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Yonge Street, North York Streetscape Improvements

W. K. Lis

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With surprise Tory support, Councillor Cressy keeps hopes of a better Yonge St. alive

It’s hard for anyone to see delaying a decision as a victory, but it sure beats making a terrible decision now, Edward Keenan writes.

See link.

Joe Cressy to the rescue.

After hours of acrimonious and emotional city council debate Tuesday on a plan to transform Yonge St. in downtown North York, one that seemed to be leading toward a disastrously bad decision, the councillor for the downtown Ward 20, Trinity Spadina, put forward a surprise deferral motion postponing a decision indefinitely. Probably until after the election.

It was not a victory for council’s supporters of sanity and good city planning. But it grasped a chance to fight another day from the jaws of defeat at the hands of Mayor Tory’s preferred plan.

What’s more, the mayor voted in favour of Cressy’s deferral motion. The mayor could have won a fight. He would have won. He chose instead to wait on more information. That’s an interesting turn.

Among city council’s left wing, who have been served a fairly steady diet of lemons during Tory’s term of office, Cressy has emerged as something of a maestro when it comes to procuring lemonade recipes. He’s the John Tory Whisperer of the progressive council bench...
 

Amare

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I think we need to pin this to the top of every transportation thread where city council is involved, because as I said earlier this is exactly how every transit/infrastructure project works in this city.

Here's my earlier quote on another thread:

There will be countless studies on this matter, which will then be sent to city council for further direction. Council will then refer the matter back to city staff to further study this issue, then city staff will come up with a revised list of proposals. Once this list of proposals is sent back to city council for voting, they will vote to defer the matter altogether until "funds become available".

Right now we are headed towards the last step in this cycle.
 

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.
View attachment 138484

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
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-29#post-1319858

So adding some more data:
LEVY: Yonge St. bike lane plan beyond absurd
"But Tuesday, it came ever more clear how absurd Filion’s plan really is. In a heated line of questioning, acting transportation director Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati — the point person on the project — finally admitted that only 25 cyclists currently use that stretch of roadway daily. I repeat, 25 use Yonge St. as opposed to 55,000 drivers daily."
http://torontosun.com/news/local-news/levy-yonge-st-bike-plan-beyond-absurd

Obviously "Transform Yonge" VS "Enhance Yonge" with "Transform Beecroft" will be a huge election issue in Willowdale!
 

LNahid2000

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https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-29#post-1319858

So adding some more data:
"But Tuesday, it came ever more clear how absurd Filion’s plan really is. In a heated line of questioning, acting transportation director Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati — the point person on the project — finally admitted that only 25 cyclists currently use that stretch of roadway daily. I repeat, 25 use Yonge St. as opposed to 55,000 drivers daily."
http://torontosun.com/news/local-news/levy-yonge-st-bike-plan-beyond-absurd

Obviously "Transform Yonge" VS "Enhance Yonge" with "Transform Beecroft" will be a huge election issue in Willowdale!
This isn't relevant data. Only the most experienced cyclists would use that stretch of Yonge. I used to be one of the 25, and I was always uneasy biking on that stretch.

It's like using data on how many people are swimming across a waterway to determine whether or not to build a bridge. Absurd.
 

Northern Light

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https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...scape-improvements.25913/page-29#post-1319858

So adding some more data:
LEVY: Yonge St. bike lane plan beyond absurd
"But Tuesday, it came ever more clear how absurd Filion’s plan really is. In a heated line of questioning, acting transportation director Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati — the point person on the project — finally admitted that only 25 cyclists currently use that stretch of roadway daily. I repeat, 25 use Yonge St. as opposed to 55,000 drivers daily."
http://torontosun.com/news/local-news/levy-yonge-st-bike-plan-beyond-absurd

Obviously "Transform Yonge" VS "Enhance Yonge" with "Transform Beecroft" will be a huge election issue in Willowdale!

@LNahid2000 made the point quite well.

But to add my bit; very few people would consider biking on a six-lane arterial, that's busy, w/no bike lane.

You induce change by providing the infrastructure that will make it safe and appealing.

One other note: Citing Sue-Anne Levy as a source for anything, about anything will not get you taken seriously here at UT or for that matter anywhere else people with a modicum of common sense or education are found. Just sayin.

