ActiveTO Quiet Streets launch dead on arrival.

Toronto the Careful™ has struck again.

Call me jaded but the plan to open up Toronto’s streets to pedestrians and cyclists seems to be (like most council actions in our fair city) massively underwhelming and certainly in Ward 5 the selection of streets doesn’t seem to address the spirit of the initiative. The idea was to ensure that, “people have space to get around on sidewalks while respecting physical distancing“. 

57 km or a minuscule 1.7% of Toronto’s 3,322 km of neighbourhood streets (excludes expressways, arterial and collector roads) will be temporarily signed and barricaded off to all but local traffic. York South-Weston is giving this treatment to 3.7 kilometres of its streets. Sadly none are in Weston or Mount Dennis.

The Ward 5 closed off streets will be:

StreetFromToLength
Bicknell AveRogers RdEglinton Ave 0.9 km
Silverthorn AveSt. Clair Ave WDonald Ave 

Total of 2.8 km

Donald AveSilverthorn AveHaverson Blvd
Haverson BlvdDonald AveCameron Ave
Blackthorn AveCameron AveEglinton Ave W

Source: Councillor Nunziata’s May 13 COVID Update.

Council felt the need to do something, and something, albeit timid and careful has been done. At least they restrained themselves from calling it a pilot. Additional streets will be considered ‘thereafter’.

The affected streets are shown with red dotted lines. Click to enlarge. Adapted from Google Maps.

According to Councillor Nunziata’s update, the criteria for selection of these streets was, “…several factors including, but not limited to, population density, equity, access to greenspace, car ownership rates, and traffic volumes.“. The councillor’s selection appears to be entirely inside her newly acquired constituency – Frank DiGiorgio’s  former Ward 12 so perhaps this is a little nod to them.

Incidentally, all but one of the selected streets have sidewalks on both sides so it’s hard to imagine crowds of people jostling for space.

Looking south from where Blackthorn Ave and Haverson Blvd meet at Cameron Ave. From Google Maps.

Readers are invited to suggest locations in Weston and Mount Dennis that might be more suitable. We will forward them to the councillor for future consideration.

Update: The city has published their list of ‘Quiet Streets’ and the Ward 5 selections are nowhere to be seen.

2 thoughts on “ActiveTO Quiet Streets launch dead on arrival.”

  1. Weston Road itself, through the town of Weston, is already the champion of narrow sidewalks in great urban density, with little or no car ownership and extremely low incomes. The city recognizes this fact with its demand that development expand the sidewalk. Now that council itself is recognizing that narrow sidewalks are, in the time of Covid, a health risk and not just a nuisance, perhaps it’s time to take away a driving lane throughout Weston.
    And Weston has many ‘collector roads’ with only one sidewalk. Most of Church St, parts of Rosemount, and I’m sure there are other examples. The city’s own standards state that collector roads (roads with lots of traffic getting to and from arterials) need sidewalks on both sides. As the section from Elm to Pine indicates, (with a ‘sidewalk’ in the middle of the street) there is plenty of room for one without tearing up front lawns.

  2. Y’all suburbs Karens complain when you’re not included in things and complain when things come to your communities. Learn to appreciate things.

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