Lake Shore Boulevard West may close on weekends for running, walking, and biking this year after all, thanks to a new Infrastructure and Environment Committee motion aimed at maintaining and expanding the City’s ActiveTO plan.
A March 9 City staff report had initially advised against repeating last year’s weekend closures of the westbound lanes of Lake Shore West due to the traffic conditions is caused. But the new motion, which was passed by City Council’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee, has requested an investigation into potential opportunities for Lake Shore West to close — either fully or partially — on select weekends this year.
Findings from the investigation, which will be conducted by the General Manager of Transportation Services, will be presented during the April 7 and 8 City Council meeting.
The March 9 report cited traffic on the Gardiner and The Queensway caused by last year’s weekly closures of Lake Shore West, as well as an anticipated increase in traffic due to construction and road closures along Roncesvalles Avenue this year as reasons why the “recurring weekend closures of Lake Shore Boulevard West likely cannot be accommodated in 2021/2022.”
The new motion also called for an investigation into opportunities for additional ActiveTO locations, including on the Exhibition Place grounds.
The Infrastructure & Environment Committee just approved recommendations to identify additional #ActiveTO opportunities for 2021, including Lake Shore West and Exhibition Place.
— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) March 23, 2021
The March 9 report had also recommended against renewing the Quiet Streets program, which was implemented last year. The program, implemented along 65 km of streets throughout the city in the early stages of the pandemic, used signs, traffic barrels, and concrete blocks to maintain physical distance for people walking and cycling on the streets.
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And according to the report, now that people have established new norms and wear face masks, Quiet Streets is no longer needed.
The new Infrastructure and Environment Committee motion, however, also asks the City to take a look at “opportunities to accelerate traffic-calming in local neighbourhoods” to create “enhanced Quiet Streets.”
The motion and the three investigations will be considered by Council during the April 7 and 8 meeting.