Roads and Trails

Eglinton Connects Transportation Study (Class EA) - Final Report

The Eglinton Connects Municipal Class Environmental Assessment was a transportation study completed as part of the larger Eglinton Connects comprehensive planning study.

Visit the main site at toronto.ca/eglinton

The final report for the Eglinton Connects Municipal Class Environmental Assessment is now available for review. View the Notice of Completion

A concise summary of the key recommendations from the final report are provided below.

The complete Environmental Study Report is included at the bottom in several PDF files  (jump to bottom)

 

Summary

Introduction

The EGLINTONconnects Study is the City of Toronto’s comprehensive planning study to develop a vision for the future of Eglinton Avenue, as the corridor will undergo significant growth through intensification over the coming years, through the implementation of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line (ECLRT). The ECLRT is a planned 19 km long LRT line, running east-west along Eglinton Avenue between Weston Road and Kennedy Subway Station, which will partially operate on a surface or elevated track along Eglinton Avenue, with a 10.5 km underground section between Black Creek Drive and Brentcliffe Road. Construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is currently underway, with an anticipated completion by 2020.

Toronto Light Rail Transit Network, per Metrolinx’s Approved Transit Plan: Finch West, Sheppard East, Eglinton Crosstown

Toronto Light Rail Transit Network, per Metrolinx’s Approved Transit Plan


The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) component of the study identifies opportunities for improvements to the Eglinton Avenue corridor, along with the impacts of potential improvements in an effort to determine the ultimate surface design (street configuration) of Eglinton Avenue between Black Creek Drive and Brentcliffe Road, where the LRT is underground. Since the higher order LRT service will replace the majority of existing surface bus services on Eglinton Avenue, the opportunity exists to reconfigure the surface design of Eglinton Avenue. This EA study is being carried out as a Schedule ‘C’ project, in accordance with the Municipal Engineers Association, Municipal Class EA document (October 2000, as amended in 2007 and 2011). Completion of this Environmental Study Report (ESR) is part of the process to enable the City of Toronto to address the transportation needs for the EGLINTONconnects study corridor.

 

This EA study consisted of the development and evaluation of alternative solutions and alternative design concepts was undertaken in a four-phase process:

  • Phase 1: Identification of existing and future study area conditions, and identification of the problem and opportunities.
  • Phase 2: Identification and evaluation of alternative panning solutions and alternative design concepts
  • Phase 3: Refinement and development of the preferred design
  • Phase 4: Documentation of the EA through the Environmental Study Report

 

The EA study area only includes the section of Eglinton Avenue where the ECLRT will be travelling underground. Based on varying right-of-way widths and varying transportation characteristics throughout the corridor, the study area was segmented into seven sections (Section A through G) for the evaluation process of the study.

Existing and Future Conditions

Existing and future conditions for cultural, natural environment, infrastructure, transportation, and social and economic were documented within the corridor as part of the EA. Various aspects of existing and future conditions were assessed for transportation, including land use (population and employment), traffic volumes/capacity and level of service, traffic safety, transit services, pedestrian facilities, cycling facilities, access and parking, and social and economic vitality.

Road Network

Eglinton Avenue currently has an urban cross-section and generally varies between 4, 5 and 6 lanes, with an existing posted speed limit varying between 50 km/h and 60 km/h, and with reserved bus and taxi lanes at various locations throughout the corridor.

Traffic

Overall, there is a steady base amount of locally generated traffic throughout Eglinton Avenue along with high volumes of regional traffic from Black Creek Drive/Highway 400, Allen Road, and the DVP/Leslie/Highway 404, which use Eglinton Avenue to disperse among alternative north-south routes.

The removal of bus lanes allow for opportunities to utilize the ROW for general purpose travel lanes, along with public realm improvements. Opportunities also exist to reduce the number of through lanes for traffic between Avenue Road and Mount Pleasant Road to one lane per direction.

Transit

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) currently operates numerous transit services within the EA study area, including the Yonge-University-Spadina Subway which intersects the study area north-south, at Allen Road (Eglinton West Station) and at Yonge Street (Eglinton Station), which will continue to operate in the future at higher frequencies of service. In the future, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will operate between Weston Road and Kennedy Station, with underground service between Black Creek Drive and Brentcliffe Road, and an average stop spacing of 650 m. The projected ridership of the ECLRT is 5,400 passengers per hour in the peak direction by 2031. The capacity of the ECLRT vehicles is 15,000 passengers per hour per direction, where train lengths can be adjusted in the future to accommodate ridership demands.

Daily bus ridership volumes peak at two locations along Eglinton Avenue, at Eglinton Subway Station (Yonge Street), and Eglinton West Station (Allen Road). The boarding and alighting volumes of 15,500-18,000 are highest at Yonge Street and Eglinton Station, with volumes between 10,000-11,500 at Allen Road and Eglinton West Station. In the future, numerous north-south intersecting routes will be modified to transfer along the ECLRT stations rather than at the subway stations, and frequency will be adjusted to meet demand.

