On May 7, 2015 the Gardiner Coalition released an analysis performed by UTTRI researchers Baher Abdulhai and Matt Roorda on the impact of removing the Gardiner East.
The study compared the “Base Case” (the Gardiner Expressway is maintained) with two “Remove” options. Remove Option 1 is “traffic oriented” while Remove Option 2 is “pedestrian oriented”. The traffic signal cycle lengths in the traffic-oriented option are longer (110 seconds) and the speeds are higher (70km) to accommodate the volume of traffic currently using the Gardiner. Pedestrians cross the eight-lane boulevard in two stages. The cycle lengths in the pedestrian-oriented option are shorter (100 seconds) and the speed limits are lower. Pedestrians cross in one stage but the loss in east-west capacity creates congestion and delay for motorists.
The analysis was performed in two stages. The first stage determined that regional demand patterns are minimally affected by the removal of the Gardiner. Few cars and no trucks choose a different route, mode or time to travel to the study area. The study area extended from Park Lawn to Woodbine and the Lakeshore to Dundas Street. The microsimulation performed on the study area results in a set of point-to-point travel times from which minimum, maximum and average values were derived. According to the simulation analysis, on average, drivers headed eastbound on the Gardiner during the morning peak period, who enter the study area at Park Lawn and exit the Don Valley Parkway at Dundas Street, will experience an additional four minutes of delay (20% increase) if Lakeshore becomes a “traffic-oriented” boulevard and an additional 10 minutes of delay (50% increase) if it becomes a “pedestrian-oriented” boulevard.
Southbound drivers on the DVP headed to downtown via the Yonge or Sherbourne off-ramps will experience four or six minutes of delay, depending on the design of the boulevard. More of them will choose to exit at Richmond Street. The resulting turbulence on the DVP, upstream of the Richmond Street ramp, will create a backup of 400/1600 vehicles (option 1/option 2) that will eventually dissipate but not until after the morning peak period.
The Gardiner Coalition consists of CAA South Central Ontario, Canadian Courier & Logistics Association, Ontario Trucking Association, Redpath Sugar, Toronto Industry Network and the Toronto Financial District BIA.