The resurfacing of Yonge Street between 401 and Finch has now been shortened to one-week, beginning Monday, June 1, to minimize the inconvenience to pedestrians and businesses. The work is being done as a temporary fix to hazardous conditions on sections of the road.
From June 1-6, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Curb lanes will be closed, but 10-minute parking for restaurant delivery and pickup will be added at each side street, close to Yonge. Please support our great local restaurants and other businesses during this very difficult time for them.
For pedestrians, sidewalks will remain open during construction, although there may be small detours in a few locations.
Construction is scheduled for 7 AM-7 PM each day, with the possibility that it could go as late as 10 PM some evenings if there are construction delays.
A reconstruction of the entire roadway is expected in another five to seven years. A city staff report is expected this fall recommending that the road be rebuilt with fewer lanes of traffic and wider sidewalks for pedestrians, outdoor patios, landscaping and a possible separated bike lane.
For at least the course of the pandemic, the Yonge Street curb lanes will be repurposed to provide additional physical distancing space for pedestrians and short-term parking to support local businesses at a time when they are struggling to stay afloat. I am hoping we can also find some space for outdoor patios, with limited seating and social distancing, to assist restaurants.
These initiatives were supported by the Mayor and members of Council, by a vote of 21-4, at yesterday’s council meeting.
On Tuesday, I spent the morning walking Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch with members of my office staff and city Transportation staff. We developed a block by block plan to provide more space for pedestrians, especially in areas where the sidewalk is much too narrow to support safe distancing, and to create 10-minute parking areas, including during rush hour, for restaurants which need it at this time.
I hope to start putting these new measures in place as early as June 1. Initially, we will be using pylons so that we can make quick and easy adjustments as we get a more complete picture of pedestrian and business needs.