Existing regional rapid transit routes operated by GO Transit also intersect the EA study area, without stopping on Eglinton Avenue. Connections will be created through future GO stations on these lines.

 

Problem and Opportunity Statement

Within the construction of the planned Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto’s centre of gravity will move north, and Eglinton Avenue will play an even more prominent role in the evolution of the City. The overall problem and opportunities of the Eglinton Avenue corridor are as follows:

Problem

  • Dedicated infrastructure for cyclists is lacking, connections to the wider cycling network are missing and conflicts with on-street parking create unsafe conditions.
  • Sidewalks are often too narrow to support a vibrant and walkable street-life, connections to transit are sub-standard, and pedestrian crossings are distantly spaced in several sections.
  • Green spaces are absent at most major intersections, street trees are sparse and undersized.
  • Connections to both Allen Road and the Don Valley Expressway result in high volumes of vehicular traffic in their immediate surroundings, a high number of turning movements, and a deficiency in traffic capacity in certain locations.
  • On-street parking is often located in narrow sections of the street, while off-street lots are unevenly distributed and difficult to access.
  • Spaces for deliveries are often limited, and laneways discontinuous, making servicing difficult for local businesses.

 

Opportunity

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will provide a dramatic increase in Eglinton’s transportation capacity. Travel capacity will not only expand, but will also diversify as the space within the right-of-way is incrementally rebuilt. The removal of most surface bus service on this portion of Eglinton Avenue presents an opportunity to re-purpose the space currently occupied by reserved bus lanes and achieve a complete street with a mobility mix that accommodates all users – pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and motorists – and supports healthy living while also supporting its businesses, greening the street and setting the stage for new mid-rise development – within the context of creating a transit-supportive and pedestrian-friendly corridor with more intensive forms of development.

Alternative Planning Solutions and Alternative Design Concepts

Through the Class Environmental Assessment process, the identification and evaluation of all reasonable alternative planning solutions and alternative design concepts is formally documented. For this EA study, the development and evaluation of alternative solutions and alternative design concepts was undertaken in the following process:


 Steps 1A, 1B, 1C Step 2.  See detailed PDFs below for text explanation of EA process

Segments Defined

While the overall EGLINTONconnects Planning Study encompasses a broader study area between Jane Street to Kennedy Road, the EA study area only includes Eglinton Avenue between Black Creek Drive and Brentcliffe Road, where the ECLRT will be travelling underground. Based on varying right-of-way widths and varying transportation characteristics throughout the corridor, the study area was segmented into seven sections (Section A through G) for the evaluation process of the study.

  • Section A: Black Creek Drive to Caledonia Road
  • Section B: Caledonia Road to Oakwood Avenue
  • Section C: Oakwood Avenue to Avenue Road
  • Section D: Avenue Road to Mount Pleasant Road
  • Section E: Mount Pleasant Road to Bayview Avenue
  • Section F: Bayview Avenue to Laird Drive
  • Section G: Laird Drive to Brentcliffe Road
segments map

EGLINTONconnects Planning Study, Environmental Assessment Study Area and Segmentation of the Eglinton Avenue Corridor

Evaluation Criteria of the Cross-Section and Intersection Options

Category

Criteria

Safe and Vibrant Pedestrian Space

  • Direct, convenient connections, including pedestrian crossings
  • Wide, unobstructed, and accessible sidewalks
  • Safe buffer and separation from high-speed automobiles and bicycles
  • Achieves a reasonable distance between pedestrian road crossings
  • Space for benches and other street furniture
  • Safe crosswalks at busy intersections
  • Opportunities to reduce or manage vehicular traffic speeds
  • Accessibility

Safe Cycling

  • Safe enough for all ages to use
  • Connected, continuous and direct routes
  • Separated/protected from vehicular lanes

Green Space and Natural Environment

  • Number of additional street trees provided
  • Size of tree canopy coverage at maturity
  • Protection of pedestrians from UV radiation and heat
  • Complies with City of Toronto Shade Policy
  • Mitigates the “heat island” effect
  • Changes in stormwater quantity & quality
  • Provision of vegetation and vegetation communities

Moving Vehicles

  • Acceptable level of service at intersections
  • Sufficient vehicular capacity
  • Ability to accommodate goods movement at necessary locations
  • Unobstructed routes that are acceptable to EMS and the Fire Department
  • Protecting surrounding neighbourhoods from through traffic
  • Transit provides a quality level of service

