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Yonge Street, North York Streetscape Improvements

amnesiajune

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What idiot came up with the idea that you can fit patios into half a meter of additional sidewalk space? I keep seeing this line get used, and every time I facepalm even harder.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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Well,... Here's an image of the Yonge Street sidewalk - west side north of Finch Ave:
FinchYonge_NWa25.jpg

Originally, CityStaff's definition of Pedestrian Sidewalk Width gain was very liberal,... notice in the above image, in the middle of the sidewalk there's street furnishing like trees, fire hydrant, trash receptacles, etc,... Well, when they move these street furnishing items to the curb with the other street furnishing items,... they counted the free-ed up sidewalk space and it's imaginary buffer space! as gain in sidewalk space! Huh? It's already the sidewalk!!! So CityStaff was reporting to Councillor & office that there's actually 3 to 4m in sidewalk width gain per side!!!! And they were believing them! You won't see those types of numbers unless you convert entire traffic lane to sidewalk,... no CycleTracks, just sidewalk. Wow, 3-4m,... that seems like enough for a patio!

After being challenged on those numbers, CityStaff adopted more conservative estimates,...

Anyways,... with the various current options creating 0.25m, 0.76m or 1m or pedestrian sidewalk width gain,... then factor in street furnishing increasing by 30cm,.... in the end, forget patio,... the sidewalk width gain won't even fit a patio table tray,...
IMG_2595_4010a.jpg

https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-28#post-1317416


Are you face-palming harder yet? Cause, I got more!!!
 

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sunnyraytoronto

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sunnyraytoronto

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Keesmaat's "CityBuilder" & Co. refocusing on public realm pedestrian space VS CycleTracks,.... really just gives more ammo for Councillor Shiner's modified 6-lane "Enhance Yonge" with 3.0m Centre Median that'll deliver sidewalk width gains of 1/3 MORE (Physical average 1m VS 0.76m) & over 3 times MORE (on density weighted average 1m VS 0.30m) VS Councillor Filion's "Transform Yonge" with CycleTrack.
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-28#post-1317416

Now with Tuesday's CityCouncil vote, I expect Councillor Shiner's modified 6-lane "Enhance Yonge" with 3.0m Centre Median to win at City Council. The only real question is whether Councillor Filion will vote in favour of it,.... he should since it maximize public realm pedestrian sidewalk width gain (what his constituents really want) and bring $60 million of infrastructure money into his Ward 23 VS $51 million on TransformYonge VS $30 million for just repaving as is.

BTW, since last summer I've been warning Councillor Filion & office on CityStaff's 3.0m VS 4.5m Centre Median scheme,... so he's might be really clever getting Councillor Shiner to do all the work while getting an extra $9 million of infrastructure money into his Ward 23,... or it'll all blow up in his face,....
 

sunnyraytoronto

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Disclaimer: I'm not sure if my requested modification to "Transform Beecroft" will be in City Council vote or if I'll still have to "chip away at it" later

Since no one figured it out yet,....

Here in the narrower City Right-Of-Way on Beecroft Road between Sheppard Ave and ParkHome Ave,... there's a violation of Toronto Complete Streets Guideline,... Can anyone spot it??? The easiest and cheapest fix (anyone figure out how?),... might actually force CityStaff to change to Bi-Directional CycleTracks along west-side of Beecroft where it's long & continuous with minimal cyclist-vehicle conflict points.
View attachment 136499

My understanding is the Bi-Directional CycleTracks version was also developed internally but never presented; thus, now at 30% engineering - it's now or never. Problem is the local Councillor is,....it'll be better and safer for his ward,... but the local Councillor is,.... arghhhh!!!
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-26#post-1313156

IMG_2376_100a.jpg

The proposed 1.8m wide pedestran sidewalk along west-side of Beecroft Road between Sheppard Ave and ParkHome Ave (about 850m ie: 1/3 of Beecroft Road) does NOT meet Toronto Complete Streets accessibility guideline of 2.1m wide pedestrian sidewalk.
IMG_2458_50.jpg

Page 2 https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-102436.pdf

Converting the dangerous Uni-Directional CycleTracks to safer fully protective (high wall or guard rails) Bi-Directional CycleTracks will free up 0.6m to 1.2m width here; more than enough to widen the 1.8m sidewalk width to 2.1m along with extra for other streetscape items and more buffer space to help ensure row of mature Spruce tree in front of Lawn Bowling Club survives.
IMG_2492_2515.jpg

IMG_2484_50Red.jpg



IMG_2496_1510Red.jpg


IMG_2502_25.jpg


This conversion to fully protective (high wall or guard rails) Bi-Directional CycleTracks will free up 0.6m of width between ParkHome Ave and Ellerslie Ave and allow width of proposed curb boulevard along west-side to increase from 1.0m-1.5m by 0.6m; thus, ensuring the curb trees in front of Dempsey Park survives.
https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/u...Beecroft_Stage-2_4L-2017-12-11-compressed.pdf

This conversion to fully protective (high wall or guard rails) Bi-Directional CycleTracks will allow the controversial Bike Sharrows along west-side of Greenview Ave to be replaced with temporary fully-protective Bi-Directional CycleTrack all within City's Right-Of-Way until the required properties are conveyed to City via development.

