Toronto the Careful™ has struck again.
Call me jaded but the plan to open up Toronto’s streets to pedestrians and cyclists seems to be (like most council actions in our fair city) massively underwhelming and certainly in Ward 5 the selection of streets doesn’t seem to address the spirit of the initiative. The idea was to ensure that, “…people have space to get around on sidewalks while respecting physical distancing“.
57 km or a minuscule 1.7% of Toronto’s 3,322 km of neighbourhood streets (excludes expressways, arterial and collector roads) will be temporarily signed and barricaded off to all but local traffic. York South-Weston is giving this treatment to 3.7 kilometres of its streets. Sadly none are in Weston or Mount Dennis.
The Ward 5 closed off streets will be:
|Bicknell Ave||Rogers Rd||Eglinton Ave||0.9 km|
|Silverthorn Ave||St. Clair Ave W||Donald Ave|| |
Total of 2.8 km
|Donald Ave||Silverthorn Ave||Haverson Blvd|
|Haverson Blvd||Donald Ave||Cameron Ave|
|Blackthorn Ave||Cameron Ave||Eglinton Ave W|
Council felt the need to do something, and something, albeit timid and careful has been done. At least they restrained themselves from calling it a pilot. Additional streets will be considered ‘thereafter’.
According to Councillor Nunziata’s update, the criteria for selection of these streets was, “…several factors including, but not limited to, population density, equity, access to greenspace, car ownership rates, and traffic volumes.“. The councillor’s selection appears to be entirely inside her newly acquired constituency – Frank DiGiorgio’s former Ward 12 so perhaps this is a little nod to them.
Incidentally, all but one of the selected streets have sidewalks on both sides so it’s hard to imagine crowds of people jostling for space.
Readers are invited to suggest locations in Weston and Mount Dennis that might be more suitable. We will forward them to the councillor for future consideration.
Update: The city has published their list of ‘Quiet Streets’ and the Ward 5 selections are nowhere to be seen.