Lo­cal news

Added bike lanes and wide side­walks could hin­der traf­fic flow

Village Post - - Contents - by Jose Gon­za­lez

“The Eglin­ton Con­nects team did a fan­tas­tic job.”

The newly ap­proved Eglin­ton Con­nects project has wor­ried some on how changes to the streetscape will af­fect traf­fic in the area.

The $5 bil­lion re­vi­tal­iza­tion plan, ap­proved by Toronto City Coun­cil in mid-July, re­shapes the street with new bike lanes, wider side­walks and green space, but that means re­duc­ing lanes to one for ve­hi­cle traf­fic in each di­rec­tion on Eglin­ton Av­enue be­tween Mt. Pleas­ant Road and Av­enue Road. The re­vi­tal­iza­tion work would pick up in about 2020 at the con­clu­sion of the Eglin­ton Crosstown Light Rail Tran­sit (LRT) con­struc­tion along the stretch.

Dr. Alan Pin­taric, chair of the Up­per Vil­lage busi­ness im­prove­ment area (BIA), was caught off guard with the quickly ap­proved plan rec­om­men­da­tions. He said, “It’s caus­ing con­fu­sion,” and he’s con­cerned the new bike lanes may im­pede traf­fic in the area. He added that the crux of the LRT project is to as­sist with re­duc­ing ve­hi­cle traf­fic and con­ges­tion, but lane re­duc­tions may un­der­mine that goal. Other BIAs along Eglin­ton have ex­pressed sup­port for the LRT, in­clud­ing the Eglin­ton Way BIA and Fairbank BIA. Eglin­ton Way ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Monique Drepaul said, in an June in­ter­view with the Post, she and the mem­ber­ship are ex­cited about the po­ten­tial changes to the street once con­struc­tion of the LRT nears its end un­der­ground.

“The Eglin­ton Con­nects team did a fan­tas­tic job deal­ing with our con­cerns,” Drepaul said, ex­plain­ing that she and the mem­ber­ship were fear­ful of los­ing cus­tomer park­ing spa­ces for the sake of ex­panded bike lanes and side­walks. “Through the dis­cus­sions and get­ting to see the plans laid out, that was all ad­dressed very well.”

A traf­fic re­port com­mis­sioned by the City of Toronto does project an in­crease in lo­cal traf­fic but an over­all de­crease in traf­fic from com­muters. It sug­gests Eglin­ton would be less of thor­ough­fare for mo­torists from around the city and in­stead a street ded­i­cated to its res­i­dents. Ward 22 coun­cil­lor Josh Mat­low suc­cess­fully had an amend­ment moved dur­ing the July ap­proval process to in­tro­duce right-turn lanes at ma­jor in­ter­sec­tions be­tween Av­enue and Mt. Pleas­ant to hope­fully al­low for a smoother flow of ve­hi­cle traf­fic.

Photo (L) The fu­ture vi­sion of Eglin­ton. (R) Up­per Vil­lage BIA chair Dr. Alan Pin­taric.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.