From a cyclist perspective, this will allow fully protective (Jersey barrier or guard rails) Bi-Directional CycleTracks along the west-side of Beecroft Road where cyclist-vehicle conflict points are minimized in both number and vehicular traffic volume. CycleTracks with fully protective barriers (Jersey barrier or guard rails) will be especially important along accident-prone area of Beecroft Road south of Churchill Ave with sharp road curves.
 

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11th

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From a cyclist perspective, this will allow fully protective (Jersey barrier or guard rails) Bi-Directional CycleTracks along the west-side of Beecroft Road where cyclist-vehicle conflict points are minimized in both number and vehicular traffic volume. CycleTracks with fully protective barriers (Jersey barrier or guard rails) will be especially important along accident-prone area of Beecroft Road south of Churchill Ave with sharp road curves.
Bi-directional tracks are also safer for cyclists. They are less likely to be in blind spots of drivers.
The best plan should be:
1. bi-directional tracks
2. tracks are always between vehicular lanes and sidewalk, even right-turn pockets - vehicles do not cross onto cycle tracks to enter right-turn pocket
3. protected right-turn for vehicles at signalized intersections - no right turn except on green arrow; cyclists face a red light when vehicles have the right turn green.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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My understanding is the Bi-Directional CycleTracks version was also developed internally but never presented; thus, now at 30% engineering - it's now or never.

During Community Consultations,... CityStaff was making some excuse about Bi-Directional CycleTracks being more complex due to Traffic Light signalization,.... yet, they applied Bi-Directional along south-side of QueensQuay and LakeShore Blvd West near Royal York.
 

UpperAvenue

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If there's going to be any bike infrastructure included, it should be on Yonge Street.

Any cyclist that already uses Yonge isn't going to go out of their way to take Beecroft or Doris. And if the goal is to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation, cycling infrastructure on Doris and Beecroft won't be nearly as effective as on Yonge. The fact is Doris and Beecroft don't connect users to any destinations - entertainment, restaurants, groceries, subway stations etc. Users will still be forced to cycle along Yonge to reach these places.

Putting cycling infrastructure on Doris and Beecroft will be throwing away $10-20 million of taxpayers money on what is essentially a glorified signed bike route. It is not a compromise, it's simply a bad idea.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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My personal observation is most of the Bikes parked on Yonge are mainly at TTC Subway Stations entrances and they get there going east-west from the house neighbourhoods where most of Willowdale's 0.4% Cycling Mode Share originates from.
IMG_2134a50a.jpg


For every north-south cyclist I see on Yonge Street, there's about 10 on west-side Beecroft and 5 on east-side Doris; on both they're sticking to outer part of Ring Road where sidewalk is 500-850m long continuous without Cyclist-Vehicle Conflict points VS every 80m along Yonge & inner part of Ring Road (east-side Beecroft & west-side Doris).
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-12#post-1251574

Note: More Cyclist on west-side Beecroft VS east-side Doris probably because Beecroft has better access to Finch Hydro Corridor Trails.

Beecroft & Doris service the Community Hubs. Many schools along and close to Doris Ave. Along Beecroft Road there's North York Library, Aquatic Centre, MelLastman Sq, Churches, etc,.. Most of the area's larger retail areas like Yonge-SheppardCentre, EmpressWalk, EmeraldPark, North York City Centre are large enough to be accessed from Beecroft & Doris.

Officially, now Beecroft is getting Uni-Directional CycleTracks with temporary Bike Sharrows on west-side Greenview,.... maybe after Tuesday's vote it'll magically change to fully protected Bi-Directional CycleTrack along west-side Beecroft with GuardRails/Jersey Barriers & Greenview Ave
 

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pman

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I understand that pretty much anyone who knows anything about urban planning recommends the original proposal over the more expensive Tory-Shiner plan. While I live in the core, I do travel occasionally to Yonge and Finch by car, and I’m always struck by the unpleasant, degraded walking experience on that part of Yonge, when I park the car and magically transform from a driver to a pedestrian. Why anybody would want to preserve that exurban/suburban form for the next fifty years is beyond me.

