IEC Supports Making Midtown Yonge Pilot Permanent: Help us encourage Council!

Let’s continue making temporary ActiveTO projects permanent once and for all.

Audrey and Nick deputing

On Monday, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC)  voted in support of city staff recommendations to make both the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot and the ActiveTO Bayview Cycling Network Expansion projects permanent. These projects will now go to Council next week where a final decision will be made. 

89 people deputed at IEC, and it was incredible to hear from so many engaged and passionate residents who took time out of their day to make their voices heard. We heard from Robin Richardson, and many other volunteers from Yonge4All, who organized a well attended press conference in front of City Hall. 

Among the many deputations made, listen to Mary Woods, a high school teacher who commutes to work at The York School and spoke about the importance of role modeling for the young by making their commute active and safe, or Carmen Jones, an oncology nurse at SickKids who deputed while taking care of a patient and spoke of experiencing road rage and dangerous behaviour from car drivers not following speed limits, or the adorable young Audree and her little brother Nick who want separated bike lanes so that her mom is safe. When asked by Councillor Morley what Audrey would say to car drivers about traffic congestion, she said “To try riding a bike more.” I was also among the deputants, highlighting that anything is possible when you collaborate and work with  the community, and our civic and elected leaders for the greater good of our future. We would like to thank every single person who has worked tirelessly to make the temporary ActiveTO projects get to this point.

Councillors Saxe, Morely, Moise, and Bradford

We would like to thank Deputy Mayor and IEC Chair Councillor Jennifer McKelvie, and IEC members and Councillors Dianne Saxe, Amber Morley, Mike Colle, and Anthony Perruzza for their leadership and support of this transformative project. To address community concerns raised during the deputations, Councillor Saxe put forward a motion requesting that residential streets adjacent to the Midtown Yonge project area be studied to evaluate the safety of residents by addressing the dangerous behaviour of car drivers who drive or park on sidewalks. We commend her for thinking strategically and thoughtfully about those living in the project area. Illegal parking by car drivers impacts everyone across the city.

Three things you can do right now to ensure that the Midtown Yonge Complete Street and the ActiveTO Bayview projects are made permanent at Council Next Week:

  1. Write a letter thanking the Mayor and Council for their work in bringing the successful ActiveTO program to life and asking them to support making it permanent:
    • We have provided a sample letter below, but encourage you to customize it to  make it personal! Here are some tips to help you write your letter:
      • Explain your personal experiences riding on the Yonge Street or Bayview Extension bike lanes.
      • Tell them how the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot Project has improved your daily life.
      • Share your views on why it's important to you to build more Complete Streets.
  2. Call the Mayor to thank him for his leadership on the cycling file: (416) 397-2489
    • During his tenure as Mayor, an unprecedented 78km of bike lanes have been installed and he has committed to building 100km of new cycling infrastructure by 2024! Share your appreciation for piloting the ActiveTO program and that you appreciate his support for making the 2021 ActiveTO Cycling Network Expansion Projects permanent. By making the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot permanent in particular will go a long way to supporting and encouraging people to adopt more sustainable active modes of transportation and help the city meet its TransformTO goals. 
  3. Join almost 9000 supporters and sign Yonge4All’s petition

Sample Letter

TO:

[email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],   [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

[email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected] 

COPY:

[email protected] , [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

SUBJECT:

IEC has approved Midtown Yonge Complete Street and ActiveTO bike lanes and I hope you support making them permanent too!

BODY:

Hello Mayor John Tory, and members of City Council,

Last Monday, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee heard from many passionate residents and ultimately approved a motion to make the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot Project and ActiveTO Bayview Bike Lanes permanent. I hope that you will take their recommendation to heart and approve this item at Council next week.

One of the refrains from deputants at IEC was that the Complete Street features on Midtown Yonge have made the street feel safer and more vibrant. Residents who may have been scared to venture out on their bike came forward and said that these dedicated and protected bike lanes have given them the push they need to choose modes of active transportation. 

Fire Services/EMS explaining that the pilot area has not impacted their delivery for their important services: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qqOA6xLbTc

City staff speak to concerns about adjacent traffic on Roxborough which predated both the pandemic and the midtown Yonge pilot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xVSwHw5dwI

TTC confirms that the concerns they raised last year have been resolved and are satisfied with the corridor operation as it pertains to the shuttle buses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGQSQFq1Yf0

Making people feel comfortable and safe walking, biking, and taking transit is an important part of tackling the climate crisis. If Toronto is going to meet its TransformTO goal of having 75% of all trips under 5 km taken by foot, bike, or transit by 2030, we need more routes and spaces that prioritize these forms of transport. 

I hope that I can count on your support and vote next week.

Thank you for your consideration.

Your Name

Your Postal Code

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