Danforth Public Meeting #1 Wrap-Up
On November 7th, we and many other bike lane supporters attended the first public meeting on the Danforth Complete Street Study. The event proved so popular that an overflow room had to be set up in the library. As people arrived, it started off with a period where attendees were able to view materials about the proposed plan and take part in a series of activities. People were asked to leave notes, vote on priorities, and provide feedback on proposed community engagement strategies.
The main event was the presentation by City Staff. It didn’t yield a lot of new information, but it did lay out the current trajectory of the project. They’re starting off by trying to think of the Danforth Complete Street Study as part of a wider city context. They want separate departments to act in a collaborative way instead of doing things piecemeal. Vision Zero and the Cycling Network Plan are among the projects that are being taken into consideration on the Danforth. They even noted that there was one person killed and sixteen people seriously injured in the study area from 2014-2018.
Graphic showing yearly traffic fatalities in Toronto.
Staff would not commit to any new bike lanes or other infrastructure before 2021. They are currently planning to conduct bicycle counts in 2020 and put together design options at that time. Staff stated that the Complete Street designs “may or may not include bike lanes.”
The proposed work plan for the Danforth Study shows that the Complete Street Design options would be made available between March and July 2020.
Based on the proposed work plan, the Complete Street Design Options are the first major piece of work to be delivered by Transportation Services. The design is anticipated to be completed between March and July 2020, but the Background Review process (December 2019 to February 2020) could include this design phase so that a pilot installation occurs between March and July 2020.
A lot of time was spent assuring attendees that the goal of the study is to improve the Danforth for everyone. They want to preserve the ‘historic fabric’ of the community while making it safer, and improving business opportunities. There were a lot of questions raised about design specifics but staff only took a few questions at the end of the presentation.
After the presentation wrapped up attendees were asked to fill out worksheets and discuss what they had heard. From the questions and comments we saw there was a lot of concern about whether or not the Danforth would get bike lanes in 2020. We still believe that pilot bike lanes on Danforth in 2020 are a distinct possibility, but we need to tell Councillors that we want a pilot in 2020, not just a design.
In order to realize bike lanes on Danforth, we need your support.
The City will be taking a survey in early 2020, and there will be many more meetings. Until then, sign the Danforth Loves Bikes pledge and consider becoming a member for as little as $5/month.