ActiveTO was started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic for residents to have more outdoor space by allowing cyclists and pedestrians onto the roadways allowing more area for physical distance than ever before. However, as Toronto adjusts to life after the pandemic, the city says it is reviewing the most current data from the ActiveTO weekend closures, notably on Lake Shore Boulevard West.
Given the road’s impact on traffic, which has mostly returned to normal following the COVID-19 outbreak, Mayor John Tory believes Toronto’s ActiveTO program, which restricts highways like Lakeshore Boulevard on weekends, is due for an upgrade in policy change.
“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.” – City of Toronto.
Data collected in 2021, from the City of Toronto suggests traveling times on highways such as the Gardiner Expressway have nearly tripled since the ActiveTO and regular highways traffic have clashed together. The city of Toronto says it is going to “review” the ActiveTO routes case by case as the possibility of closing some paths and leaving others open lingers.
A City survey last year found more than 90% of respondents wanted road closures to continue after the pandemic. The city announced the decision that the program will not be eliminated entirely but instead will create a balance between easing traffic flow and letting people continue to use the streets safely. The City council so far has voted to leave 7 of the pathways permanent.