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  #1  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Yonge and Bay Streets To Become One Way?

Yonge, Bay to go one-way?


May 08, 2012

By Don Peat



Read More: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/08...-to-go-one-way

Quote:
Public Works chairman Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong wants to study the idea of turning two of the downtown’s busiest north-south streets into one-way roads. “It would, I think, improve traffic flows and you’d have the ability to, I think, also include some sort of separated bike lanes and possibly add transit as well,” Minnan-Wong said. “I think it would be a really interesting approach or study … I think we need to look at innovative approaches to dealing with gridlock and congestion in the downtown core.”

- Last year, the public works committee gave the green light to a yet-to-be completed downtown transportation study to look at ways to improve the flow of traffic. “We do have a congestion and traffic problem, I would hope that council would be looking at ways … of improving traffic in the downtown core and not making it worse,” Minnan-Wong said. Councillor Adam Vaughan blasted the idea and warned the change, if it ever happened, would “wipe out every small business” along those streets. “One-way streets destroy commercial activity on them,” Vaughan said.

- Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, whose ward includes Yonge St., said there should be research and studies before Yonge and Bay Sts. are turned one-way. “We can’t necessarily do it because of the whim of a councillor,” she said. “We can certainly look at it and study it but I’m not sure if that’s the way that we want to go. One-way streets in some cities do not facilitate good commercial activity, we know that for a fact.”

- She will ask the Toronto and East York community council next week to approve closing two of the four lanes on Yonge St. between Gerrard St. and Richmond St. from Aug. 17 to Sept. 16 for the Celebrate Yonge street event. The plan, endorsed by the Downtown Yonge BIA, would widen the sidewalks during the closure and allow around 12 business operators to bump out patios. “This is not the first street in Canada to go through this intervention,” Wong-Tam said. Asked if she’d ever push for the change to be permanent, Wong-Tam said she was taking the issue “one step at a time.”

.....



Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun files)

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  #2  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 10:51 PM
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Doesn't seem like the worst idea in the world, the two streets are fairly close together and already use their space rather inefficiently. This would get rid of problems with delivery trucks and left turns on Yonge, and since Bay has lots of left-turn lanes right now you could theoretically put in a two-way bike lane without taking away any space for car and bus traffic.

I find Adam Vaughan's comment absolutely goddamn laughable. "Wipe out every small business?" Gimme a break! The Sheppard and Eglinton LRT corridors are far more likely to accomplish that goal because they physically impede movement from one end of the street to the other; a one-way has unimpeded access to both curbs. A completely unfounded comment, just a knee-jerk reaction. He should take a look at some of the other vibrant one-way streets all over North America; starting with Boulevard St-Laurent in Montreal, then most of Manhattan.
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Old Posted May 10, 2012, 12:14 PM
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This is a 1950s idea. Almost every city did this back in the day, and some are now converting back to 2-way.

It would be less detrimental to businesses on Yonge than it has been in other cities because far more people access those shops by foot or transit than driving. But have a look at Hamilton for the effect of conversions. People hate driving in Hamilton due to all the one-ways and businesses there started closing soon after the conversion in the 50s. (Note that the decline of downtown Hamilton started long before the industrial economy went to hell). Things have only started to turn around since two major streets were converted back to two-way traffic (James and John).
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  #4  
Old Posted May 13, 2012, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by flar View Post
This is a 1950s idea. Almost every city did this back in the day, and some are now converting back to 2-way.
I don't know why we ever switched to one-way streets since it often forces people to drive further to get where they're going.
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Old Posted May 13, 2012, 9:29 PM
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Denzil Minnan-Wong came up with his idea? Bike lanes? He's Rob Fords number 3 henchman. Maybe it's another Ford ally looking to distance themselves from this mayor as we get closer to an election year. Rob Ford will say putting in bike lanes on Yonge as Crazy Crazy Crazy.
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Old Posted May 13, 2012, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil McAvity View Post
I don't know why we ever switched to one-way streets since it often forces people to drive further to get where they're going.

