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Yonge Street, North York Streetscape Improvements

amnesiajune

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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.

Geography is always going to be a barrier to bike commuting here. Even if the 401 bypass was built for Hogg's Hollow, there's still hardly anyone who wants to spend 30-60 minutes biking south, constantly going downhill and uphill through ravines, and show up to work drenched in sweat. Biking works well for short & relatively-flat commutes, not long ones.

Having said that, biking for recreation and day-to-day trips still happens, and nothing in the census data captures that. Putting bike lanes right on Yonge is going to make it a lot easier than putting them one block away. Putting them one block away on a less-busy street makes sense if you want to create commuting corridors (i.e. Dundas East, Beverley/St George, Sherbourne and Richmond/Adelaide) but not if you want to improve access to the community (like Eglinton, Bloor or College).
 

UpperAvenue

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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.

To your point, yes those places do have "backdoor" access - usually not as nice or accessible as the main entrance, but still yes - but it also forces a cyclist coming from the west to go from Beecroft, across Yonge, over to Doris and then circle around to this backdoor entrance and vice versa. This only makes it less convenient, but also introduces more conflict points.

- 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
For that very reason, we should be putting cycle tracks on Yonge. We should be building safe cycling infrastructure on the roads that are the least safe - that's the whole point of cycle tracks. Why are we spending millions of dollars making something that - according to Sunnyraytoronto's usage statistics - is already much times safer than Yonge. Help those most at risk on Yonge, create better connections to destinations rather than "backdoor" access, and still connect to the Hydro Corridor, and Under 401 (which Beecroft would not actually connect to) while saving millions of taxpayer dollars.
 

Leo_Chan

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Can someone explain to me why a bike trail under the 401 bridge is so attractive? I'd much rather ride on ground level (under the bridge) or a dedicated underpass.
 

UpperAvenue

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Can someone explain to me why a bike trail under the 401 bridge is so attractive? I'd much rather ride on ground level (under the bridge) or a dedicated underpass.

I don't think most people say it's more physically attractive (maybe more cool though) than a dedicated overpass, but rather more financially attractive while still getting cyclists from one side of the valley to the other. As far as I understand, it would be cheaper and faster to build since the new bridge infrastructure would leverage some of the 401 bridge infrastructure already in place.
 

amnesiajune

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Can someone explain to me why a bike trail under the 401 bridge is so attractive? I'd much rather ride on ground level (under the bridge) or a dedicated underpass.

Hardly anyone bikes across Hoggs Hollow because of the long and steep hills. The idea with the trail under the bridge is to connect Yonge Street to Yonge Boulevard, so there's a relatively flat path between Sheppard and Uptown Toronto.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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Can someone explain to me why a bike trail under the 401 bridge is so attractive? I'd much rather ride on ground level (under the bridge) or a dedicated underpass.

It's not,.... but maybe the only option unless MTO cooperates.

I recently covered some of those issues recently on Sheppard West Subway extension thread,... starting here:
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...xtension-proposed.20503/page-136#post-1317852
to here:
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...xtension-proposed.20503/page-138#post-1318655

The main issue with all the more ridge-to-ridge connections is they require MTO cooperation since they're on MTO land & infrastructure,.... for years the MTO has refused all request from City.

So City's 10-year plan uses a 401 crossing that does not include MTO land/infrastructure,... it's along Valley bottom - through city's Golf Course, who will refuse as before!,... unless they get kicked out via new golf course review. The segment I circled with red oval in last link above is not do-able since it's way too steep but I suggested a detour via Stuart Green Belt. Too many IFs to make it do-able, City only added it to their 10-year plan to make Yonge St Major Corridor Study look more do-able.

Best to use MTO land and infrastructure but dealing with MTO and Liberals have been fruitless,.... but maybe with PC,....
 

sunnyraytoronto

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For that very reason, we should be putting cycle tracks on Yonge. We should be building safe cycling infrastructure on the roads that are the least safe - that's the whole point of cycle tracks. Why are we spending millions of dollars making something that - according to Sunnyraytoronto's usage statistics - is already much times safer than Yonge. Help those most at risk on Yonge, create better connections to destinations rather than "backdoor" access, and still connect to the Hydro Corridor, and Under 401 (which Beecroft would not actually connect to) while saving millions of taxpayer dollars.

Green painted CycleTracks don't make cyclist invincible.

