COMPLETE STREETS: THE SCARBOROUGH OPPORTUNITY
The City of Toronto has excellent policies for active transportation, complete streets, and pedestrian/cyclist safety. A goal of the City’s TransformTO climate change action strategy is to ensure that by 2050 75% of trips of less than 5km will be walked or cycled, and the Official Plan aims to have cycling infrastructure available within 1km of every resident in the city. Toronto’s Vision Zero 2.0 framework promises to ensure a safer experience for all road users regardless of age and abilities, to encourage active and sustainable transportation, and to improve the public realm, guided by policy approaches outlined in the Toronto Complete Street Guidelines.
Although the City is working to enable active transportation, there has consistently been a focus on downtown areas when building new infrastructure. This report shows that the City’s record on building cycling facilities in Scarborough has been an abject failure, with almost zero progress in Scarborough since 2016 despite significant achievements elsewhere in the city. The report proposes a comprehensive active transportation network for Scarborough at the scale necessary to achieve existing City of Toronto policy targets. The suggestion is not that this is the only possible network, but that without a long-term plan for a comprehensive network, Toronto is unlikely to be able to significantly improve conditions for active transportation. It is past time to elevate our ambition and to transform Scarborough into a walkable, bikeable, and more livable place.