Updates from the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation November 27th bulletin below. There is an update on the stalling of the city on making financial commitments to the Bike Plan; on Council approval of staff reporting on streamlining the bike lane approval process (this may be radical or mundane - it's hard to assess it's affect on the bureaucracy); and on the completed environmental assessment of the nightmarish Six-Points Interchange and the preference for an at-grade solution - likely much friendlier for cyclists and pedestrians.
1. 2008 Capital Budget Update - Thanks to our supporters & TCAT pushes on
Thank you to all of TCAT's supporters who wrote to the Executive Committee in support of increasing the 2008 Capital Budget for cycling infrastructure.
The news from Executive Committee is not as good as we hoped for. In her opening remarks to the committee, Budget Chief Shelley Carroll noted that there were many deputations and letters supporting the need to increase funding to complete the Bike Plan by 2012. However, in her opinion the problem with Bike Plan implementation is structural, and is not a funding issue. That is why the Budget Committee requested staff to prepare an implementation plan to complete the Bike Plan by 2012. This plan is not due until June 2008.
As TCAT stated last week, while the call for this report is a good step, it does not prevent the city from making the financial commitments now.
Yes, the structural changes are also needed [see next item], but we also need the funds committed now - especially in the Parks, Forestry & Recreation division, where the trails and pathways back-log is around $20 million.
Executive Committee's recommendations now go to City Council for approval on December 11th. TCAT will continue our efforts to include the following items in the 2008 Capital Budget, and will once again be seeking your written support to Council.
- Commit a minimum of $6.2 million to the 2008 Transportation Services cycling infrastructure budget
- Ensure that the $200,000 Parks, Forestry & Recreation 'bikeway network expansion' funding that was cut in 2007 as a cost containment measure be reinstated to that budget
- Provide a minimum of $4 million in the 2008 Parks, Forestry & Recreation budget for repairing multi-use pathways in Toronto's Parks, to begin addressing the $20 million back-log
- Move forward the Parks Forestry & Recreation funding for bikeway network paths from the 2013 to 2017 into the current 5 year plan
- Establish a staff position in Parks, Forestry & Recreation that is dedicated to ensuring the integrity and connectivity of the pathway network
2. Bike Lane Approval Process - Council approval to report on streamlining
As reported last week, City Council had before it a motion by Councillor Adrian Heaps, requesting staff to report back to Executive Committee on streamlining of the bicycle lane approval process.
City Council adopted the following motion:
The General Manager, Transportation Services report to the Executive Committee on the streamlining of the bicycle lane approval process, including any necessary by-law amendments.
To read Council's decision and the original motion click here (it's on page 99).
There is no timing stated for the report, but Councillor Heaps has been quoted in the Toronto Star as expecting to bring forward a proposal for 50 km of bike lanes early in the new year.
3. Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration - EA goes to committee on November 29th
The City's Transportation Services and City Planning divisions have completed the Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study. The technically preferred design alternative is the Fully At-Grade Dundas Street Loop. The preferred design alternative includes the following features:
- Removal of the existing interchange structures to create at-grade intersections between Kipling Avenue, Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West;
- A widening of Kipling Avenue to provide turning lanes at the new intersections, in addition to the existing 4 through lanes, from just south of Viking Lane to approximately 165 m north of Bloor Street, within a 42 m right-of-way;
- A 6-lane cross-section with exclusive left turn lanes at the appropriate intersections on a new Dundas Street West alignment through the Westwood Theatre Lands matching the existing Dundas Street cross-section west of Kipling Avenue to Bloor Street, within a 42 m right-of-way;
- Bloor Street West is directly connected east and west of Kipling Avenue via a new roadway with 4 through lanes, a 1.8 m bike lane in each direction, and the potential for on-street parking, within a 42 m right-of-way;
- A 4-lane cross-section on Dunbloor Road, within a 26 m right-of-way; and
- A new 2-lane roadway connection from St. Albans Road through the Westwood Theatre Lands to Dundas Street.
To see the full report click here [pdf]
To read the consultants executive summary click here [pdf].