Toronto outlines plan to reduce traffic congestion during Ontario Line construction

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Toronto is working with Metrolinx, contractors and the TTC on capital construction plans, to reduce traffic congestion in construction zones downtown.

Priority travel routes will be created around Ontario Line construction zones, limiting activities and traffic restrictions including non-emergency utility work – to keep parallel routes open.

“The City of Toronto, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada are working together to build a multi-billion dollar transit expansion across Toronto,” Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie.said in a statement. “This construction is so important for the future of our city along with the other major infrastructure work underway.

Also, planning staff is assessing all construction permit applications and related traffic management plans to minimize the overall disruption caused by construction. Staff will work to ensure plans promote the safety of people travelling in the area; reduce noise and parking impacts as much as possible; modify traffic signals to allow for the efficient flow of traffic; maintain access to properties; and identify key site access points and haul routes for construction vehicles.

“We know we have a lot of construction ahead of us and we recognize the vital need for transit expansion while balancing the needs of the public and businesses to travel in and through the downtown core.”

Starting May 1, Dundas Street from Jarvis Street to Bathurst Street, will be the first Priority Travel Route as Ontario Line construction will fully close Queen Street from Victoria Street to Yonge Street and Yonge Street to Bay Street. Until summer 2024, this stretch of Dundas Street will only have emergency work; on-street parking will be restricted and CaféTO Curb Lane cafes will not be installed to keep the roadway as clear of restrictions as possible.

The city recognizes “the vital need for the unprecedented transit expansion underway alongside the need to keep people – pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers.”

“The city is taking proactive steps to reduce the impact of all construction by mitigating traffic congestion as much as possible,” McKelvie said. “Priority travel routes are just one of the ways we’re working to keep Toronto moving and I will be encouraging City staff to keep implementing common sense measures to help people during this unprecedented construction.”

More routes will be identified as Ontario Line construction progresses. To keep traffic moving along these routes, some existing permits and bylaws may be cancelled or amended. Where necessary, these may include not installing CaféTO curb lane cafés, changes to on-street parking and deferring requested road closures for events.

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