City Council will consider whether Metrolinx should be allowed to close a huge amount of the paths and roads around Eglinton Avenue this week. And it sounds like Mayor Tory might not be rushing approval if Metrolinx doesn’t start playing ball with City Hall.
There are two issues: fair wages and putting the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension through the Eglinton Flats in Mount Dennis. City Council would like to know why the line can’t go underground, or beside the road instead of inside the park. It seems like Metrolinx hasn’t been forthcoming with the answers.
According to the Star, Tory blasted Metrolinx:
Tory told his executive committee Wednesday he strongly supports transit expansion, but if Metrolinx officials don’t like being “left with a degree of uncertainty,” as deadlines loom to sign construction contracts, they should “speed up the work” answering questions and concerns from residents and city council…. Metrolinx is “certainly not up to, and accustomed to, the standards we set for public consultation in anything we do, whether it’s transit or not,” the mayor said.
Metrolinx is asking council to close a huge number of routes, including:
- The multi-use trail on Eglinton between Jane and Glenvalley
- The multi-use trail on Eglinton between Weston Road and the tracks
- The westbound curb lane on Eglinton Avenue West east of Jane Street and Weston Road
- The westbound curb lane on Eglinton Avenue West, between Weston Road and the tracks
- The north sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West, between Weston Road and the tracks
- The north sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West west of Pearen Street and the park
All of the “temporary” closures will be for eight years.
The Mount Dennis Community Association pointed out another important issue in a letter to the Executive Committee: the proposed closures will interfere with access to the brand-new Mount Dennis Station. They say “there has been a total failure in community consultation about plans for pedestrian access to the station’s main entrance” and that pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders will be affected.
Metrolinx is also facing “adamant and unreserved opposition” from the International Union of Operating Engineers for their refusal to follow Toronto’s Fair Wage Policy.