Roads and Trails

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Curbside Management Strategy

Transportation Services has initiated the Curbside Management Strategy (CMS) study to develop a set of recommendations to address curbside issues and conflicts amongst its numerous users in the downtown Study Area; an area that is among the busiest and most congested transportation networks in the country.

 

The Curbside Survey is now closed. For those that participated, Thank you!  The results are being tabulated and will inform the recommendations of our study consultant

This survey collected information about road user behaviours, including what mode of transportation they take, how often and the reasons they travel downtown, and how they use the curbside.  Also provided was an Issues Reporting Tool to report and flag locations where road users have experienced curbside issues that cause inconveniences or impede traffic (i.e., automobile, truck, taxi, motor coach, bicycle, pedestrian,  other vehicle).

  

About the Study

The Curbside Management Strategy study objective is to improve upon the efficiency and effectiveness of curbside space allocation and usage for all parking and loading activity, and to reduce related congestion in the Study Area.

 

What is the 'curbside' and who are its 'users'?
The 'curbside' is the space on a road that is adjacent to the sidewalk (i.e. at the curb) and is shared by a variety of users including: cyclists; operators of transit, taxi, motor coach, courier and other deliveries/goods movement vehicles; those with parking, tv and film, food truck, and accessible parking permits or pay-and-display parking payment tickets, patrons of transit, Wheel-Trans and local businesses (i.e., hotels, restaurants and retail establishments), and other users of private vehicles, and pedestrians.

 

The Study Area Limits
The CMS Study Area covers over 3 sq. kms. (approx. 150 city blocks) of the City's downtown. The boundaries are Lake Shore Boulevard and Harbour Street to the south, Queen Street to the north, Jarvis Street to the east and Bathurst Street to the west. Between University Avenue and Yonge Street, the northern limit extends to Dundas Street.

A public information meeting for this study was held on April 19, 2016 in Metro Hall.
 

Potential Curbside Events

The CMS Study Area has a mix of residential, retail, institutional and office uses often all on the same block, each with curbside needs.  It is the requirements of these different users at the same time of the day combined with limited desired curbside space, that often results in conflicts between these users.  A few illustrations of curbside competition are below:

CMS Study Process

ExpandStep 1- Existing Conditions Review

Collecting information on existing transportation conditions and curbside usage, issues, and opportunities and combining this with existing City of Toronto policies and curbside-related commitments, is a vital first step in developing a strategy to manage the curbside.

This step in well underway and ongoing.

ExpandStep 2 - Future Conditions Assessment

Since the Study Area transportation condition serves an ever-changing, evolving and rapidly growing environment, assessing the impact of planned and proposed changes on current curbside uses and utilization, and commenting on how these curbside changes may exacerbate congestion at key locations, is important.  

This step in the process will involve a review and documentation of planned, or proposed changes to downtown-related transportation infrastructure or downtown land use as well as a understanding of broader-scale changes (e.g. demographic, socioeconomic, mode share, cordon count, regional growth, etc.) that are likely to influence curbside operations, with a focus on the next ten-year period.

This step has been initiated and is ongoing.

ExpandStep 3 - Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement

This step in the process involves engaging the public and key stakeholders and parties with an interest in and who are directly affected by current and potential future curbside management approaches. Engagement is to be undertaken in a flexible, focused manner to garner input and consensus on its findings, and to facilitate the evaluation and implementation process.

This step is well underway for key stakeholders and has included an online survey and public meeting on April 19, 2016.

ExpandStep 4 - Best Practice Review

Reviewing the 'best' curbside management practices in other comparable cities in North America or Europe, can lead to the development of a set of tools, guidelines and principles that could be used to solve an existing or emerging priority core issue in the Study Area.  This listing is expected to include approaches that are innovative in either the administrative, technological or revenue generation arena, among others.

This step in well underway.