Transform Yonge with CycleTracks will still have all the exact same high number of Cyclist-Vehicle Conflict Points (right-hook, left-cross, pull-out),... generally every 80m since east-west side street dominate local road grid system.
cyclist_vehicle_conflicts-point.jpg


The only way to eliminate/lower these Cyclist-Vehicle Conflict Points is to dead-end side streets before they connect with Yonge,... as you can see, now both sidewalk and CycleTracks become more longer, more continuous and safer since vehicular conflict point eliminated!
DeadEnded12CycleTracksA2a.jpg


Gee,... Wouldn't it be great if we can get the vast majority of these east-west side street to dead end before meeting the north-south street! Oh,... We already have that! Due to North York Centre's protective road grid system, 90% of all east-west side streets from the single residential house area between Sheppard & Finch already dead end or "loop-out" (in Orange) and thus never intersect with Beecroft Rd or Doris Ave! Result: 500m to 850m of long continuous safe stretches of sidewalk without Vehicular conflict points along west-side Beecroft Rd & east-side Doris Ave,.... So it's much safer to add Cycling Infrastructure here!
YongeCorridorNYC3dT_Good_OrangeGreenRed_measure.jpg


And since west-side Beecroft Rd is generally open greenspace with no-house/commercial fronting onto it,.... it means going Bi-Directional you can actually put in fully protective CycleTracks with guard-rails/Jersey barriers (which you can't on Yonge).
bayview-1.jpg

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-cyclists-enjoying-new-separated-bike-lane-on-bayview-avenue-1.3812323
 

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BMO

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I think my general concern is that, whether you put a bi-directional bike lane on the adjacent parallel streets, you will inevitably still have cyclists aiming to go to Yonge that will still be left in a vulnerable state. How do you think these road users will interact with between the parallel corridors and Yonge Street? I would imagine you'd see cyclists going east/west to/from Yonge, but still cycling mid-block along Yonge St to access a destination. Unless the assumption is that the majority of trips will access secondary entrances from behind?
 

sunnyraytoronto

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I think my general concern is that, whether you put a bi-directional bike lane on the adjacent parallel streets, you will inevitably still have cyclists aiming to go to Yonge that will still be left in a vulnerable state. How do you think these road users will interact with between the parallel corridors and Yonge Street? I would imagine you'd see cyclists going east/west to/from Yonge, but still cycling mid-block along Yonge St to access a destination. Unless the assumption is that the majority of trips will access secondary entrances from behind?

Regardless "Transform Yonge" or "Enhance Yonge", Yonge Street will be getting signalized intersections every 200m (new at Ellerslie & Horsham/NorthTownWay). These Yonge Street signalized intersection generally already or will have matching signalized intersection along Beecroft Rd & Doris Ave. So additional signalized intersection at Doris&Elmwood, maybe Doris&Bishop, maybe Greenview(Beecroft north)&Hendon,... timed light at Doris&Princess (EarlHaig SS & EmpressWalk jaywalking) timed wtih Doris&Empress

Thus, sufficient number of signalized intersection along Beecroft Rd,....

NOTE: Most of Beecroft Road signalized intersections are "T" shaped (vs "+" shaped) with no intersecting street along west-side of Beecroft, meaning, you can walk north-south "against red-light" here!,... that's why I'd perfer cycling infrastructure be West of sidewalk here onto open green space, so Cyclist don't have to stop at intersection!

With "Enhance Yonge" & "Transform Beecroft" option they'll be adding east-west connectors,... to Subway Stations are priority (that's where most local cycling commuter go!):
- Finch: Finch Hydro Corridor Trail At Bishop Ave already done deal (Bi-Directional Trail)
- North York Centre: bad "bike lane" connector at North York Blvd & Elmwood servicing CityStaff at North York Civic Centre & TDSB office! Should be moved to ParkHome/Empress for better subway connectivity, redo south sidewalk on ParkHome so not hidden in Colonnade, room for Bi-Directional Trail-BikeLane along north side, connector at west end of ParkHome to Cemetery donation land to EarlBales Park (issues now), easy direct connector to Willowdale Wilket Creek Trail (Doris&Empress), east end of Empress can somewhat access East Don Valley Trails
- Sheppard-Yonge: nothing official yet, but Poyntz/Anndale would be ideal, room for Bi-Directional Trail-BikeLane along north side, west end of Poyntz should have multi-use connector to EarlBales Park via 325 Bogert redevelopment, east Anndale Dr connect to Glendora Park Trail

Already looked at Elmhurst/Greenfield,... others might be considered again. Most east-west side streets between Beecroft & Yonge, Yonge & Doris only deal with driveways.
 
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Leo_Chan

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NOTE: Most of Beecroft Road signalized intersections are "T" shaped (vs "+" shaped) with no intersecting street along west-side of Beecroft, meaning, you can walk north-south "against red-light" here!,... that's why I'd perfer cycling infrastructure be West of sidewalk here onto open green space, so Cyclist don't have to stop at intersection!
Let’s hope they don’t pull a York Region and make the bike lane go onto street level ONLY at signalized intersections, even at T-intersections. (Example at Highway 7/Court Yard Ln).
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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Gee,... Wouldn't it be great if we can get the vast majority of these east-west side street to dead end before meeting the north-south street! Oh,... We already have that! Due to North York Centre's protective road grid system, 90% of all east-west side streets from the single residential house area between Sheppard & Finch already dead end or "loop-out" (in Orange) and thus never intersect with Beecroft Rd or Doris Ave!

It's ironic because they did that on purpose. They did it so cars would go off of Yonge and on to Beecroft and Doris without infiltrating the neighbourhood. Now we're shunting bikes off of Yonge so cars can stay on the street.

