By Michael Holloway
Ward 30 Bikes member
In order to frame the issue more clearly, I made a Eastern Avenue Context Map.
Together these development proposals along (so far) 3/4's of the length of Eastern Ave offer a huge opportunity for us to create a Spine Complete Street and at the same time remediate a major barrier to access to the waterfront along the bottom of our City, and our neighbourhood.
When considering the potential remember, when we talk about a roadway we must consider how it acts both as a connector and as a barrier. Right now Eastern acts as a barrier to east-west cycle traffic because it is not connected west and east, and it also is designed such that getting onto it and off of it, is extremely hazardous. Eastern acts a barrier north-south because is is a 'built-for-speed', 'move-cars-fast' designed street.
Induced traffic via the FirstGulf's Project21 and StudioCentre's developments; plus much higher residential density at the 3 now-in-process condo developments on Eastern (and several nearby on Queen St) means if left as is, Eastern will become a greater barrier, a greater hazard, than it is now.
Not to mention the fine-filtering that increased volumes will induce on the local neighbourhood streets that run off of it (also a barrier for cyclist traffic).
The TTC Russell Yards bottle-neck at Connaught to Minto is a problem and an opportunity. It could be a dangerous pinch point, or it could be the Nut of a beginning of a process of calming Eastern east of Leslie; and the beginning of a vision to create Bike Lanes east of Leslie.
Woodfield Rd is an excellent connector from the top of East York at the Cosburn Bike Lanes, and travels almost straight down to the LDRT on quiet residential streets. As such Woodfield is an opportunity to calm Eastern just west of the high-speed chicane there leading to the new pinch point at Connaught that the TTC is constructing right now.
July 4, 2015
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