John Tory unveils traffic plan for Toronto
Bus lanes, better construction planning and more parking tickets among mayoral hopeful's proposals
Mayoral candidate John Tory is looking to add more bus lanes, make better use of transit technology, and to hand out more parking tickets during rush hour in order to reduce traffic congestion around Toronto.
Tory on Thursday unveiled a five-point plan for improving the flow of traffic around town. It proposes, among other things, to add "queue-jumping" bus lanes to certain intersections outside the downtown core, to more strictly enforce parking bylaws during rush hour, and to plan construction jobs so they don’t result in multi-year lane closures.
"Together, working with the city council, we’re going to do something to make sure you spend less time sitting in traffic jams — and that includes buses with a lot of people sitting in them in those traffic jams," Tory said in a short video that accompanied the plan.
Tory also recommends establishing more express bus routes along busy routes such Don Mills Road, Dufferin Street and Front Street into Liberty Village.
Tory also wants to keep the Gardiner Expressway intact while scrapping the proposed $150-million "Eglinton Connects," which would reduce lanes along a portion of Eglinton Avenue, after the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is built.
A report from city staff earlier this year recommended tearing down the Gardiner and replacing it with an eight-lane, tree-lined boulevard at street level.
Under Tory’s plan "the Gardiner will stay put" while options for altering its eastern portion — for more commercial development in the East Donlands — would be explored.
Tory’s plan also touts the benefits of new transit- and traffic-managing technologies, arguing the systems currently used by the city are out of date.
Tory’s transit policy also includes support for building a downtown relief line. He earlier said he would not re-open the debate over transit expansion in Scarborough, sticking with the agreed-upon subway line.
After a protracted back-and-forth fight, council opted to expand the subway line along that route, instead of a much cheaper light rail plan.