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New deck to allow for both pedestrians, cyclists at waterfront trail gap

The city is set to build a new deck — next to a section of the Martin Goodman Trail which currently narrows to a point — allowing both pedestrians and cyclists to use the waterfront path.

Waterfront Toronto has received numerous complaints about cyclists not dismounting to cross the 60-metre gap in the bike path at the Portland Slip near Queens Quay and Bathurst Street — right in front of an elementary school.

“This pinch point has been dangerous for everybody,” Coun. Joe Cressy said this spring.

“It’s been dangerous for pedestrians. It’s been dangerous for kids going to school using the community centre. It’s been bad for cyclists. It hasn’t worked.”

The extension of the Martin Goodman Trail was only approved in January 2015, leaving no time to build a pedestrian deck before the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games that summer.

“We felt it was more important to open the new Martin Goodman Trail from Bathurst to Stadium Road with a less-than-perfect solution in this short area than not to open it at all,” said Waterfront Toronto, the body overseeing the area’s revitalization.

In May, Ottawa gave permission to build a pedestrian deck over the lake’s Inner Harbour.

A sketch of a new pedestrian deck to be built at the Portland Slip, allowing for a continuous bike path in the area. Construction begins on Aug. 21, 2017. HANDOUT/Waterfront Toronto
A sketch of a new pedestrian deck to be built at the Portland Slip, allowing for a continuous bike path in the area. Construction begins on Aug. 21, 2017. HANDOUT/Waterfront Toronto

Construction will start on Monday and last six to eight weeks.

The sidewalk will remain open, and cyclists will be required to continue walking their bikes through the gap until the deck is built.

“This will create … safe room for pedestrians to walk along with the bicycling lane. It’s better for everybody,” Cressy said.

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