Yves Urbain, City of Toronto, explained that the proposed changes to Union Station
are at the mid point. The public's comments from July and city planners have come up with plans that would enhance the city's busiest pedestrian traffic area, Front Street at Union Station. If the current plans make it through this cycle of the process then it is possible that the 2,500 people during peak hours that travel the area on foot would have a nicer journey each day. Currently pedestrians outnumber cars 10 to 1 during the busiest times at the Bay Street and Front Street intersection.
Plans are on the table for vendors, the way taxi traffic would flow, cyclists and improving the beauty of the area.
The city is still in the planning stages with studies being conducted. Funding for the project has yet to be secured, although with the renovations ongoing some of the funding will come from the Toronto Transit Commission.
Urbain explained that the TTC is required to make sure that the street level of Union Station is brought back to the grandeur of yesterday. If the entire schedule process is completed in time for the 2014 finish of renovations the new design would fit into what is already on the table.
Some of the proposed changes include a shared bike lane, a flat layout without curbs, taxi areas on both sides of the street and a new grand civic plaza area. The plaza area would have additional seating, new lighting including under seat lighting and vendor areas. This area would be fit with granite paving.
When asked if a no car zone had been discussed Urbain smiled saying that at least 14 alternative ideas for traffic flow had been part of the study. The current proposal is considered to be the best one for the amount of all forms of traffic in the area.
Traffic flow is only one of the many parts of the plans to transform Front Street into a first rate urban mecca. Considerations for every facet of the area are being considered.
The public is being asked to be part of the study.
To submit your comments and questions, please contact:
Senior Public Consultation Coordinator
City of Toronto Metro Hall, 19th Floor
55 John Street
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6