For almost a century, streets have belonged to cars and trucks. But in cities around the world, and most definitely in Toronto, calls are growing louder for streets to be opened up to everyone. This change, in large measure, is being driven by increasing numbers of cyclists and pedestrians who want better, safer access to city streets.
This transformation of accessibility, a taking back of the streets, is the subject of “The Streets of Toronto,” a video released by the Toronto Star and hosted by urban issues and architecture reporter, Christopher Hume. Hume interviews a number of advocates for safe and accessible streets including Cherise Burda, executive director of Ryerson City Building Institute, and Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto. Both organizations are Metcalf grantees. Yvonne Bambrick, an urban cycling consultant and author, and a Metcalf Advisor, is also interviewed.
The 30-minute video is timely in light of the city’s current environmental assessment study, which is exploring design options for Yonge Street. The study aims to find ways to accommodate more pedestrians and improve mobility. Changes being considered include increasing sidewalk width, reducing vehicle lanes, improving accessibility for people with disabilities, and installing cycling facilities.