Construction Begins in April, 2018
SAHRA did not receive any advance notice (we usually are advised) but construction began on the Avenue Road Bridge in late April, 2018. The Councillor’s Office has provided the following information:
- Construction is expected to be completed late 2019
- Access will always be open to traffic
- The MTO has committed to adding cycling infrastructure to the bridge; they are working with a consultant to prepare options
- There will still be two through lanes in each direction after construction
We do not have specific details from Cycle TO at this time as to the specific improvements that will be made for both people who are walking or cycling. We will distribute information once received.
Update Feb 1, 2018
Cycle Toronto reported that according to Councillor Carmichael Greb’s office, the Ministry of Transport (MTO) is still working on making the revision order and design for including the cycling lanes. MTO indicates that there is plenty of time to review, make these revisions and consult with the interested parties.
Update Sep 27, 2017
MTO has requested a meeting only with the City Transportation Staff to see if they can work out an acceptable solution. If not, the larger meeting with MTO, Councillor Carmichael Greb, City Transporatioin and Cycle TO will take place as well.
Jared Kolb attended a function with Minister Steven Del Duca and he had a chance to broach the bridge reconstruction issue with him. His EA requested another meeting to discuss the issue further.
Both MPP Mike Colle and Councillor Josh Colle provided great letters of support to be added to the group.
Update Sep 11, 2017
A pre-MTO meeting took place last week with Councillor Carmichael Greb, Jonathan Kent, Shawn Dillon (City Transportation), Jared Kolb (Cycle Toronto) and Tom Worrall (Cycle Toronto Midtown). The goal was to come up with a plan that significantly enhanced the safety for active transportation users through better infrastructure and design and one that we could all agree on when we meet with the MTO.
Several options were discussed and it was decided on a minimum ask for a 1.75m wide marked bike lane on both sides of the bridge, a barrier to protect cyclists and pedestrians and enhanced safety crossings through the on/off ramps.
The Councillor has persuaded MTO to commit to increasing the sidewalks from 1.5m to 2.0m and creating a 1.25m lined road buffer. In order to gain the additional .5m for the bike lane, MTO would need to agree to reducing their lane widths further, to a minimum standard for both highway and city.
The Avenue Road bridge, besides being a highway entrance/exit, connects North York and North Toronto but the current infrastructure is very unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. The City of Toronto’s transportation department has included the bridge in their 10-year cycling plan and as such has engaged the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario over the last three years to provide accommodation for cyclists to no avail. Cost in the reason offered by the MTO as it falls within their budget. The bridge is set for reconstruction late 2018 so there is still time to make a change. Cycle Toronto, SAHRA and FoNTRA have joined the lobbying effort to get MTO’s attention to the matter by sending email letters of support to MTO and Councillor Carmichael Greb. Their letters are attached.
Councillor Carmichael Greb has taken up the cause and has contacted MTO – they are now willing to further discuss modifying the road plan. The MTO may also be willing to review a new plan from the City. The Councillor’s office is coordinating a meeting with the City Transportation Division and Cycle Toronto in order to develop a proposal which her office will then take to MTO.
This appears to be positive movement. Additional support from Ward 16 Residents would be most helpful. Please forward your comments to Councillor Carmichael Greb (firstname.lastname@example.org); MPP Mike Colle (email@example.com); and Minister Del Duca (firstname.lastname@example.org).