Future Options Assessment and Sensitivity Analysis

Eglinton Avenue West LRT Corridor

Multi-Modal Traffic Analysis – Future Options Assessment and Sensitivity Analysis

Note: For the full version of this report, please email eglintonwestlrt@toronto.ca

Executive Summary

AECOM has been retained as part of the Eglinton West Light Rail Transit (EWLRT) Work Program to optimize and refine the approved 2010 EA LRT design concept. The City of Toronto, City Planning Division has identified the need for a comprehensive multi-modal simulation model to support the refinement of the LRT design and analyze operations including travel times along the LRT corridor, traffic infiltration and diversion, impacts on surrounding highway networks and interchanges, and other traffic analysis work.

The primary modelled study area consists of the Eglinton Avenue West LRT corridor between Keele Street and Commerce Boulevard, the future LRT extension to Toronto Pearson International Airport, and the Highway 401/427/27 interchange to the west of the Eglinton Avenue West/Martin Grove Road intersection. The model for the primary study area simulates the interactions between pedestrians, local transit, and vehicles (auto and truck). A secondary model study area was used to assess the effects of traffic diversion and infiltration on a broader road network in future scenarios.

AECOM has previously completed the development, calibration, and validation of the Existing Conditions (2018) microsimulation model using AIMSUN Next version 8.2.3 software (“the Existing Conditions Model”) for weekday AM and PM peak hours. The Existing Conditions Model was used to develop a Future Do Nothing (2041) Model for weekday AM and PM peak hours, which generally formed the basis of all future LRT corridor options analysis.

Five LRT design options for Future Conditions were evaluated as part of this study, including the approved 2010 Environmental Assessment (EA) LRT at-grade design concept with ten stops (Option A). The five LRT design options vary in the degree to which the LRT is separated from general traffic (for example, grade-separation) and the number of stops along the corridor. In Option A1, the EA-approved LRT design was evaluated with the addition of a revised configuration for the interchange of Highway 401/427/27 and Eglinton Avenue.

For LRT design options B, C, and D, the LRT alignment is primarily below-grade between Keele Street and Commerce Boulevard, with ten stops, three stops, and seven stops, respectively. The LRT design along the Airport extension corridor, between Renforth Station and Pearson Airport Station, is consistent between all options.

Traffic microsimulation models were developed for weekday AM and PM peak hours for all five Future Conditions LRT options using AIMSUN Next version 8.2.3 software to evaluate vehicle and LRT operations along the corridor. Transit priority was provided at signals along the corridor to optimize LRT operations using the City’s ATC TSP AIMSUN Enhanced API. Future model demand forecasts were extracted from the City’s GTA Model v4 travel demand model. Traversal demand matrices for the AM and PM peak hours were extracted from the sub-area demand models and adjusted based on proportional adjustments applied to the 2018 Existing Conditions traversal matrices.

For the EA-approved LRT (Option A), model results show that LRT travel times between Mount Dennis and the Airport are expected to range from 37 to 39 minutes in both the eastbound and westbound directions, with LRT average speeds ranging from 22 to 23 km/h. It was also observed that during the most congested PM peak hour, the impact of the LRT on general traffic travel times and speeds along the corridor is minimal. In Option A1, average end-to-end LRT travel times generally increase by 5 – 7%, due to more traffic being attracted to the area as a result of new highway-to-highway connections and more road network capacity. Options B, C, and D show significant improvements in LRT travel times resulting from fewer stops along the corridor and fully grade-separated alignments along Eglinton Avenue West.

A Michigan Left Turn (MLT) Sensitivity Analysis was conducted and compared with Option A, with MLTs implemented at five arterial intersections along the Eglinton Avenue West corridor. MLTs are a type of intersection design that replaces traditional left turns at intersections with U-turns in between signalized intersections. Results show that the implementation of MLTs would generally benefit auto and LRT travel times in the AM peak hour where left turn volumes are lower, but not in the PM peak hour.

To identify the impact of the LRT on broader traffic patterns in the vicinity of the LRT corridor, a traffic diversion and infiltration analysis was conducted comparing Do Nothing (Option 0) and the EA Approved LRT (Option A) operations. The level of traffic diversion was found to vary depending on the level of congestion, origin/destination of the traffic using the section, available alternative routes, and signal timing changes and mitigations applied in the area. In some cases, vehicles were seen to be partially detouring from the LRT corridor, particularly at sections that are already congested in Option 0, and using arterial roads to reach their destination. A comparison between level of service for key intersections along Eglinton Avenue West in Option 0 and Option A show no major and notable impacts from LRT operations on traffic diversion.

Note: For the full version of this report, please email eglintonwestlrt@toronto.ca