City mulls future of popular ActiveTO road closures for pedestrians and cyclists
By - EconomistOfDeath
How about we build cycling infrastructure so we can enjoy the benefits of ActiveTO on an ongoing basis?
Quite honestly, I’ve seen more bikes this summer than in the last 3 years. People are out enjoying rides in bike lanes all over the city on the weekend.
As much as I've enjoyed using ActiveTO, I'd much rather we use its success as justification for widening as much of the MGT as is feasible. Keeping ActiveTO likely means fighting with car drivers affected by the closures and the politicians who side with them. It's my hope those groups can be brought to supporting permanent infrastructure to avoid future closures.
I'm in this camp as well, I run, ride and drive in the area. Ultimately if the demand is there the right answer is to widen the trail, not keep papering over it by closing the road which is one of the main arteries into the East end.
So many people talk about "widening" the MGT, but I don't really get what that would consist of. An extra lane on each side? Lanes on the opposite side of the street as well?
I also don't have that much of a problem with the existing trail. Even at its busiest, if you can't get by someone who's riding/running/walking slower than you then you just need to have a little patience and wait until you can safely pass. It's no different than driving during rush hour-- or walking down a busy street for that matter. And if I want to ride faster (30 kms/hr or more) then there are plenty of other places in and around the city where I can do that.
IMO, the most dangerous thing on the trail isn't the number of cyclists, runners, etc, on it; it's pedestrians who absent-mindedly walk across it without looking. I don't know how many accidents I've almost got into because of that.
>Even at its busiest, if you can't get by someone who's riding/running/walking slower than you then you just need to have a little patience and wait until you can safely pass.
Everyone likes to rant and rave about cyclists on the sidewalk, but as long as you call that sidewalk the MGT, then suddenly it's fine for cyclists and pedestrians to share the same narrow strip of pavement?
You may not like it, but it's a multi-use trail that's intended to be used by pedestrians and pretty much anyone who isn't driving a motorized vehicle. It isn't an exclusive bike lane. That's not to say it doesn't cause complications, but cyclists need to stop acting like it belongs to them alone.
That’s… not my point.
The point is that fundamentally there’s no difference between the MGT and your average downtown sidewalk. But we’ve all apparently agreed to pretend there is, and that this makes sense.
You can't honestly compare the MGT to your average downtown sidewalk. Even during peak times on the weekend it never gets as crowded as that.
It definitely does past the Humber River bridge, weekends are a nightmare to ride past that stretch. Seeing groups of people walk on the bike portion blocking both directions is normal
Yeah, that stretch can be a bit dicey, but if you're heading west from there then the bike lanes along Lakeshore are actually very good.
It means the existing path can be for people walking and running, and two lanes of lakeshore car traffic are given to cyclists. People who "live in the city" but absolutely need the lakeshore to commute, rather then take TTC or leave earlier, lose one lane in each direction.
Seems pretty fair to me.
Well, the argument for ActiveTO is that there is so much demand that it's overwhelming the existing trail. If that's not the case, which I certainly suspect is possible in the East at least, then there's no need to widen anything. If there is enough demand though then doing something permanent to address it (even if that meant taking space out of Lakeshore) makes far more sense to me than closing Lakeshore completely on a temporary basis.
Traffic control at Leslie on the east end one is also non-existent.
As long as the widening of the MGT would come at the expense of the width of Lakeshore, and NOT the greenspace expanse along the lake.
I would support this. Why can we not reduce Lakeshore by a lane or two. And widen the MGT. If reduced by one lane, add a reversible Jarvis style lane, or reduce by 2 lanes, and slow traffic way down since everyone who drives along it treats it like the Gardiner anyways.
Personally I love the ActiveTO closures, but they are always meant to be temporary and can be easily cancelled by the next mayor or council. On top of that, they have also been made political by people who see these closures as a "war on car", when they are merely meant to open up space for people.
So instead, I wish that we use this momentum to actually pursue more permanent cycling projects in this city, and build parallel corridors to the MGT so that one doesn't have to go to the waterfront to cut across town. Whenever I bike around the ActiveTO closures, I would see people driving with bikes (and often kids) to take advantage of the space. If there were more and better cycling infrastructure across the city, they wouldn't have to do that.
Let's extend the Queensway bike lane at least to Royal York, and further if possible; accelerate plans to extend the Bloor cycle track westwards to Six Points; fill in the gap between the east end of the Danforth cycle track and the waterfront trail and towards the Bluffs; fill in gaps along the Finch trail, etc, etc.
As a cyclist and a driver, I'm definitely a little torn on this one. While I loooooved using the Lakeshore ActiveTO lanes for cycling, I feel for the drivers. My thoughts are simple: keep the ActiveTO routes that demonstrate significant cyclist ridership, and toss the ones that don't.
So my gut says:
1) Keep the Lakeshore west ActiveTO
2) Ditch the Lakeshore east ActiveTO - not a lot of cyclists on there is a perfectly good 2-lanes bike lane already that is rarely full
3) Definitely ditch the Bayview ActiveTO, now that the Bayview bikelines are done and the Eastside traffic is a shitshow now with the Gardiner ramp closure
There are actually two 2-lane multi-use paths and a sidewalk along Lakeshore East at that point.
Haha yes thanks for pointing this out. One on the north side and one on the south side.
It's fun riding on the road but that stretch was only actually busy a couple times in the spring/summer of 2020.
Yeah I've always felt the lakeshore east one was unnecessary, it's short, underutilized, and makes Leslie even worse for traffic than it usually is. Lakeshore West was always the best one
I live above the one at Bayview and it’s been literally dead all summer. It’s not getting enough use to justify the closure.