There are better sources for arguments on almost any subject.
 

11th

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You devalue your multitude of posts with this statement.

I live right on Yonge between Sheppard and Finch and I support Filion's plan.

I'm not a special interest group. I'm a resident of this area who wants change.
Nothing is 100% either way. There are people who live on Yonge who support and there are those who opposes the plan. Of course this being UrbanToronto, the majority of the opinion will lean towards TransformYonge.

Yonge residents should support the transformyonge plan because it gives them a better street to stroll along. The bike lanes are just extras - they don't even need them because the entire NYCC stretch is within 1/2 hr walk.
Now if they are those who currently enjoy those quiet walks along the rings roads, say goodbye to that - at least according to those who says more traffic should be diverted off Yonge and onto Beecroft and Doris.
 
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sunnyraytoronto

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The sharrows are only proposed for a couple of blocks (SB from Hendon to Finch and NB from Horsham to Hounslow) where the city would need to buy out private property. It's not ideal, but it's not gutting the bike lanes entirely.

Shiner's modified Transform Beecroft proposal only has bike sharrows in front of the about 3 properties along west-side of Greenview Ave (Beecroft extension) north of Finch where the City prefers to wait until development application comes in get the required land via land conveyance.

No version of Transform Beecroft ever had bike sharrows anywhere elese including northbound from Horsham to Hounslow,... you might be confusing those "green" paint on driveways & roadways IE Cyclist-Vehicle Conflict Points,... that's why I much prefer Bi-Directional CycleTracks along the west side of Beecroft where it'll be longer continuous and much safer without such conflict points. Also notice west side CycleTrack at Kempford "T" shaped signalized intersection will have to stop for red-light to allow pedestrians to cross,...
IMG_2770_50.jpg
 

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TJ O'Pootertoot

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Citing the fact no one bikes on Yonge as the reason bike lanes aren't needed on Yonge is...... Not a strong argument.

(also, Levy is a joke. I wouldn't cite her articles even in something about articles by people named Sue-Ann. An embarrassment to her profession, topped only by Warmington.)

I listened to a lot of the debate today. Mostly it was pretty sad. Joe Cresssy is basically a hero for seizing on the BS TTC argument and punting it past the election.
 
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amnesiajune

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The good news is post election council will likely be looking much more progressive with the new ward structure.

Not really. It's a net of one extra councillor in the city core. Downtown has three new wards, but one of the west end wards is getting taken out and there's a new ward in North York (David Shiner's ward is effectively being cut in half).
 

pman

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Not really. It's a net of one extra councillor in the city core. Downtown has three new wards, but one of the west end wards is getting taken out and there's a new ward in North York (David Shiner's ward is effectively being cut in half).
I hope Shiner doesn’t have a sibling.
 

ADRM

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Not really. It's a net of one extra councillor in the city core. Downtown has three new wards, but one of the west end wards is getting taken out and there's a new ward in North York (David Shiner's ward is effectively being cut in half).

Plus it now seems as if Troisi (shockingly) may not fulfill her pledge not to stand for re-election, and she is a full step backwards from the late McConnell in terms of progressive values.

I'm not optimistic that the new Council winds up any more progressive than the current sad lot. We need a couple surprise flips (Greb's ward is a good example) to see improvement over the current state of affairs.
 

