Toronto continues popular road closures this weekend for cyclists and pedestrians

Jun 17 2020, 1:43 pm

The popular ActiveTO program will continue to operate this weekend with three major road closures for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy physical activity while keeping a safe distance.

Mayor John Tory said the following ActiveTO Major Road closures will be in place this weekend, from Saturday, June 20, at 6 am to Sunday, June 21, at 11 pm:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

“ActiveTO is a well-timed, well-executed sensible yet comprehensive program that is creating a network of space for people to get out and move all around Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tory said on Wednesday.

“This data reinforces what I’ve been hearing; that residents, including families, like these spaces because they allow for safe physical activity and those using them feel more comfortable and secure that they are doing their part to stop virus spread.”

The road closures are installed adjacent to City trails to make space for people, alleviate weekend crowding, and ensure there is room to be physically active and support physical distancing.

These closures will continue on a trial basis and will be adjusted as required.

The City also actively manages traffic during these closures through signal timing adjustments on adjacent routes and roadway signage to alert drivers.

And while these closures are operating on a trial basis, they have proven to be “very popular” for residents who need space along Toronto’s busiest trails to walking, running, and cycling.

City staff collected and verified data from Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24, the first weekend that all of the closures — Lake Shore Boulevard West and East, as well as Bayview Avenue — were put in place.

The peak counts from Saturday, May 23, include the following:

  • 21,000 people on bikes and 4,400 pedestrians on Lake Shore Boulevard West at Ontario Drive
  • 5,000 people on bikes and 5,400 pedestrians on Lake Shore Boulevard East, east of Coxwell Avenue
  • 4,700 people on bikes and 1,000 pedestrians on Bayview Avenue, north of River Street. Plus 3,400 people on bikes and 750 pedestrians on the adjacent Don Valley Trail

These counts were completed over eight hours on both days of the weekend.

But, on this particular weekend, counts on Sunday were slightly lower and came in at about 75% of Saturday counts.

The City also had an update on the ActiveTO cycling network.

Work on installation of a temporary bike lane is starting on University Avenue/Queen’s Park Crescent, between Adelaide Street West and Bloor Street West.

Design and installation planning are well underway for routes along Bloor Street, between Avenue Road and Sherbourne Street, and Bayview Avenue between River Street and Rosedale Valley Road.

According to the City, the installation of approved permanent cycling routes is happening simultaneously.

A current example includes separated bike lanes along Douro Street/Wellington Street, which will be finalized later this week.

The ActiveTO cycling network plan is part of the largest expansion of Toronto’s on-street bike network in one year and will include a total of approximately 40 kilometres of new cycling routes for 2020.

The ActiveTO program was developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services.