It has been a long time in coming but a solution to traffic problems along Yonge St. and Sheppard Ave. may soon become a reality.
Three infrastructure upgrades could alleviate a majority of Yonge North Corridor traffic congestion problems. There has been some forward movement on two of them.
Highway 401 Ramp Update
Upgrading the Yonge St. / Hwy 401 Interchange was identified as a priority of the provincial government as far back as 2005.
The current timeline could have a solution built around 2016/17. Before any construction begins, a traffic modelling study and an environmental study need to be completed. The provincial government will also have to provide a formal commitment of the funds which have been verbally promised.
North York Centre Service Road
This is an extension of Doris Ave. south of Sheppard Ave. At a recent City Council meeting, the recommendation for this extension would result in an intersection similar to what currently exists at Lawrence Ave. and Mt. Pleasant Ave. At the intersection continuing along Doris Ave. would
require a left turn on Sheppard Ave. followed by a right turn to continue along Doris Ave. The intersection would have a complex traffic signal system to facilitate these turns. Dennis Rak of YCCA and ACCA attended the City Council meeting and made a deposition against this recommendation. He provided a compelling explanation that the traffic flows for this intersection do not support the recommendation.
Mr. Rak asked City Council to give greater consideration to a “straight through” option that would better handle the area’s heavy traffic flow.
Partially on the basis of Mr. Rak’s deposition and persuasive explanation, City Council rejected the staff report. They have asked the Planning Department to make a final recommendation based on traffic flow.
Once an intersection design is approved by City Council, a new intersection could be in place between 2015 and 2018.
Avondale Ave. Access to Yonge St.
Extending Doris Ave. south into the Avondale area will likely create even more traffic requiring access to Yonge St. and Highway 401. A widening of Avondale Ave. to accommodate current and increased traffic volumes has been discussed but with no final solution or timeframe being available at this time.
Click here to view staff recommendations for area road redesign.