June 15, 2022
Today, Toronto City Council accepted recommendations from City of Toronto staff to treat ActiveTO major road closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West as limited special events that must be planned and announced to the advance, rather than being held as regular recurring weekend events.
As noted in the City staff report, when identifying dates for any future ActiveTO closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West, officials will consider the number and location of street events scheduled this weekend, construction impacts on parallel corridors, access to adjacent sites and impacts. to traffic. Staff will also consider coordinating with other event organizers, as was done this year with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Additionally, Transportation Services is continuing ActiveTO programming on Bayview Avenue and The Meadoway through Summer 2022.
ActiveTO was introduced in May 2020 as a quick-start COVID-19 response program. It was designed to provide more space for people to practice physical distancing outdoors, support the general well-being of residents, and quickly connect and expand Toronto’s cycling network by installing safe and separated temporary bike lanes that reflect major transit lines.
Toronto businesses, workplaces and major street events have now reopened and residents are returning to pre-COVID-19 pandemic activities and travel habits. Two Lake Shore Boulevard West ActiveTO events have taken place this year and staff assessed the traffic impacts of closures without public health restrictions. Nearby traffic delays experienced in 2022 were measured to be greater than those in 2020 and 2021 due to the return of pre-pandemic motor vehicle volumes and models.
Results of the personnel analysis:
- Peak weekday congestion is around 90-95% of pre-pandemic levels.
- Weekend commute times across the city are about 8-10% longer than last summer, and about 20% longer than summer 2020, when congestion was generally limited.
- Eastbound travel times on the Gardiner Expressway from Highway 427 to York Street averaged 21 minutes on non-closing weekend days in May and June 2022.
- During ActiveTO on Monday, May 23, travel time in the same area was 39 minutes, an increase of 18 minutes.
- During ActiveTO on Sunday, May 29, the travel time was 48 minutes, a further increase due to an accident on the Gardiner Expressway. Travel times were observed to increase to almost 70 minutes following the accident, demonstrating that any impact on the network significantly increases travel times.
In the summer of 2022, Lake Shore Boulevard West will resume its place as a key venue and gateway for large-scale events. The total number of street events allowed in this area in 2020 was zero, with only one event in 2021 and ten events so far for 2022. In addition, 250 major events are planned in the surrounding area until the end of
the year, many of which will take place on summer weekends. These events include: concerts and events at Ontario Place venues, major sporting events, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the Honda Indy, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).
Council also directed the Chief Planner and Executive Director, Urban Planning and the General Manager, Transportation Services, to consider quick-start measures that improve pedestrian and cycling facilities as part of the master plan update. 2023 from the West Waterfront.
“We have made tremendous progress in reopening Toronto and that progress will continue. City staff are working to accommodate and balance, as much as possible, all major events across the city that are now back. ActiveTO was a great pandemic program and city staff will work to ensure the program continues where and when possible.
– Mayor John Tory
“As businesses, workplaces and major street events in Toronto have now reopened and many activities have resumed, it is important to reassess ActiveTO and other programs that have been launched during COVID-19 and to adapt them to the changing needs of residents, businesses and visitors to Toronto.
– Councilor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), chair of the infrastructure and environment committee
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