Yonge Street Re-Design

Yonge Street Re-Design
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Update March 21: Council discussed the options and we deferred a decision until we see options that also include going back to the four lanes for this arterial roadway. That would mean that cyclists could ride on the road the same way they always have (just without painted bike lines) and kids can still ride on the sidewalks with pedestrians. We also asked staff to show the options (and costs) of extending a multi-use trail (wide sidewalk) all the way from 93 to King for cyclists and pedestrians. The report with these new options and the ones listed below, will come back to council in the near future.

Yonge Street

Yonge Street as four lanes (past) and Yonge Street as three lanes with bicycle lanes (present)

I’m looking for input about the Yonge Street road painting options for 2025 – 3 lanes with bike lanes (and adding the mandatory bollards) versus 4 lanes like it was for decades prior to the “road diet”.

I am not biased to either outcome. I want to hear from the community and we only had 70 people weigh in at our information session last fall, and going back to 4 lanes was not even presented as an option. I am trying to remedy that oversight now.

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Yonge Street Configuration For 2025

Council needs to decide on a configuration to paint Yonge Street between County Road 93 and King Street when we complete re-construction of the underground infrastructure in 2025.  If we stay with the 3 lanes and bicycle lanes, we will be adding flexible bollards to delineate between the vehicle lane and the bike lane.  The addition of new bollards and the labour to install them in the spring and remove them each fall (they interfere with snow removal) are mandatory if we stay with the current setup.

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Fourth Street

We also decided that without any evidence to support change, we would leave Fourth street as it is, speed reduced to 40 KM/h and without making any changes such as one-way direction… so this means that we will remove the crosswalk at Fourth/Yonge and replace it with a full set of traffic lights when we ultimately re-do Yonge Street. So that matter is settled.


Original post from March 18th:

In a report (click here to review the report) Council will be discussing Wednesday evening, we have several options to review for the upcoming Yonge Street reconstruction project.

Background on the current layout of Yonge Street (3 lanes + bike lanes)

In 2019, the Town had updated its MMTMP, with a 10-year outlook on updating road networks, addressing existing challenges and support growth within the Town. The MMTMP identified Yonge Street as notable for active transportation and as a short-term project to upgrade the existing painted bike lanes to a separated bike lane with flex bollards (see featured image of this post).

In July of 2023, the Town retained Tatham Engineering to design the Yonge Street Reconstruction project, between King Street and County Road 93. The project is divided into two phases, with the first phase consisting of a full reconstruction/infrastructure replacement from Second Street to Norene Street and the second phase to replace asphalt only along Yonge (outside of those limits).Funds were approved by Council in 2022 to start the design of this project due to the failing infrastructure along Yonge Street and to follow the Multi Modal Transportation Master Plan (MMTMP) for separated cycling facilities.

After reviewing the results of the public information centre, online survey and consulting with Tatham Engineering, when considering the various constraints, Staff recommend Option 2 as the preferred solution for Yonge Street considering the constraints involved. The option best aligns with the
public’s opinion while meeting minimum design standards.

Note: The option of going back to four lanes and moving bike traffic to the shoulders or onto the many other routes that have bike lanes was NOT presented as an option to the public. So, I am doing this now.


The separated cycling facility with flex bollards meets the minimum OTM Book 18 design requirements and is the option provided in the MMTMP. The bollards will provide a visual indicator for vehicles thus providing traffic calming and a sense of safety for cyclists because the separation from the cars will be greater. Recognizing Yonge Street is a truck route and an arterial road, during the detailed design Staff will review options to include other safety features along Yonge Street, where applicable, including painted bike boxes (accommodating left hand cycle turns) and other physical separators (i.e. concrete curb, rubber curb, etc.) where feasible. During the detailed design stage these options will be reviewed with Public Works staff, recognizing they will require removal prior to winter and re-instatement in the Spring.

As part of the Yonge Street Reconstruction project, the pedestrian crossing traffic signal will be removed and the intersection at Yonge Street and Fourth St will be upgraded to a fully signalized intersection to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety from Fourth Street onto Yonge Street.

