Following on the successes of quick-build complete streets such as Danforth Avenue and Midtown Yonge, City Council recently approved the eglinton TOday Complete Street project. You may recall that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT was to be accompanied by Eglinton Connects Streetscape – a complete street installation with space for walking and cycling, street beautification and designated areas for parking, deliveries and accessible loading. As the Eglinton Crosstown LRT nears completion, the City has initiated the eglinton TOday project to bring the complete street benefits to the corridor sooner using a quick-build approach, with the permanent installation to be scheduled coincident with future road work projects.
As the map shows, Metrolinx is delivering the streetscape and cycle track sections at station frontages, and for the demonstration area between Avenue Road and Holly Street (just east of Yonge Street). As an interim solution, the eglinton TOday project will implement complete street amenities on Eglinton between the stations. Phase 1 will be completed in 2023 from Keele Street to Mount Pleasant Road. Phase 2, which goes from Mount Pleasant Road to Brentcliffe Road is planned to proceed in 2024 “subject to public consultation, Council approval, feasibility of route alignment and detailed design and capital infrastructure coordination.” Note that Metrolinx is also delivering an on-street bikeway for the section east of Brentcliffe, to Kennedy.
While we are disappointed that Leaside is left out of the first Phase of this project and will be advocating for Phase 2 to proceed as planned, we are more concerned about what a gap in the complete street will mean for road safety and speeding on our section of Eglinton. Without interventions to mitigate speeding such as the narrowing of traffic lanes and addition of cycle tracks that will be implemented from Mount Pleasant Road west and from Brentcliffe Road east, it is reasonable to expect drivers to use our stretch of Eglinton to make up time and speed through the neighbourhood, endangering transit users, pedestrians and people on bikes who are attempting to bridge the gap in the cycling route on Eglinton. We have raised these concerns with our councillor and will continue to press for interim solutions that will keep everyone safe until Phase 11 of eglinton TOday is complete.
For more information, see the public meeting presentation.