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Fixing Avenue Road

Fixing Avenue Road

SpacingTORONTO
The car wins on Avenue Road. It always does.

The pattern of valuing the convenience of drivers over everything else has been fixed since 1959, when the city chopped down trees and dramatically narrowed sidewalks to create six traffic lanes from St. Clair Avenue West to Bloor Street West so as to funnel cars quickly to the downtown.

Sixty years later, that’s the Avenue Road we still have on that 2.1-kilometre stretch between St. Clair and Bloor. It operates as a virtual expressway – a de facto Spadina Expressway. Pre-pandemic, it carried 30,000 vehicles a day – 85 per cent of them travelling above the posted speed limit – and it makes life deeply unpleasant for pedestrians and cyclists brave enough to try to use it.

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Wide sidewalks key to help commercial real estate weather the pandemic

Wide sidewalks key to help commercial real estate weather the pandemic.

TheGlobeAndMail.com
“An economic rebound in commercial retail amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic may be right under our feet – in the sidewalks we walk on.
The key, however, depends on how wide they are.”

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Avenue Road is booming – if only it had the sidewalks its grand name deserves

Avenue Road is booming – if only it had the sidewalks its grand name deserves

TheStar.com
“Its current highway nature is ironic, considering it was once an elegant, tree-lined road and how, it’s said, it got the name Avenue. Whatever trees manage to exist on it now are squeezed onto some of Toronto’s narrowest sidewalks where two people can barely pass each other without one being nudged into traffic.”

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Walking on a tightrope nect to a highway

‘Walking on a tightrope next to a highway’: Coalition, councillor call for wider sidewalks on Avenue Road

CBC.ca

A coalition of concerned residents is calling on the city to consider widening the sidewalks alongside Avenue Road, a busy six-lane arterial running through midtown. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC News)

Avenue Road is known for high-end shopping, posh hotels, and multiple private schools.
It’s also known, some residents say, for having dangerously-narrow sidewalks alongside heavy traffic.

“It’s unsafe right now,” said Albert Koehl, a member of the Avenue Road Safety Coalition. “This street is no longer consistent with a modern downtown area.”
Koehl, a 25-year resident of midtown Toronto, is among those calling on the city to consider widening the sidewalks alongside the busy six-lane arterial road.

“People just want to live their lives on this street as we do in quiet residential areas, but it’s still treated as a thoroughfare, as a highway, and that’s inconsistent with what I think our Vision Zero road safety plan wants to do,” he added.

The coalition, which includes residents’ associations, school groups and other organizations, has reached out to local councillor Josh Matlow to take their mission to city hall, and Matlow said he’s started a process to have city staff review Avenue Road and consult with stakeholders.

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Vehicle hit gas line outside Yorkville retirement home

Vehicle hit gas line outside Yorkville retirement home

CP24.com
“The swerving vehicle then lost control, mounted a sidewalk and hit the Hazelton Place Retirement Residence, striking a gas line in the process.”

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Toronto drivers not being punished for making streets unsafe, critics say

Toronto drivers not being punished for making streets unsafe, critics say

TheStar.com

It doesn’t take a radar gun to see that plenty of drivers on Avenue Rd. are speeding.

Albert Koehl says all you have to do is stand on a corner to realize that, despite a posted limit of 50 kilometres per hour, many motorists use the six-lane arterial road that cuts through residential areas north of Bloor St. “as a speedway.”

The high speeds and narrow sidewalks make Avenue Rd. “a frightening place to be,” said Koehl, the vice-chair of the Annex Residents’ Association.

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Pedestrian, two others hurt in Avenue and Dupont crash

Pedestrian, two others hurt in Avenue and Dupont crash

Toronto.CityNews.ca
“Paramedics told CityNews the pedestrian, a man in his 20s, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Two people who were in the car were also taken to hospital. One person had serious injuries and the other person had minor injuries.”

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Tribute held for cyclist, 26, killed in hit-and-run

Tribute held for cyclist, 26, killed in hit-and-run

Toronto.CTVnews.ca:

Adam Excell was riding his bike on Avenue Road, near Davenport Road, when he was struck and killed by a car that did not remain on scene.

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