constructo

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Yonge St. bike lane plan beyond absurd
Sue-Ann Levy
Toronto council on Tuesday deferred a plan which would reduce traffic lanes and add bike lanes on Yonge St., between Sheppard and Finch Aves.
Four hours into the heated debate Tuesday and sensing they’d lose the vote to ram through their social engineering agenda on busy Yonge St in North York, the left on Toronto council — led by the King of Bike Lanes Joe Cressy — voted to defer the whole darn item.
It did not escape my attention that Mayor John Tory — while vociferously defending throughout an alternative plan to put the bike lanes on neighbouring Beecroft Rd. (for at least $9 million more)– voted with the left to put off the decision. (I so love reviewing the recorded vote!).
I’m not surprised with the 11th-hour move by Cressy, considering that they appeared downright petulant throughout the debate — in particular the architect of the $51-million ReImagining Yonge plan, well-beyond-his due-date Councillor John Filion — that they couldn’t bully and badger Tory into conceding to their demands, as they did with projects earmarked for Bloor and King Sts.
But I digress.
I’ve lost count how many times this whole project — an alleged “vision” of the loony left, former chief planner Jen Keesmaat, the usual suspects in the cycling lobby and the CBC — has been reviewed, stalled, sent back to the drawing board since I first wrote about a year ago.
Back then, few people knew about Filion’s plan to yank out two lanes of traffic between the two most congested corners (Sheppard and Finch Aves.) to put in dedicated bike lanes — while repairing the sidewalks and the pavement, improving pedestrian crossings and prettying up Yonge St. with more street trees, public art, street furniture and widened sidewalks.
I know from talking to many outside of the leftist bubble that they did not object to any of the improvements to Yonge St., just to narrowing six lanes to four in one of the most congested areas of the city and on a street used in the main by commuters from the 905 region.
That’s when the alternate plan to spruce up Yonge St. by putting the bike lanes on neighbouring Beecroft Rd. was narrowly approved at public works committee last month.
(As proof that he does whatever the mood strikes him, Filion informed voters in his 2014 campaign brochure that he had a plan for cycling lanes on Beecroft Rd., one that would not reduce lanes of traffic in the area. Of course that was then, this is now. )
But Tuesday, it came ever more clear how absurd Filion’s plan really is. In a heated line of questioning, acting transportation director Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati — the point person on the project — finally admitted that only 25 cyclists currently use that stretch of roadway daily. I repeat, 25 use Yonge St. as opposed to 55,000 drivers daily.
“But I suspect there is a latent desire to cycle (in the area),” said transportation general manager and former Seattle granola-head Barbara Gray.
You know what I suspect?
I suspect that City Hall has gone truly mad.
The fact that the social engineers would even consider inconveniencing 55,000 drivers (many of them commuters spending money in Toronto) to pander to 25 cyclists is beyond absurd.
It’s bordering on criminal and I don’t give a damn what “latent desires” exist among closeted bikers.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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Breaking : Sue Ann Levy still sucks and is ignorant and couldn't argue her way out of a torn paper bag.

She can't count how many times it's been deferred over the past YEAR? I guess she only has 2 or 3 fingers due to some kind of industrial accident. Who ever heard of a council talking about a single issue for a WHOLE YEAR.??

Really, she's weak And wrong.
(for starters, the "leftist bubble" apparently includes the city planning department and the outside engineering firm that devised the plan. That's some bubble!)

As a York Region commuter who drives that stretch, I really appreciate her sticking up for me.

I see no reason to hope council will be any more progressive but it may be less heated after an election than before it. In the meantime, despite all of Sunny's admirable defence of the Shiner plan it's still basically a back of a napkin "compromise" to replace something devised and consulted on over years. Ergo, it's compromised no matter its specific qualities.
 
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mkerian

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Nothing is 100% either way. There are people who live on Yonge who support and there are those who opposes the plan. Of course this being UrbanToronto, the majority of the opinion will lean towards TransformYonge.

Yonge residents should support the transformyonge plan because it gives them a better street to stroll along. The bike lanes are just extras - they don't even need them because the entire NYCC stretch is within 1/2 hr walk.
Now if they are those who currently enjoy those quiet walks along the rings roads, say goodbye to that - at least according to those who says more traffic should be diverted off Yonge and onto Beecroft and Doris.

Agreed, and that's what my !personal! opinion has been all along is that the bike lanes are a nice extra to a street calming and neighborhood development measure - reduction of lanes on Yonge Street.

As for nice quiet walks on the ring roads, walking east or west a few more meters yields a multitude of quiet neighborhoods to walk through. I understand your point, but I don't think it's a significant loss.
 

Edward Skira

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Not really. It's a net of one extra councillor in the city core. Downtown has three new wards, but one of the west end wards is getting taken out and there's a new ward in North York (David Shiner's ward is effectively being cut in half).

Right which means another vote in Willowdale (ground zero). Will be an interesting election in Willowdale. I suspect this will be the big issue here. I live in Filion's ward and that's where my vote is going.
 

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