park to be car free, every day, all day.
In 2021, Cycle Toronto supported the city’s adoption of the TransformTO Net Zero by 2040 report. We were particularly excited about Toronto’s pledge to have 75% of trips under 5 km be taken on foot, transit, or bike by 2030. We still have a long way to go to achieve this goal.
In order to increase access to low carbon transportation options, including walking, biking, public transit and electric vehicles, the City must systematically invest in expanding active and multi-modal transportation infrastructure and programs across the city - even when it inconveniences the privileged minority of single use car drivers. The city urgently needs to prioritize active modes of transportation over single car use occupancy, and this includes removing barriers for people walking, wheeling, biking and connecting to transit.
We are in support of the recommendation of the Executive Director, Environment & Climate for City Council, to adopt the Corporate Policy on Submissions and Filings which sets out the standards and processes to be followed across the City to ensure that TransformTO Net Zero Strategy goals and targets are met. Furthermore, we recommend that the following policies be taken in order to support the reduction of GHG-emissions generated by emissions coming from passenger cars and trucks:
- Increase financial and resource investment and incentives to encourage the uptake of bikes/e-bikes or other transit/active infrastructure:
- Grant delegated authority to Transportation Services to implement the Cycling Network Near Term Plan once it is approved by Council.
- Expand the City’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy to include e-bikes and other electric micro mobility devices
Email IEC and let them know these measures are important to you: