York Beltline, Beltine Trail, Beltline gap

Toronto could finally close the gap on crucial midtown cycling and pedestrian link

The City of Toronto is inviting residents to learn more about—and provide feedback on—the Beltline Gap Connections project. The project proposes a safe and connected route for cyclists and pedestrians over the Allen Road Expressway, closing the 475-metre gap between the York Beltline Trail and Kay Gardner Beltline Trail.

“In the past ten years, there have been 343 total collisions, including one pedestrian fatality in the project area,” the City noted in a statement about the project, adding that bikeways and sidewalks are critical pieces of transportation infrastructure “that improve accessibility and safety for all road users, particularly for children, seniors and those with mobility challenges.”

The project is part of the city’s Cycling Network Plan, a program striving to make cycling by bike safer and more inviting, helping to ease congestion, create a cleaner environment, and promote physical activity—something that Toronto residents say is much needed.

The Beltline Gap Connections project is bounded by Marlee Ave. to the west, Eglinton Ave. W to the south, Castlefield Ave., Roselawn Ave., and Elm Ridge Dr. to the north, and Newgate Rd. and the Allen Greenway to the east. The following measures are being proposed:

  • Converting the west-side sidewalk on Marlee Ave. into a raised bi-directional cycle track and a widened sidewalk (between Eglinton Av. W. and Roselawn Ave.).
  • Upgrading the bike lanes on Marlee Ave. to cycle tracks (between Roselawn Ave. and Castlefield Ave.).
  • Converting the south-side sidewalk on Roselawn Ave. and Elm Ridge Dr. into a multi-use trail (between Marlee Ave. and the western limit of the bridge).
  • Converting the south side of the roadway into a bi-directional on-road cycle track on Elm Ridge Dr. (between the western limit of the bridge to Newgate Road).
  • Converting the Allen Greenway sidewalk into a multi-use trail (between Elm Ridge Dr. and Wembley Rd.).
  • Adding bike signals, protected intersection corner islands, and curb extensions to improve safety by giving priority and reducing crossing distances for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Removing the westbound left turn lane on Roselawn Ave. approaching the Marlee Ave. intersection.

The City notes that public feedback, along with technical considerations and City policies, will be considered in decisions surrounding the project.

Residents are encouraged to submit comments by email, mail, or phone by Fri. April 19.

Transportation Services will have to seek City Council’s approval to go through with the proposed road safety improvements and bikeway connections, and as part of the approval process, staff will report to the Infrastructure & Environment Committee on May 28.

The city will share more details about the project’s web page prior to that meeting. In the meantime, letters will be provided to property owners and tenants with right-of-way impacts adjacent to their properties.

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