Planning for Complete Streets in Toronto: An Exploration of Public Engagement and Policy in Street Design, A Case Study of Queens Quay West
This major paper evaluates the concept of complete streets and the impact this approach to street design has on various users through a case study of the Queens Quay West revitalization process in Toronto. A complete street is defined as treating all street users equally while enhancing the environmental, economic and safety conditions of the street, thus resulting in an enhanced quality of life. Complete streets challenge autocentric street design by enhancing facilities such as cycling lanes to accommodate all modes of transportation. The concept of complete streets is relatively new, resulting in a lack of empirical evidence. This led me to investigate Queens Quay West which is the first complete street in Toronto. I conducted a comprehensive literature review of street design and public engagement strategies to determine if the stakeholder desires in the Queens Quay West revitalization process were reflected in the final outcome of the street. This paper also discusses the legal framework involved in street design and the policies and guidelines that paved the way for the implementation of the Toronto Complete Street Guidelines (2017). This policy review concludes that the guidelines have streamlined complete street implementation and have promoted the ideology. In conclusion, I suggest that the Queens Quay West engagement strategy was extremely successful with a number of efforts being made to fully engage stakeholders. The public's desires were largely reflected in the outcome of the street. My research demonstrates that Queens Quay West sets a precedent for future complete streets in Toronto.