My heart bleeds for those who choose to drive over public transit. So sorry they may have to drive a block or two out of their way, all of that extra pressing a pedal with their right foot must be quit the workout.
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Old Posted May 15, 2012, 7:15 AM
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^You think one-way streets help busses get where they're going?

Not only that but it has nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with wasting huge amounts of time and money every day driving unecessarily, not to mention the added air pollution.

Wow
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Old Posted May 16, 2012, 4:01 PM
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So explain to me why cities such as NYC, SF and Montreal have such vibrant downtown's and so many one-way streets?
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  #9  
Old Posted May 16, 2012, 6:37 PM
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Originally Posted by telyou View Post
So explain to me why cities such as NYC, SF and Montreal have such vibrant downtown's and so many one-way streets?
Those cities have the critical mass of transit usage and people living downtown (Toronto has it too). For this reason, one-ways won't kill small businesses in Toronto the way they have in smaller cities like Hamilton, but there is a good chance they will have some detrimental effects on business and street life. It's a question of priorities: Do you give priority to traffic throughput or ambience and street life? Perhaps Montreal or SF would be even better with calm two-way streets.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 17, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Wharn View Post
I find Adam Vaughan's comment absolutely goddamn laughable. "Wipe out every small business?" Gimme a break! The Sheppard and Eglinton LRT corridors are far more likely to accomplish that goal because they physically impede movement from one end of the street to the other; a one-way has unimpeded access to both curbs. A completely unfounded comment, just a knee-jerk reaction. He should take a look at some of the other vibrant one-way streets all over North America; starting with Boulevard St-Laurent in Montreal, then most of Manhattan.
Are you nuts?? The LRTs wiping out small businesses? What a joke. Vaughan is right.
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Old Posted May 17, 2012, 12:10 PM
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If both streets are kept as 2 lanes and allow for parking and bicycle lanes then the retail will thrive.
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Old Posted May 18, 2012, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
Those cities have the critical mass of transit usage and people living downtown (Toronto has it too). For this reason, one-ways won't kill small businesses in Toronto the way they have in smaller cities like Hamilton, but there is a good chance they will have some detrimental effects on business and street life. It's a question of priorities: Do you give priority to traffic throughput or ambience and street life? Perhaps Montreal or SF would be even better with calm two-way streets.
Yes, exactly.

Blvd St Laurent works as a one way street because it is not a street designed to funnel traffic. From what I remember there are really only 2 usable traffic lanes with curb parking (though this may be removed in rush hour?). It is in no way comparable to Richmond or Adelaide, much less Main or King in Hamilton. That being said, maybe St Laurent would be even more successful as a two-way.

Yonge would probably be fine as a one-way, but I really don't see the need. The street is too restricted to turn into a Richmond/Adelaide traffic funnel and the street layout downtown isn't really conducive to Yonge/Bay as one-ways.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 19, 2012, 4:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrewjm3D View Post
My heart bleeds for those who choose to drive over public transit. So sorry they may have to drive a block or two out of their way, all of that extra pressing a pedal with their right foot must be quit the workout.
If you're like me and happen to drive a standard, then you also have to operate a third pedal with your left foot and shift a little knob around every once in a while. Doesn't seem like such a big deal, but since 90% of North Americans are too goddamn lazy to even figure out how to do that, I can see why driving a whole 200 metres would be an issue for them.

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Are you nuts?? The LRTs wiping out small businesses? What a joke. Vaughan is right.
I see the Oakville-based Transit City Defence League has arrived.

If LRT construction makes the rest of Sheppard Avenue similar to what it's currently like at Midland, then yes, a lot of businesses will suffer because people will likely avoid the area while that disruption is going on. Why drive along Sheppard if there's going to be miles of construction? Why take the 85 Sheppard Bus if it's going to get stuck in commuter traffic? Why cycle along Sheppard if everyone's going to be jockeying for space, putting you at even more risk? People will either shift north to Finch or south to Ellesmere, it's just common sense. And then once it's all done there will still be a damn boulevard to deal with, but the main issue will be construction.

