Next week, the City Council’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) will debate several items that could help improve healthy and affordable movement in Toronto. The following items on the agenda are in particular need of support.
Centennial Park Master Plan
The Centennial Park Master Plan update includes a host of changes that will be implemented in the Etobicoke park over the next 20 years, if it is approved. Cycling improvements proposed include a multi-use path along Centennial Park Boulevard (and a road diet) in the west and a bike lane on Centennial Park Road in the east. Many new multi-use paths are proposed within the grounds as well as better signage and curb cuts to make crossing roads easier. These will all make enjoying the park by bike much easier, and Cycle Toronto has three supplementary recommendations:
- Prioritize building bike lanes and multi-use paths earlier in the plan so safe mobility is accommodated as soon as possible
- Plan to clear all of the bike lanes and multi-use paths of snow
- Create safe cycling connections to the south and east
- Install protected bike lanes on Rathburn Road over Highway 427
- Upgrade Renforth Drive painted bike lanes with concrete separation
- Continue the installation of cycling infrastructure from Centennial Park Boulevard onto Mill Road, south to Bloor Street
Scarborough Cycling Plan
Scarborough has been largely excluded from cycling improvements in the past, reducing people’s ability to lead healthy lifestyles, decrease transportation costs, and decrease environmental impact. Based on the recent report out of the University of Toronto Scarborough, “The Scarborough Opportunity” (which Cycle Toronto and other organizations advised on), there is now a call for a comprehensive walking and cycling plan for Scarborough, similar to our Move365 Connect Scarborough campaign.
One project in this plan could be a protected bikeway along Galloway Road to connect from Guildwood Parkway (AKA the Waterfront Trail) to Coronation Drive to help make the road safer for concerned residents. Cycle Toronto recommends extending this north past Kingston Road to Lawrence Avenue, which will provide better access to local businesses, Galloway Road Public School, and the ravine system.
Bringing much needed upgrades to public spaces in Scarborough is going to face opposition; we need you to share support for safe cycling and walking in Scarborough. Please, email your support to IEC.
Improving Winter Access to Parks
Toronto saw a significant expansion of winter maintenance in parks last winter. Now, we could potentially see that expanded further. The proposal would have more facilities maintained during the winter including more snow clearing on multi-use paths that are vital parts of our transportation network. The proposal would also look to explore different snow clearing methods in environmentally sensitive areas, such as our ravines, which cannot be salted due to the environmental impacts. Making our parks more accessible year-round will help people lead healthier, happier lifestyles while enjoying nature within the city limits. Show your support by emailing IEC.
Safe Cycling on Lake Shore E & Lower Don Trail
With the demolition of the Gardiner East ramps and the massive flood mitigation project in the Port Lands comes disruption to one of the busiest multi-use paths in the city: the Lower Don Trail along Lake Shore Boulevard E. This trail connecting Downtown with East York is scheduled to be closed for at least three years. During the closure, a detour is to be provided on Cherry, Villiers, and Commissioners Streets as well as Carlaw Avenue, though the route has not been fully-protected yet.
The project team must ensure that this is a physically protected detour that keeps thousands of trail users safe. If you rely on or use this route, be sure to email so the project team knows how important this is.