Every day, Liberty Village welcomes thousands of pedestrians and drivers into it’s streets.
The neighbourhood’s street design has been the topic of discussion for many years now. It’s original and current street design is often challenged by the amount of people that use it – often resulting in heavy traffic at every entrance/exit. Much is being done to re-develop the space; adding wider sidewalks, accommodating parking, and ensuring vehicles have an easier time getting to where they need to go.
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Liberty Village comes from an industrial background and a lot of its street grid is still very much set up for this purpose. Further to that. East Liberty and Liberty Street, the one main east/west artery through Liberty Village is pretty much at capacity during morning and afternoon rush-hour. A new east/west street is in the planning phase known as Liberty Village New Street but common sense tells us that could be many years away from completion.
Since the 1990s Liberty Village has undergone revitalization and there’s been some growing pains. As fans fill out from Lamport Stadium after a soccer game, the traffic can get quite busy – but the roadways still work. During community events on weekends, there are a lot of pedestrians walking about but even so, the roadways still accommodate them as best as they can.
As the future continues to fill out Liberty Village, it’s not unreasonable to expect to see more sidewalks to be added to accommodate pedestrians. There are at least a handful of streets that could be completely transformed with one-way traffic sanctions, that would vastly help both pedestrians and drivers get around. There are also several parking garages, reserved and unreserved, for Liberty Village residents and visitors to take advantage of.
As the sprawling industrial pocket has been re-developed into a creative and residential hub, the infrastructure has improved in some ways and in others, there’s still lots of work to be done.
The same gridlock that befalls Liberty Village is similar to what you’ll find in other parts of downtown Toronto – but with fewer options to get around. The truth about Liberty Village is that its growth has exploded in a way few predicted and as the neighbourhood continues to grow, infrastructure will need to accommodate the significant growth in population, cars, pedestrians and bicycles.
Infrastructure planning in Liberty Village has definitely been a challenge because of the existing limitations of an older infrastructure matched with a condo-building boom. It’s going to take a customized solution to accommodate the next decade of growth. Which means implementing more sidewalks, more underground parking, and better organized driving routes. It’s ultimately up to City to find a way to accommodate what’s ahead.