"Vaughan is right". Explain to me how this is so.
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Old Posted May 19, 2012, 5:28 PM
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Originally Posted by telyou View Post
So explain to me why cities such as NYC, SF and Montreal have such vibrant downtown's and so many one-way streets?
So you think that the reason big cities are vibrant is because of one-way streets? That's like saying people love skyscrapers because they are filled with plumbing.
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Old Posted May 19, 2012, 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil McAvity View Post
So you think that the reason big cities are vibrant is because of one-way streets? That's like saying people love skyscrapers because they are filled with plumbing.
Wow, clueless much? I just brought up examples, that if done right, one-way streets can be very successful and vibrant.
But then again, you probably lack the intellectual capacity to comprehend that something you oppose so strongly actually can be accomplished.
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Old Posted May 21, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Wharn View Post
I see the Oakville-based Transit City Defence League has arrived.

If LRT construction makes the rest of Sheppard Avenue similar to what it's currently like at Midland, then yes, a lot of businesses will suffer because people will likely avoid the area while that disruption is going on. Why drive along Sheppard if there's going to be miles of construction? Why take the 85 Sheppard Bus if it's going to get stuck in commuter traffic? Why cycle along Sheppard if everyone's going to be jockeying for space, putting you at even more risk? People will either shift north to Finch or south to Ellesmere, it's just common sense. And then once it's all done there will still be a damn boulevard to deal with, but the main issue will be construction.

"Vaughan is right". Explain to me how this is so.
I see the gorgeous London-based Rob Ford "subways subways subways St. Clair disaster" brigade has arrived.

Construction would be disruptive, yes, so would the construction of a subway, but there are many examples where a surface LRT improves areas by having more frequent stops for people to disembark and go to the shops they saw along the route.. Despite what your obese messiah says, the St. Clair separated streetcar line has improved that area tenfold, and a good amount is because of the improvements they made. This would be the exact same on Eglinton and Sheppard with the LRT line. There's a reason actual intelligent people have done studies and come up with this being the best solution. But I guess you're right, the Sheppard stubway that cost more and served less was a better idea.

Transit City was the best plan the city has seen in decades, cancelled by a stupid mayor who has no idea what he's talking about, supported by even more braindead suburban councillors and voters who would be better served by it than the downtown, just because of who brought it forward, and brought back recently because people realized that it was the only smart transit plan this city has. Despite the stubbornly ignorant "gravy train" voters who remain in Ford nation beyond all logic, this will happen, and it will make the city better by doing so. Put subways where they're needed, like a DRL, not an underused stubway that goes 4 km and serves 20 people.

As for one-way streets, just look at cities trying to undo the one-way street experiment, and look at what happened to Richmond and Adelaide. Both had plenty of life before they were made one-way and it killed both.
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Old Posted May 22, 2012, 2:09 AM
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Streets lose some of their vitality when they become 1 way. I'd like to see Adelaide and Richmond revert back to 2 way streets rather than see more 2 way streets become 1 way.
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Old Posted May 23, 2012, 7:59 PM
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So I guess all three of us "lack the intellectual capacity" to understand something only a genius likes you gets huh telyou? All you've made is a very dubious connection between a city's vibrance and one-way streets without any evidence, studies or reasoning to back up your claim. I can think of just as many vibrant one-way streets as I can two-way streets and i'm pretty sure San Francisco, Montreal and New York would have very lively downtown's regardless of which direction the traffic flows because a street's vibrance and energy has nothing to do with the direction of traffic on it.
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Old Posted May 23, 2012, 11:24 PM
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I see the gorgeous London-based Rob Ford "subways subways subways St. Clair disaster" brigade has arrived.
I actually grew up in North York, and most of my friends and family still live in and around Toronto, and I still have to come back to work every summer since the rest of Ontario has slowly turned to shit. Trust me, I'm working hard to find a way out. I'd rather not have to care about this transit rubbish or deal with the wretched commute.