Please no. With the gardener ramp shut down it’ll be impossible getting into the East end with the slightest traffic accident or traffic at all.
Bah ahaha; I avoid travelling by horseless carriage by any and all means in this city/part of the province.
It's not popular everywhere. This is a B.S. narrative.
In the beach, it's ridiculously underused...and why wouldn't it be? Lakeshore has 2 bike paths on ether side of it already and they're both a smoother surface to ride on. I took a picture mid July at 2:30 PM and there are under 10 people total in the stretch I could see down to Leslie, which was probably 1.5 km.
The closures on Lakeshore just funnel traffic into neighbourhoods. The bike paths already exist, but now cars are just angrily trying to pass each other as they try and navigate streetcars on Queen...and they removed weekend parking on Queen to accommodate for the extra traffic.
I own a bike and ride it often. The reality is Active T.O. doesn't work everywhere.
Yeah, a picture that can see the entire length of the road closure at what should be about the busiest time of day during the busiest time of year. If that's not a good sample picture then I don't know what is.
I took it because I live right here. I was walking home from the beach and noticed how busy everything was...except for the Active T.O. road closure...and decided to take a picture because it couldn't have summed it up any better. It looked the same every time I walked past.
Fwiw the city did collect traffic impact data at least for the Lakeshore West closure, it's reported here:
Shut it down
Count me as a big supporter of this program.
I appreciate the traffic concerns, but cars shouldn't overrule the enjoyment of the city for the vast majority.
There are alternatives to taking the car and gives everyone an opportunity to explore their own neighbourhood.
Yeah, plus the environmental harm of causing all that pollution in and self-made traffic jam
I'm not advocating for it to be a permanent 365 days a year. But on the weekends, I think the amount of inconvenience it causes to drivers is acceptable compared to the benefits that a larger percentage of the population is able to enjoy.
>But you can’t take a car dependent city and just change it overnight with zero foresight.
We've had decades of foresight, it's just we've also had decades of drivers covering their ears and screaming "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" and so now we are at an impasse where something *has* to be done soon, but nothing is acceptable because any possible solution is *too* soon (after spending the last three decades pretending it wasn't an issue).
People aren't going to take the alternatives to a car when the car is faster. People just want the fastest way to get places. Its not necessarily the car itself. Its just that the car is fastest. If public transit was faster than a car I wouldn't drive a car.
The lack of any sense of awareness in comments is what always kills me.
Mississauga and Brampton aren't part of Toronto.
The reliability of the bus schedule is directly impacted by traffic, from too many vehicles on the road.
The outskirts, again are coming into the city. Their commute times shouldn't overrule livability for residents in the city.
I'm fine with the charge.
We can toll roads while we're at it as well!
Nobody forces people to come downtown either.
People want to be by the lake, the park land and trees, that's the big draw. Most people in the city want an escape from the concrete.
If only we had some kind of multi-use trail we could widen.
Toronto really blew it when they redid Queens quay.
It's way harder to do it in the middle of the city, firstly. We saw this when they tried to do it on Yonge. If you want any movement on all the roads that are perpendicular to Queen, you need to have lights which basi ally defeats the purpose of the ActiveTO.
Forget cycling, I tried to run down Yonge when it was "closed off". Having to stop every block or two for a light removed any enjoyment from the pilot.
And secondly, running past the lake away from the concrete and glass is the real draw of Lakeshore.
Queen? There are streetcars..lol Won't shut that down.
ActiveTO must die.
ActiveTO during TFC games was absolutely ridiculous.
What a stupid idea.
God forbid people have to take public transit to a game
Takes me almost 1.5hrs to take public transit vs 25 minutes by car. Do the math.
If it took only 25 minutes by car, then activeTO wasn't a problem
lol tell emm!! 🤣🤣
ActiveTO on lakeshore creates an absolute disaster to get anywhere near the stadium. Let alone use the cinesphere parking lot
Another argument for taking transit to the games then. Complain that it takes too long by transit but it's a disaster by car...Can't really be both ways unless someone's just whining to whine
It's only a disaster during ActiveTO. It isn't even comparable when there's no ActiveTO shutdown.
So taking 25 minutes to drive somewhere is a "disaster" now. mAyBe LiVe cLoSeR???!!???!!!?!?!
Can you not read? 25 mins is without ActiveTO...
Where did you say that? https://i.imgur.com/gG3ZSAk.png
I. Don't. Care.
What a great attitude, as selfish as you accuse drivers of being.
Lol. Not even close.
The convenience for one car for a total of what three hours? ActiveTO allows more people to utilize the shared resource. It's not even comparable.
it should not be a shared resource. activeto isnt needed if trails were expanded to fit their demand. seems like you only want larger trails only if its in expense to cars.
Nope. I'm completely in favour of expanding trails.
Realistically looking at the Goodman trail, it would be at the expense of cars though, specifically Lakeshore West.
Having the program allows for a temporary sharing of a resource on select weekends rather than commiting that resource one way or the other. In the winter, an expanded trail might not be the best use and would be better suited for vehicles.
its really not sustainable. if you plan on repeatedly closing and opening a road designed for cars, you might as well just expand the path and make a permanent solution.
Agree to disagree. I think it can be sustainable without the permanent transfer, though I'd be in favour of the dedicated space.
Somewhat in the same way we have roads where rush hour parking is prohibited, but permitted outside of those hours.
The TTC is unreliable, filthy, and crowded. No thx homie. I will continue to drive.
There's a go station there as well. But if you want to drive that's fine, it'll just may take longer
It doesn't take me longer. Driving has always been a lot more faster and convenient, especially when shopping.
On an individual basis perhaps. But it's a shared resource
Go Transit is infinitely better then the TTC at literally EVERYTHING.
how long did it take you by car during ActiveTO?