Local residents have asked the city to consider closing the laneway between Lawrence Avenue and MacDonald because they have had concerns about “illegal and antisocial behaviours”.
The city is recommending against closing the laneway, and the issue will be decided at the next Etobicoke York Community Council meeting on June 14. Community Council often overrules staff recommendations.
Residents have complained for several years about the laneways, and have asked to have them closed by fences. The city says they provide efficient pedestrian access, especially for Weston CI students—300 of whom use the laneways every day around lunch time. Staff also worry that closing them will actually encourage crime by taking eyes off the street, and by providing a surface for graffiti.
Your correspondent can’t help but think that this is a fairly simple problem to solve. The city could put up lights, and a nearby resident could put up a camera to monitor for this putative illegal activity. Or she could play opera and drive the teens away.
Dreaming big: they could be made into parkettes, to bring more pedestrians and more community enforcement, instead of more privatized public space.