And since west-side Beecroft Rd is generally open greenspace with no-house/commercial fronting onto it,.... it means going Bi-Directional you can actually put in fully protective CycleTracks with guard-rails/Jersey barriers (which you can't on Yonge).

Open greenspace with no houses or commercial space? Sounds rather less of a trip generator than, say, a place lined entirely with high-rise residences and commercial at grade.

I guess the question to ask is whether you're trying to solve an engineering problem or a citybuilding issue.

[Just a side note, as I was driving on this stretch the other day. Much of the time, the curb lane is just parking. Obviously not at rush hour. But the rest of the time, you're not even taking away a lane of traffic, just a lane of street parking which makes it amusing because we haven't heard the equivalent of the King Street ice sculpture crowd crowing about how the program will kill their businesses. We don't even have that false narrative - that street parking drives business - just the mayor taking it upon himself to save a few commuters a few minutes of driving THROUGH the neighbourhood and past those shops. Ironic.]
 

lead82

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Given Tory's hold on votes, I think the likely and predictable outcome will be Enhance Yonge and Beecroft will get the lanes. I just hope they don't compromise and actually put in proper physically separated lanes and not just sharrows. The lanes should go from Sheppard to Finch hydro corridor with E-W connectors to all 3 stations so that cyclists can get from residential streets to the subway stations on dedicated cycling ROW.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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Given Tory's hold on votes, I think the likely and predictable outcome will be Enhance Yonge and Beecroft will get the lanes. I just hope they don't compromise and actually put in proper physically separated lanes and not just sharrows. The lanes should go from Sheppard to Finch hydro corridor with E-W connectors to all 3 stations so that cyclists can get from residential streets to the subway stations on dedicated cycling ROW.

On Saturday I already posted,....
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,....
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-29#post-1319697

And Councillor Shiner has incentive to get the Centre Median down to 3.0m to maximize sidewalk width gain since it'll help him with City Council vote.

As for it not being officially scheduled for Tuesday vote, until this morning,... that's just a,... co-incidence,....
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisio...n=doPrepare&meetingId=13090#Meeting-2018.CC38


"Transform Beecroft" converting current Uni-Directional CycleTrack to fully protective Bi-Directional CycleTracks (allowing wider 2.1m sidewalk along west-side between Sheppard & ParkHome along with getting rid of controversial Bike Sharrow on west-side Greenview in favour of fully protective Bi-Directional CycleTrack/Trail here). This is trickier since it's entirely in Councillor Filion's Ward and he's on "Transform Yonge" side,... Councillor Shiner incentive here would be getting rid of the controversial Bike Sharrows in favour of fully protective cycling infrastructure to get City Council votes,.... but the bike advocates haven't been good to Councillor Shiner lately!!!! Here, if the conversion doesn't happen at City Council, it'll have to get chipped away at later,... and the current Uni-Directional with undersize sidewalk isn't to City's specs so it won't be tough to get it converted, just need the local Councillor to,..... arghhhh!!!
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-29#post-1319698

Regardless of which one wins tomorrow,... there'll still be some more minor Community Consultations for design,....
 

sunnyraytoronto

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It's ironic because they did that on purpose. They did it so cars would go off of Yonge and on to Beecroft and Doris without infiltrating the neighbourhood. Now we're shunting bikes off of Yonge so cars can stay on the street.

Not exactly,....

Originally, all the east-west roads from the single residential house neighbourhoods went directly to and intersected with Yonge St.

Starting in mid-1970s when high-density started in North York Centre, the protective road grid system was part of the deal to protect the existing single residential neighbourhoods from traffic infiltration originating from the new high-density intensification within the Yonge corridor.

In 1990's with official North York Centre Secondary Plan Area, high-density developments were allowed between the boundaries of Beecroft Road & Doris Ave,... and whenever these Service Roads were extended so was North York Centre's protective road grid system. Note: Initially (I'm not sure if it ever stopped) the house property owners on the streets would vote to get the protective dead end/loop-out feature to prevent traffic infiltration and pay about %10 more property tax for 5-10 years to cover the cost. As you can see, all the streets that got the offer took it!

2007 image with current road overlay (yellow or white lines), notice Beecroft end at Ellerslie and Doris at Byng:
NYC-2007.jpg


2012 image, showing Beecroft extension north of Ellerslie Ave to Finch and Doris extension north of Byng Ave to Finch.
NYC-2012.jpg


Notice: North York Center Secondary Plan generally uses Beecroft Rd & Doris Ave as boundary and buffer (not perfect but better than nothing!),.... and will generally extend them as development occurs,..... Yonge & Eglinton does NOT have such a service road buffer, and now they're getting a lot of intensification deeper and deeper into the single residential house neighbourhoods.


I guess the question to ask is whether you're trying to solve an engineering problem or a citybuilding issue.

Not really an engineering problem. The real question, is weather you want to build the proper and safest infrastructure for the local residents or if you want to satisfy the vocal special interest groups from outside the area who'll rarely visit (ie the "CityBuilders" mainly after Minimum-Grid).
 

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