Expand Step 5 - Alternative Strategy Development and Evaluation

Developing and evaluating alternatives curbside management strategies that address CMS study purpose and goals and utilize all the information collected and analyzed from the previous steps, is a critical element in moving toward an effective CMS.  These alternatives are expected to be a combination of discrete (i.e., standalone) and complimentary approaches applied to a block face, in a corridor or throughout a broader area, to control or solve a curbside issue or problem.  Each alternative will be then be examined with an evaluation framework developed to assess Study Area transportation operation and curbside impacts (i.e., positive and negative) of any individual plan / project / proposal affecting the downtown network.  This assessment will also include an examination of the challenges and opportunities of the chosen approach on the ten-year 'future' scenario.

This step has been initiated, but will follow once Steps 1-4 are completed.

Expand Step 6 - Recommend Policy Approach

A recommended curbside management strategy policy will follow the evaluation of alternative strategies. The preferred approach is expected to be comprised of a combination of one or more viable plans or improvements.  The recommended policy approach is ultimately expected to achieve the study objective to improve upon the efficiency and effectiveness of curbside space allocation and usage for all parking and loading activity, and to reduce related congestion in the Study Area.

This step will follow Step 5 - Alternative Strategy Development and Evaluation.

CMS Study Origin
The CMS is one of eight initiatives contained within the 2014-2018 Congestion Management Plan. (PDF) and recently updated Congestion Management Plan (2016-2020) (PDF). 

CMS Presentation

On December 14, 2015, the General Manager of Transportation Services, Stephen Buckley, gave a presentation to the City Council's Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, on the Curbside Management Strategy. The Committee Agenda Item detail and full presentation follow below:

Agenda
Presentation

If you are having trouble accessing or viewing the files, please contact curbside@toronto.ca

 

 

The development of the Curbside Management Strategy (CMS) are guided by the following project themes:

Curbside User Needs are both Diverse and Dynamic
The road right-of-way serves a variety of users for multiple purposes and for dissimilar durations at different times of the day/week. The corresponding requirements for pedestrian, cyclist, transit, truck, and automobile use require a shifting balance in curbside allocations and permissions in order to serve the assortment of adjacent land uses effectively. The CMS will look at the specific needs for the common land uses, while not overlooking the grander scale of the needs of the network.

Simple and Innovative Solutions are Desired
To be most effective, a CMS solution need to be relatively simple – simple to understand, simple to implement, and simple to operate. For example, clear and understandable rules, regulation and signage could not only significantly increase a curbside users' ability to comply with stated conditions, but also allow them to operate more effectively and efficiently.  Also, understanding and improving the management of the existing capacity of the transportation network, through a review of upstream and downstream road bottleneck conditions including curbside usages and needs, could provide significant benefits to most users. Finally, the use of simple technology, including traffic and parking 'apps', to monitor and inform all users of current conditions, should not be overlooked.  

Engagement with Clear Intent
While it is understood that key stakeholder and general public engagement is important to understanding curbside user needs and challenges, it is essential that this engagement be undertaken in a way that best provides value and progresses towards CMS study objectives. To achieve this, each form of engagement will have a clear purpose with a format matching the intended purpose. This applies to both key stakeholders approached for their knowledge and informed views, as well as general interest groups and public who would provide a broader perspective of conditions and opportunities.  Scheduled meetings, social media, and this website and its associated survey and issues reporting mapping tool, are the principal ways this engagement is to be undertaken.   

Transparent and Accountable Decisions
It is desirable that the CMS reflect an appropriate balance of all stakeholder needs in the context of network conditions and opportunities with solutions presented in a way that are clear to all involved.  To this end, strategies will be sought that: make the best use of the curbside and overall right-of-way, at the right times; demonstrate transparent priorities from one part of the Study Area to the other; and are easy to comprehend, logical, and therefore “self-enforcing.” Ultimately, the CMS will look to maximize the benefits to transportation network curbside and roadway users within the Study Area utilizing a project evaluation framework.

Consideration of Relevant Projects
There are a number of projects or studies that are recently completed or underway, that will impact existing and near-future conditions of curbside uses in the Study Area. As a result, the CMS will have to not only account for these, but aim to complement their goals and objectives.  Ideally, the recommended CMS will also be both broad and flexible enough to adapt to the ever-changing, intensified utilization of downtown infrastructure and land use.