Comment 76654

By retrograde Toronto? (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2012 at 16:59:55

The Toronto Star
Published 27 minutes ago
Robyn Doolittle
Urban Affairs Reporter

What do you think about a one-way Yonge Street with extended sidewalks and separated bike lanes?

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs the public works and infrastructure committee, thinks it’s a pretty good idea and he’s speaking with city transportation staff about making it happen.

“Have you ever tried to drive on Yonge Street? It’s impossible to even turn on to it,” said Minnan-Wong. “Obviously before doing anything we would need to study this, but I think one-way streets on Yonge and Bay — Yonge would go one way, Bay would go the other — could really provide a better experience for drivers, pedestrians and cycles.”

Minnan-Wong said he’s open to all possibilities, but one idea could be to remove one of the existing four lanes between Bloor and Front Streets, extend the sidewalks, and add proper bike lanes. Then there would be three lanes of traffic all flowing in the same direction, removing the friction of left-hand turns and easing gridlock.

Across North America, from St. Catharines, Ontario to Lexington Kentucky to St. Petersburg Florida, cities are taking the opposite route.

But Minnan-Wong said there’s no comparison.

In those cities, the idea is to slow traffic in order to create a more walkable city. Toronto already has a vibrant downtown with a healthy retail sector. What it also has is a serious congestion problem.

“We’re more comparable to New York, where one way streets seem to be working just fine,” he said. //

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