But...I live in the core, not North York. I’m more concerned about the harm done to my part of the city by suburban councillors than I am about trying to force a degree of urbanism on folks who don’t seem to want it. I know that the local Councillor up there actually supports the original plan, but he seems to be in the minority among the suburban caucus. So how about this for a compromise: Give NY whatever stupid mess the majority of its councillors want - narrow the sidewalks for all I care - on the condition that suburban councillors recuse themselves from all urban design and public realm matters in the old City. Giving Shiner and his ilk free reign in their suburb would seem like a fair trade for a deal that means they agree to never vote on core area matters like the King pilot or the Bloor bike lanes. OK, I know it’ll never happen, but one can dream...
 

amnesiajune

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While I live in the core, I do travel occasionally to Yonge and Finch by car, and I’m always struck by the unpleasant, degraded walking experience on that part of Yonge, when I park the car and magically transform from a driver to a pedestrian. Why anybody would want to preserve that exurban/suburban form for the next fifty years is beyond me.

For what seems like the millionth time I'm saying this to someone who knows nothing about the area or the project, nobody wants to preserve the current street. Both sides agree on adding more traffic lights, widening sidewalks, narrowing car lanes, extending the medians and making street crossings narrower. The only thing the alternative proposal removed is bike lanes and the ban on the left turns from Yonge to Sheppard.
 

aquateam

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If there's going to be any bike infrastructure included, it should be on Yonge Street.

Any cyclist that already uses Yonge isn't going to go out of their way to take Beecroft or Doris. And if the goal is to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation, cycling infrastructure on Doris and Beecroft won't be nearly as effective as on Yonge. The fact is Doris and Beecroft don't connect users to any destinations - entertainment, restaurants, groceries, subway stations etc. Users will still be forced to cycle along Yonge to reach these places.

Putting cycling infrastructure on Doris and Beecroft will be throwing away $10-20 million of taxpayers money on what is essentially a glorified signed bike route. It is not a compromise, it's simply a bad idea.

While I think that Yonge would benefit from bike lanes, I disagree that putting cycling infrastructure on Beecroft is throwing money away.

Generally, I think the city should be focusing on "AAA" facilities - all ages, access, and abilities. Having bidirectional separated bike lanes on Beecroft would be a much safer, more pleasant, lower-stress cycling route than cycle tracks on Yonge. Even if the destinations themselves are on Yonge, people could cycle along their Beecroft and turn on to Yonge on their intended cross street.

Sunnyraytoronto has outlines his reasons for preferring Beecroft, although sometimes his posts can be difficult to read. Basically:
  • Beecroft has many fewer intersections, so there are fewer potential conflict points
  • Beecroft is a lower-traffic street
  • Beecroft is adjacent to some parks, and would connect better to the Finch hydro corridor
If the city were to create a connected network of multi-use trails (along the ravines, Finch hydro corridor, etc.) I think you would see a big increase in cycling. Making Beecroft curb-separated, connecting it to the Finch hydro corridor and the "under the 401" bridge proposal, and you could have a low-stress multiuse trail stretching east from York University (highway 400 and Norfinch) to Hendon park, then south to Yonge and Wilson.
 

BMO

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There are pros and cons to both sides. On the one hand, putting bike lanes on parallel streets seems like it has fewer hurdles and impacts to the community by being able to put a higher-quality facility where space is easily available. On the other hand, Yonge Street makes makes a lot of sense since the biggest trip generators are actually on Yonge Street. East and West of Yonge has virtually no trip generators beyond low-rise residential communities. Yonge Street is a regional corridor that attracts people from beyond just the local Willodale, so pulling cycling numbers showing 210 cyclists from Willowdale doesn't justify one option over another.

The reality is that you probably only see cyclists going east-west because those are the safest routes currently. I personally wouldn't feel safe cycling on Yonge, and if I were to cycle in the area I wouldn't cycle on Yonge Street. That's not to say that I wouldn't IF there were cycle tracks available. In Yonge-Eglinton 50% of peak hour trips that are less than 1km are made by car, and 43% are by foot. with only 1% by bike. This is because there isn't any protected cycling infrastructure in the area. In fact, all the cycling routes are nowhere near where all the bike racks and bike parking are located (along Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue). I wouldn't be surprised if a similar scenario is playing out around Yonge/Sheppard currently.

I guess the question is whether we want this project to work for the local community, or simply act as a by-pass for all the businesses?
 

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