ActiveTO started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to give residents more space outdoors by allowing cyclists and pedestrians onto roadways.
The program saw flocks of people in 2020 when it launched, and in 2021, as Toronto endured several lockdowns while dealing with COVID-19.
However, as Toronto emerges into post-pandemic life, the City says it is looking at the latest data from the recent weekend closures due to ActiveTO, particularly on Lake Shore Boulevard West.
“Many of the major annual events are returning to Toronto this summer and fall. These events are expected to draw many road users into and around the city,” the City told Global News.
Lake Shore Boulevard West is a popular closure for ActiveTO that shuts down the eastbound lanes from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road to vehicle traffic.
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Motorists and residents in the area, particularly in south Etobicoke, have said there is a high volume of cars creating a dense amount of traffic on weekends.
Former city councillor Michael Ford, who represented Etobicoke-North but is now a provincial MPP following Ontario’s election, had recently said he wanted to take another look at ActiveTO.
“We have to do away with shutting down major arteries of the city,” Ford said last month. “We’re starting to see quite a congestion build on arterial roads.”
“City data is showing us that traffic is increasing, three times the regular amount on adjacent routes,” Ford said. “I think that tells us something.”
The City said staff are compiling as much data as possible on the recent ActiveTO-related closures and will have a report to council at its June 15 meeting, at the request of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.
— With files from Global News’ Frazer Snowden