Social and Economic Vitality

  • Potential for patio space and on-street vending, and street furniture potential
  • Heritage / Cultural / Archaeological impacts and opportunities
  • Public Art
  • Ability to attract new real estate development
  • Crime prevention (CPTED)
  • Supporting area festivals and BIA’s
  • Public Health benefits of increased walking and cycling
  • Compatibility with built form Vision of the EGLINTONconnects Study

Maintaining Access

  • Number of vehicular driveways eliminated or affected
  • Availability of curb space for on-street loading and deliveries
  • Reducing conflicts between deliveries and pedestrians or deliveries and cyclists
  • Reducing conflicts between garbage collection and pedestrians/cyclists

Parking

  • Availability of on-street and/or off-street public parking
  • Opportunities for bicycle parking
  • Opportunities for bike-sharing facilities
  • Opportunities for car-sharing spots

Cost and Implementation

  • Construction cost
  • Utility impacts and relocation
  • Property acquisition costs, Property impacts
  • Constructability
  • Flexibility to phase-in short-term, cost-effective improvements
  • Long-term maintenance

Preferred Cross-Section Options for the Eglinton Avenue Corridor
(ROW = Right-of-way)

Option 1: Best four lane option for a 27m ROW

Applied to Sections A, B, C, E

  • 4 travel lanes
  • On-street, off-peak parking
  • Protected bicycle lanes on both sides of street
  • Tree and furniture zone
  • Wider sidewalk for pedestrian clearway and patios/ retail spill-out

 

Option 2: Best two lane option for a 27m ROW

Refined and applied to Section D

  • 3 travel lanes, including a center left-turn lane
  • 24 hr parking within lay-bys to support adjacent retail
  • Protected bicycle lanes on both sides of street
  • Wider tree and furniture zone
  • Wider sidewalk for pedestrian clearway and patios/ retail spill-out

 

 

Option 3: Best 23m ROW option

Applied to Section F

  • 4 travel lanes
  • Protected bicycle lanes on both sides of street
  • Wider sidewalk to accommodate the pedestrian clearway and street furniture
  • Trees located outside of ROW, within private property

 

 

Option 4: Alternate 30m ROW option

Applied to Section G

  • 5 travel lanes, including a center left-turn lane
  • 24 hr parking within lay-bys on south side
  • On-street, off-peak parking
  • Tree and furniture zone between lay-bys
  • Trees located outside of ROW on the north side of the street, on private property
  • Protected bicycle lanes on both sides of street
  • Wider sidewalk to accommodate the pedestrian clearway and street furniture
 

These are typical cross-sections for each section - see final report PDFs below for details on variations

 

Preferred Design

Through the evaluation of all reasonable alternative planning solutions and alternative design concepts, preferred design concepts were developed for the corridor. The development of the preferred design constituted Step 3 of the EA evaluation process.

  • Step 3: Recommended Alternative Design - The Preferred Solutions were applied to develop a Functional Road Layout/ Streetscape Plan, designed is based on the typical cross-sections that underwent the comprehensive evaluation process, in which various alternatives were evaluated to determine the optimum configuration of the road on a segment-by-segment basis.

 

The key elements of the Functional Road Layout and Streetscape Plan include:

  • A protected bicycle lane of 1.2 m along the entire 19 km length of Eglinton, including the 11 km segment of the EA study area;
  • A ‘main street’ boulevard, where space is provided to grow a number of large urban trees (min. 2.1 m width, typically spaced 10 m apart) and wide sidewalks (typically 2.8 m up to 4.8 m width) to support pedestrian activity and space for patios and retail spill-out;
  • Preserving on-street, off-peak parking (2.2 m width) for the majority of the corridor and twenty-four hour lay-by parking between Avenue Road and Mt Pleasant Road, while augmenting public parking supply as new development occurs;
  • A street supported by a parallel, expanded laneway system, particularly between Keele Street and Laird Drive;
  • Introduction of a finer pattern of streets and blocks within Focus Areas, four of which are within the EA Study area, including at Westside (Caledonia), Dufferin, Bayview and Laird;
  • Pedestrian and cycling connections to/ from the LRT station areas to the system of valleys, trails and open spaces within half a kilometre of Eglinton Avenue; and
  • A reduction to 2 general purpose lanes and 1 continuous left turn lane on Eglinton Avenue between Avenue Road to Mount Pleasant Road to achieve a more complete street, accommodating all travel modes with continuous cycling lanes, wider sidewalks and overall improved public spaces.

 

 

Property Impacts and Mitigation

The preferred design was prepared with the goal of minimizing the need for property within the corridor. No property acquisitions have been identified as a result of the preferred design. However, to achieve a minimum 4.8 m sidewalk zone, setbacks are required at select locations to accommodate a minimum 2.1 m pedestrian clearway within the public right-of-way.

Timing

Reconstruction of the street according to the preferred roadway design and streetscaping will initially take place at LRT stations, timed with the construction of LRT stations, and will be extended to the rest of the Eglinton Corridor as resources and opportunities become available.

