Way back in 2006 Toronto saw a test-run of a cyclist and pedestrian-friendly Queens Quay… a re-imagination of the street that closed the eastbound lanes to cars and turned them over to pedestrians and cyclists and landscaping.
It was an amazing 10 days when the street was like this … fully physically separate bikelanes along the central (and most important part of) the waterfront.
The wheels of municipal bureaucracy have been turning in the almost 5 years since this test run was done in August 2006, and Waterfront Toronto has been slowly but surely getting our waterfront up to world-class standards, with projects like Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common, and the tons of work being done with land adjacent to the Don River.
Questions have been raised during the last week about if this project will actually happen due to the Toronto Transit Commission essentially issuing a “show us the money” statement to Waterfront Toronto. The TTC has to re-build the Queens Quay streetcar tracks next year and wants to make sure the pedestrian and cyclist-friendly design being planned has funding in place as the TTC has to re-align the tracks slightly to fit them into the new plan.
It sounds like this may just be a breakdown in communication, as Waterfront Toronto and the TTC have been discussing this project (and others for years). It looks like all Waterfront Toronto has to do is “move around some money” amongst it’s many projects to ensure that this one has enough money to satisfy the TTC. This money moving needs City approval to be done.
However, if the City does NOT approve this money movement… the TTC will re-build the tracks in the same place they are in now, which will mean Waterfront Toronto will have to pay extra to have the tracks moved in the future OR there will have to be a whole new plan formulated to accomodate cars on the north side (westbound) of the tracks.
Cyclists SHOULD be worried about another delay in getting this project done (it was originally scheduled to be done in 2008). This is the centerpiece of our Waterfront – and will be immensely popular with Torontonians AND tourists.
If more news comes out about this, we’ll let you know.
Some Past BikingToronto Posts on Queens Quay:
- Photos of New Pedestrian and Cyclist Friendly Queens Quay (August 2006)
- Queens Quay Bikelanes in Jeopardy (September 2007)
- Waterfront Toronto Unveils Queens Quay Plan (March 2009)
- Queens Quay Revitalization Update (October 2009)