Interested in learning more about this? Check out the report: https://midland.civicweb.net/document/50281

17 Comments

  1. The one way idea on 4th Street is a great idea. But option should be looked at other streets between Hugle and Young.

    The option 3a or b is a safer avenue for pedestrians and bikers. In Canada compared to European counterparts where vehicle speeds are higher and also bigger vehicles do pose threat to safety due our education on sharing the road is low.

    Flex sign Ballard would cause greater safety concern.

  2. Excellent plan I fully approve of the #2 option. As a 74 year old cyclist I will feel a lot safer and will definitely be using the newlines separated with the flex bollards

  3. If you go with the bollard option will the town remove them during the winter months. If not won’t the snow banks narrow the road further and create a greater hazard for all concerned.

  4. Can’t see how the flexible bollards would work with all the driveways along Yonge Street. You would have to block the bike lane in order to time your entry into traffic and clear the plastic bollards. Return to a four lane road as it was designed to be. It was meant to move traffic and with the growth along the Balm Beach corridor we need the 4 lanes. Not anti-cyclists but they are able to share the roadway. If they don’t like sharing the roadway, next street over has bike lanes.

  5. Currently turning left on Yonge Street from Fourth Street there is only one lane to enter onto Yonge Street. I feel if repainting it would be better if the east heading lanes were two lanes instead of one. Sometimes you really have to accelerate quickly to go in the downtown direction. Also the traffic lights need to be more definitive with turn signals.

  6. Well as memory serves you ignored the petition of thousands of people when you wasted our money for the bike lanes (that seems to be the mobility scooter lane). So once again I expect you’ll waste more money fixing a problem we don’t have. Kind of like the parking issue BTW is anyone going to tell us how much money that has cost Midland.

  7. The option of returning to 4 lanes was not presented as it’s a huge setback for the town’s commitment to safety, liveability and equity. It also contravenes the Town’s strategic priorities to make greater commitments towards active transportation.