Public and Stakeholder Consultation Process

For this EA study, a comprehensive public consultation program was conducted as part of the larger public and stakeholder consultation program undertaken for the EGLINTONconnects Planning Study.

The study area was divided into three public consultation areas (West – Jane Street to Allen Road, Central – Allen Road to Don Mills Road, East – Don Mills Road to Kennedy Road). During each stage of consultation, a public open house or workshop was held in each of the three consultation areas, and a meeting was held in each ward within the study area. Approximately 5,000 people were engaged in the public consultation process through more than 60 public and stakeholder consultation meetings and events, and 4 public surveys.

In addition, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of technical staff from multiple City divisions and partner agencies provided review and input on the identification and evaluation of alternative designs, along with the development of the preferred design. This agency consultation included correspondence with BIAs and cycling organizations active in the study area, and numerous stakeholder organizations representing city-wide interests. First Nations individuals and councils were corresponded with during the study.

Impacts, Mitigation, Monitoring, and Future Commitments

The potential impacts of the EGLINTONconnects Planning Study Environmental Assessment were documented to identify mitigation measures, recommend monitoring activities, and document future commitments.

Various mitigation measures have been incorporated into the recommended design, including aspects such as accommodation of emergency vehicles through a continuous left-turn lane in the reduced 2-lane section between Avenue Road and Mount Pleasant Road, indented parking moved outside of traffic lanes, and corridor-wide traffic signal pre-emption to be developed with Toronto Fire Services; and consideration for improved transit operations through maintaining exclusive right-turn lanes at subway station bus terminals, and maintaining dedicated right-turn lanes for bus bays at key intersections. Various other mitigation measures such as Transportation Demand Management (TDM) and traffic calming have been suggested.


Environmental Study Report

The Environmental Study Report (ESR) attached below includes an analysis of existing and future conditions, problem and opportunity statement, evaluation of planning and design solutions, description of the preferred design, a description of public and stakeholder consultation, and a discussion of impacts, mitigation measures, monitoring, and future commitments. If you need assistance viewing this report, please contact Marianne Wertepny, who will arrange to assist you. You can call her at 416-392-8120 or email her at mwertep@toronto.ca

Due to its size, the Eglinton Connects Environmental Study Report is broken into sections, each less then 10mb. Download these PDFs here: 

Appendix A: Traffic Study

This appendix summarizes the Traffic Analysis that was conducted to evaluate the various planning and design solutions for the Eglinton Avenue Environmental Assessment. If you need assistance viewing this Report, please contact Marianne Wertepny, who will arrange to assist you. You can call her at 416-392-8120 or email her at mwertep@toronto.ca

Appendix B: Utility Measures

The maps show the relationship between the underground utilities (such as electricity, water, sewer, etc) below Eglinton Avenue and the preferred streetscape design. Potential conflicts are identified in these maps to support the development of mitigation measures. If you need assistance viewing these maps, please contact Marianne Wertepny, who will arrange to assist you. You can call her at 416-392-8120 or email her at mwertep@toronto.ca

Note: An earlier version of the Utility Measures posted prior to September 3, 2014 contained minor technical errors, which are corrected in the version below

Appendix C: Streetscape Plan

The Streetscape Plan illustrates the proposed arrangement of the right-of-way elements, including the road layout, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian environment, and public realm elements (such as street trees, and street furniture zone). The Plan covers the area of Eglinton Avenue between Jane Street and Kennedy Road. The Streetscape Plan incorporates the functional road layout resulting from the preferred design of the Eglinton Avenue Environmental Assessment (EA) between Black Creek Road and Brentcliffe Road. The Plan is quite detailed, and you may want to view the Plan in order to understand the proposed street layout in your location of interest. If you need assistance viewing this Plan, please contact Marianne Wertepny, who will arrange to assist you. You can call her at 416-392-8120 or email her at mwertep@toronto.ca

Note: An earlier version of the Streetscape Plan posted prior to August 25, 2014 contained minor technical errors, which are corrected in the version below


Appendix D: Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate

This appendix provides a cost estimate for the preferred streetscape design from the Environmental Assessment for each element of the right-of-way. If you need assistance viewing this Plan, please contact Marianne Wertepny, who will arrange to assist you. You can call her at 416-392-8120 or email her at mwertep@toronto.ca

Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate

Appendix E: Consultation Process Report

This appendix describes the consultation process, including advertisements, surveys, locations of meetings, meeting materials, and a summary of feedback from the public and stakeholders. If you need assistance viewing this appendix, please contact Marianne Wertepny, who will arrange to assist you. You can call her at 416-392-8120 or email her at mwertep@toronto.ca

Due to its size, this Appendix is broken into 5 sections, each less then 10mb. Download these PDFs here: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5


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