Traffic study of proposed development at 1100 Briar Hill Ave. Toronto

For an example of active children being left out of the planning process in Toronto, have a look at this 2013 traffic study submitted for a 136 unit housing development (ironically on the site of a former elementary school).

The report is 28 pages long, and has another five dozen pages of tables summarizing current technical studies done on traffic volumes.  There is a small section on the number of bike racks are needed to comply with city by-laws (141) and a 70-word description of nearby official biking routes (with a map).  No data is provided for bicycling volume either on the bike routes or on other local streets.

In the section labelled “Intersection Capacity Analysis” the report’s authors conclude that “all four quadrants of the intersection are adequately equipped with sidewalks and crosswalks to facilitate pedestrian movement”, without any supporting data. The sidewalks on the south and east sides of the intersection are far from generous.  In winter, the snow pushed from the adjacent streets make the sidewalks so narrow that wheelchairs and strollers sometimes can’t get by.   A longer section on “Estimated Pedestrian Trips” provides only cursory decade-old City data to support the planner’s conclusion.

Finally, the report makes no mention at all of a rapid transit station that will be located a 10 minute walk from the development which will certainly add to active transportation volumes.  The development is being marketed as one “where residents can work, shop and live within the same area reducing their need for the use of cars” but the report to the City asking for approval of this project pretty much ignores everything but cars.