The City is proposing four changes to Bay Street north of Bloor and the Bay-Bloor intersection as part of the Bay-Davenport-Yorkville Road Reconstruction Project:
- Eliminating the scramble or Barnes Dance pedestrian crossing
- Establishing dedicated bike lanes on Bay Street between Davenport and Bloor that travel through the intersection and connect to the shared installation bike lanes south of Bloor that in turn connect to other bike lanes leading south all the way to the waterfront
- Eliminating the left-turn lanes to make room for the bicycle lanes and institute left-turn restrictions
- Adding a traffic signal at the Bay-Cumberland intersection (COMPLETED MARCH 2014)
The city has undertaken a review of the three scramble intersections in operation. Two of the scrambles are in the ABC area: Yonge-Bloor and Bay-Bloor. City Transportation Services is satisfied with the performance of the Bloor-Yonge scramble but finds that the Bay-Bloor scramble is underutilized and does not justify the vehicle traffic delays it creates.
In most scrambles in other cities, pedestrians can only move once – when all vehicles are stopped. Toronto has an enhanced version that allows pedestrians to move when cars are moving as long as they move in the same direction. This enhancement privileges pedestrians. Similarly, in other scrambles no vehicular turns are allowed. Turns are allowed here, but because pedestrians are moving with the flow of traffic, vehicles are getting little opportunity to turn and are competing with pedestrians for the same space. As it stands, the Toronto version of the scramble tries to make improvements for both pedestrians and cars – but whether it is working depends on whom you ask. Generally pedestrians love it and drivers hate it.
The City hosted a community consultation on the changes to the Bay-Bloor intersection on July 31. A report on the feedback the city received from the consultation is currently available on the city Bay-Davenport-Yorkville project website: http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/bay_davenport_yorkville/
Transportation Services will report on the proposed changes to the Public Works Infrastructure Committee on September 20, 2013 and their full report will be available on line after that date.