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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
Construction would be disruptive, yes, so would the construction of a subway, but there are many examples where a surface LRT improves areas by having more frequent stops for people to disembark and go to the shops they saw along the route.. Despite what your obese messiah says, the St. Clair separated streetcar line has improved that area tenfold, and a good amount is because of the improvements they made. This would be the exact same on Eglinton and Sheppard with the LRT line. There's a reason actual intelligent people have done studies and come up with this being the best solution. But I guess you're right, the Sheppard stubway that cost more and served less was a better idea.
One of my best friends from High School lives near St. Clair and Dufferin, and I still visit that area occasionally. From what I can see not much has changed, aside from a centre median that annoyingly blocks access to several sidestreets. Business owners still seem pretty pissed off about it, because even though things are back to normal (emphasis on "normal"), the construction caused them a lot of grief. The street is beginning to come back, but a lot of St. Clair West still looks like shit. It still takes about 30 minutes to get to Yonge from Keele, which is better than what it used to be (something around 45 minutes) but is still not great. To put things into perspective, a typical subway would take 10-15 minutes to cover the same distance.

Now Sheppard... my has that street ever changed. I guess if you were not regularly tootling around North York in the early 2000s you wouldn't know, but back then it was almost universally low-density, home to a Canadian Tire warehouse, with a few commieblocks scattered around. Now, there are dozens of new condo towers that have gone up in the past 10 years. But as soon as you hit Victoria Park Avenue everything goes back to normal... no new investment, no major construction, nothing happening at all, because you're back to the same old lousy Sheppard Avenue East, complete with vacant lots and sparsely placed apartments. Finch and York Mills (Ellesmere) have also undergone very little change in the same timeframe. It's clear as day that all that densification and investment took place because of the subway. A high-cost item indeed, but one that produces tangible and noticeable positive externalities. And boy am I ever glad to see the 85 Sheppard put out to pasture.

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Transit City was the best plan the city has seen in decades, cancelled by a stupid mayor who has no idea what he's talking about, supported by even more braindead suburban councillors and voters who would be better served by it than the downtown, just because of who brought it forward, and brought back recently because people realized that it was the only smart transit plan this city has. Despite the stubbornly ignorant "gravy train" voters who remain in Ford nation beyond all logic, this will happen, and it will make the city better by doing so. Put subways where they're needed, like a DRL, not an underused stubway that goes 4 km and serves 20 people.
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Old Posted May 24, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Wharn View Post
One of my best friends from High School lives near St. Clair and Dufferin, and I still visit that area occasionally. From what I can see not much has changed, aside from a centre median that annoyingly blocks access to several sidestreets. Business owners still seem pretty pissed off about it, because even though things are back to normal (emphasis on "normal"), the construction caused them a lot of grief. The street is beginning to come back, but a lot of St. Clair West still looks like shit. It still takes about 30 minutes to get to Yonge from Keele, which is better than what it used to be (something around 45 minutes) but is still not great. To put things into perspective, a typical subway would take 10-15 minutes to cover the same distance.
This is obviously BS. Yes there are a few business owners who are not happy but that is mainly due to their closed mindedness. The street is a lot more vibrant then it used to be and has become a destination for many people around the city.

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Now Sheppard... my has that street ever changed. I guess if you were not regularly tootling around North York in the early 2000s you wouldn't know, but back then it was almost universally low-density, home to a Canadian Tire warehouse, with a few commieblocks scattered around. Now, there are dozens of new condo towers that have gone up in the past 10 years. But as soon as you hit Victoria Park Avenue everything goes back to normal... no new investment, no major construction, nothing happening at all, because you're back to the same old lousy Sheppard Avenue East, complete with vacant lots and sparsely placed apartments. Finch and York Mills (Ellesmere) have also undergone very little change in the same timeframe. It's clear as day that all that densification and investment took place because of the subway. A high-cost item indeed, but one that produces tangible and noticeable positive externalities. And boy am I ever glad to see the 85 Sheppard put out to pasture.
I've been there many times. Thank you Ikea. And all i see is a suburban wasteland. Towers in the park type condos. Absolutely no pedestrian activity. Big box stores. Nothing remotely attractive about the area. Everyone gets out of their cars and drives everywhere. Even to get milk.
Obviously there's a lot of new development. There was absolutely nothing there but empty land. St-Clair on the other hand was already heavily developed.
I'll take CityPlace over Sheppard any day. At least you can walk to King Street and other hotspots.
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