Lake Shore Boulevard West could be closed to cars after all this summer after City Council voted Wednesday to direct city staff to explore options for ‘full or partial closures’ on the roadway on ‘certain weekends’ .
As part of the city’s ActiveTO program, Lake Shore between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road was closed every weekend in the summer of 2020 to allow residents to stay active safely during the pandemic. Other road closures throughout the summer included portions of Lake Shore Boulevard East and Bayview Avenue.
“A lot of the key issues that drove the urgency of this program — those are still with us today,” Coun said. Brad Bradford in voting for the motion on Wednesday. “I don’t think we can overstate the significance and importance of ActiveTO. It has been a lifesaver for the residents.
However, the section of Lake Shore Boulevard West will not be able to return in exactly the same way this year due to an ongoing construction project in the area.
Barbara Gray, general manager of transportation services, also said there were not enough staff to run the program on the same scale as last year. Staff had previously been let go to work on ActiveTO in 2020, which won’t be possible this year, according to Gray.
This year, the program will include more communication with individual neighborhoods to gauge interest in individual neighborhoods.
“We really want to engage with communities and councilors who would like to see something on a particular street,” Gray said. “We think that will be a much more successful approach.”
The council also passed a motion on Wednesday to consider other ActiveTO closures this summer, including portions of the Allen Road Freeway, Black Creek Drive and roads in Exhibition Place.
The date of road closures depends on weather conditions and maintenance schedules.
During Wednesday’s council meeting, Mayor John Tory said, “I’m very proud of ActiveTO,” noting he’s “equally committed” to making something similar permanent in the city.
On Wednesday, council also passed a council motion. Stephen Holyday will seek to maintain access to parking lots along Lake Shore Boulevard West during car closures to “allow all Torontonians to visit the lakefront.”
Originally, staff did not recommend repeating the closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West due to major roadwork underway at the adjacent intersection of King Street, Queen Street and Roncesvalles Avenue. The road works are expected to last until August 2022.
But on March 23, at a meeting of the infrastructure and environment committee, councilors approved a motion from chair Jennifer McKelvie asking staff to find ways for limited closures.
ActiveTO was first launched in May 2020 and continued through October 2020. In addition to weekend road closures, a total of 65 kilometers of quiet streets were introduced in approximately 30 different locations to creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists to be outdoors while maintaining their physique. distance. Road signs and barricades were used to slow traffic.
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