City of Toronto to implement lane restrictions southbound on University Avenue between College Street and Queen Street West for infrastructure upgrades

Construction road sign

Starting on Monday, November 27, southbound University Avenue between College Street and Queen Street West will be reduced to one lane due to infrastructure upgrades. Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained.

Southbound University Avenue construction may need to pause during the coldest part of winter from late December until early February. During this period, traffic restrictions will be lifted and all southbound lanes will be opened. Work on southbound lanes is expected to be completed by summer 2024.

This work and the related traffic impacts have been coordinated with Metrolinx’s Ontario Line work taking place at Queen Street West and University Avenue including the northbound lanes of University Avenue from Queen Street West to Armoury Street. From November 27 until early December, the Ontario Line project will occupy two northbound lanes on University Avenue from Queen Street West to Armoury Street. After early December, the lane occupancy will be reduced to use only one northbound lane on the same stretch of University Avenue until the project’s expected completion in 2026.

There will be no impact on the Santa Claus parade taking place on Sunday, November 26.

This project coordinates various infrastructure upgrades into one project to minimize disruption. The work includes:
•       The replacement of a nearly 150-year-old watermain
•       The addition of new safety measures into existing southbound cycle tracks
•       The implementation of green infrastructure in the form of a landscaped median between select southbound cycle tracks and motor vehicle lanes
•       Road resurfacing

Pedestrian, cycling and vehicular impacts
Impacts to pedestrians will be minimal. A sign denoting a detour will be provided at locations where work may cross pedestrian traffic.

Clear signage will be in place directing southbound cycling traffic from College Street to alternate route detours on Beverly, Elizabeth or Bay Streets. For people cycling southbound on University Avenue, signage will indicate a shared, single-file lane for both cycling and vehicular traffic.

Paid parking along the west side of University Avenue within the project limits will be removed and reinstated upon completion of the project.

During construction, drivers are advised to plan their travel in advance, choose an alternate route when possible, follow detour signs in place and be patient. To plan essential trips and get updates about the closure, people travelling to the area can use the Road Restrictions map available on the City’s website:

City expands Traffic Agents program
The City has expanded its Traffic Agents Program to increase road safety and better manage traffic congestion, deploying an additional 15 Traffic Agents for a total of 25 across the city, with 10 more Traffic Agents currently in training.

Preliminary data indicate the presence of a Traffic Agent has eliminated instances of vehicles blocking intersections 96 per cent of the time, in addition to a 33 per cent reduction in travel time and a 25 per cent increase in throughput of cars travelling through intersections. The presence of Traffic Agents also reduced the number of “near misses” between cars and vulnerable road users.

The City’s Traffic Agents program is a congestion management strategy that places Traffic Agents employed by the City at key intersections during peak traffic periods. Traffic Agents are empowered to manage traffic at intersections by dynamically directing all road users in real-time, in addition to issuing tickets for non-moving traffic violations. They also play a crucial role in ensuring roads are clear for emergency services and public transit.

Traffic Agents are placed where they are needed most based on evolving traffic demands and the need to improve safety and congestion. One or two agents will be deployed to a single location depending on the size and complexity of an intersection. To ease congestion resulting from the University Avenue road restrictions, City staff will be assessing the area and providing Traffic Agent support when necessary.

More information is available on the City’s Traffic Agents webpage:

SOURCE City of Toronto

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