    A Complete Streets approach is possible.
    Concerns will be raised about winter maintenance and bollards. Montreal has used them for over a decade.
    The Town staff recommendation is also endorsed by the On The Move committee to improve the safety of kids walking to school. It also aligns with Council’s Strategic Priorities to enhance safety and improve active transportation options for Midland residents.
    The Town engineers have already shown that the Town has enough road capacity for the next two decades with just 3 lanes. Four lanes are not needed. Lane reductions are a low-cost solution recommended for streets with daily traffic of 25,000 or less. (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration) The average daily traffic volume on Yonge Street is well under this at ~6,000. (Yonge St. Traffic Data Analysis, 2022)
    Safety Concerns:
    Simply put, speed kills. The survival rate of a pedestrian if a vehicle is travelling at 30 km/h is 90%; at 40 km/h is 60%; at 50 km/h is 20% and at 60 km/h is 0%. (Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals).
    Speed on Yonge Street is already a concern – returning to 4 lanes increases this danger. Speed in excess of the limit has been especially noted during school zone hours. (Yonge St. Traffic Data Analysis, 2022) While 10km over the speed limit may seem small to some, it makes it 40% more deadly for pedestrians and highly unlikely a child would survive a crash at the current speeds. We can’t afford going back to a road design that encourages speeding.
    Bike lanes provide a year-round buffer for people walking and for the houses alongside Yonge, substantially improving the experience of walking on Yonge. In the 4-lane road scenario, pedestrians are only offered a small buffer from the road in many sections on Yonge. On the section of Yonge Street east of Fifth, the space between the sidewalk and roadway is 70cm. In this scenario on a four lane road, an innocent slip or fall could be fatal.
    Bike lanes improve the motorist’s experience, increasing their comfort level in driving near cyclists (City of Toronto, 2017), and help them to improve the safety of all road users.
    Speed reductions also improve the safety of people inside automobiles.
    Reducing traffic lanes from 4-lanes to 3 is a proven safety countermeasure. Studies have found up to a 47% reduction in crashes. (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration)
    Studies have concluded that an increase in the number of traffic lanes increases the risk to pedestrians. Vehicle volumes and speeds on the roadway increase pedestrian exposure. (Journal of Transport and Health, 2020)
    Traffic injury is a leading and preventable cause of child death and disability. The built environment is significantly associated with child pedestrian and cyclist injury rates in Canada. (Injury Prevention, 2022)
    Economic Impacts:
    Complete Streets stimulate the local economy and are good for business. Businesses want to locate and stay where streets are attractive. Beautiful and safe streets make for desirable town centres with a high quality of life.
    A 4-lane road effectively puts a highway through our neighbourhoods, reducing the desirability of Yonge Street as a destination and place of residence or business.
    Towns and Cities around the world are moving away from car-centric planning. Returning to a 4-lane road would hurt Midland’s reputation as a livable place for children and seniors and jeopardise the trending increase in cycle tourism.
    Children and Families
    In transportation planning the needs of children should be considered equal to other road users. For years this has not been the case on Yonge Street.
    Yonge Street houses a school with ~400 children, daycares and multiple crossing points to Little Lake Park.
    For many children (especially those living on Yonge, Frederick, Mildred etc.), walking on Yonge Street is their only option to travel to school either at Mundy’s Bay or Huron Park.
    Children and adolescent mental health has been shown to suffer when they are not afforded safe opportunities to explore their neighbourhoods independently. (Gray, 2023)
    The health benefits of physical activity are incredibly important and broad-reaching. Complete Streets can provide more opportunities for physical activity as part of people’s daily routines. Several modifiable road design features, including cycling infrastructure, are associated with active school travel. (Preventive Medicine, 2022)
    Accessibility and Equity:
    Streets should be safe and accessible for people of all ages and abilities, especially the most vulnerable – children, older adults and people with disabilities, no matter how they get around. Complete Streets help people with disabilities.
    Returning Yonge Street to 4 Lanes is ableist as many people with accessibility needs use Yonge Street.
    Road redesign needs to consider people using mobility devices. Cyclists riding on the sidewalk put them at risk.
    Older people ride their bikes too and want safe bike lanes.
    There are no other good alternatives. Hugel is too steep (the gradient for cyclists should not exceed 6%) and not connected to the same destinations. Hugel is not accessible due to grade and forcing people onto it goes against the town’s commitment to accessibility and becoming a senior friendly community.
    Complete Streets help create a more equitable town.
    With the increased costs associated with transportation, many people are considering alternative methods of transportation, including transit, walking or cycling.
    Newcomers, racialized people and people doing low-wage work are more likely to walk or cycle.
    Streets should help promote healthy and active lifestyles by making streets more comfortable and inviting for people to walk and bicycle and be physically active.

  8. Undecided! 4 was great but understand the safety concerns. Not a fan of the bollards. I often come up the side streets to turn onto young heading toward downtown and often find I am stuck for a while waiting to safely enter. Seems like when people see you sitting there they speed up making it impossible to safely get onto Yonge. Something has to be done but think bollards will be a total disaster. Husband says 4 lanes definitely. Also I have noticed of later School buses parked on Yonge waiting to pick up at school, what is that all about????

  9. Go back to 4 lanes on younge street this 2 lane and turning lnae thing is dumb if you really want bike lanes then widen the road to add them

  10. Very interesting .You
    are looking for input on the reconstruction between the road painting options of 3 lanes plus bike lanes versus 4 lanes like it was for decades .
    When I moved to Yonge St.in 1967 it was a two lane highway and in 1969 when we had sewers put in the road became a 4 lane highway .
    It should have remained as it was .
    Many residents in the Yonge St.corridor went to many council meetings disagreeing with this change and I presented a 12 page petition opposing the reconfiguration in March 2018.
    But the decision by the council at that time had already made up their minds.As you mentioned keeping the highway was not even an option at the time even
    though many were opposed.
    My petition included signatures from Waubaushene to Lafontaine.
    Please keep this as an option during these next council meetings .
    Thank you

    BA Bell

  11. 4 lanes means more traffic passing through the center of town, more congestion at Yonge and King, and more speeding. Despite being a through road, Yonge has a lot of residential areas and a school zone that would all become less safe. Keep the bike lanes. Keep the traffic controlled. Encourage “through drivers” to go around.

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