Traffic restrictions caused by construction of the Eglinton LRT have turned a residential street in central Toronto into an on-ramp for the Allen Expressway, according to residents.

'What are we waiting for? Are we waiting for something bad to happen?' - Gali Bar-Ziv, resident

During rush hour a long line of cars stretches, sometimes for blocks, along Westoverhill Road. The rest of the time, say residents, the street becomes a racetrack. 

"I'm scared to play outside," said 12-year-old Ben Bar-Ziv. "And my mom was in an accident just by backing out."

Traffic is going through Westoverhill because the only other option, Glen Cedar Road, doesn't allow left-hand turns during rush hour. That leaves only Westoverhill and Bathurst Street as access points to Eglinton Avenue for those headed to the Allen. 

"We love any type of investment in mass transportation," resident and parent Gali Bar-Ziv told CBC News. "We understand there's a cost, but it cannot be one street that carries all that burden...What are we waiting for? Are we waiting for something bad to happen?"

Residents have offered to sit down with transit officials at Metrolinx and with city councillor Joe Mihevc but so far haven't gotten anywhere.

"Safety is our first priority," said Metrolinx spokesman Jamie Robinson. "We're really concerned about that, as is everybody, so that's why we work with officials like the [Toronto police] so they've been there monitoring the situation."


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From a report by Philip Lee-Shanok