Council will decide if Bay-Bloor scramble will be scrapped

City council will weigh in on the future of the so-called scramble intersection at Bay and Bloor streets, with a recommendation from staff to scrap it.

'It's a step backwards'

7 years ago
Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon favours keeping the Bay-Bloor scramble intersection. 2:17

The so-called scramble at the corner of Bay and Bloor streets is a step closer to being eliminated, after a committee sided with staff Monday on a proposed plan to remove it.

The busy intersection was transformed into a scramble intersection more than four years ago. The change made it possible for pedestrians to cross the intersection diagonally, the same as the lights function at the intersections of Yonge and Bloor, as well as at Yonge and Dundas.

Pedestrians are seen using the scramble at Bay and Bloor streets in this file image from 2013. (Natalie Kalata/CBC)

City staff say the scramble has provided "modest benefits for pedestrians," but there have been problems on the roads.

Two examples cited by staff are that the intersection is seeing more than twice the number of side-swipe collisions and rear-end collisions are up by 50 per cent.

As a result, a staff report came back this month advising that the scramble should be removed.

The public works and infrastructure committee considered the report on Monday, voting 5-1 in favour of seeing it removed. The matter will now go to council.

That means that unless council decides differently, the city will soon spend $26,000 to scrub the scramble from the intersection.

On Monday, Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon was the lone vote against removing the scramble at Bay and Bloor streets.

"I think it's a step backwards," McMahon said, when speaking with reporters at city hall.

McMahon said she'd be having discussions with council members about the issue.

Mayor John Tory was asked about the issue on Monday.

Mayor John Tory says council must be "pragmatic" about the scramble intersection at Bay and Bloor streets and accept a staff recommendation to scrap it. (CBC)

The mayor said he agreed with the committee vote and there was a need to be "pragmatic" about what staff had learned about the Bay-Bloor scramble.

He noted there were no such plans to remove the other scramble intersections in downtown Toronto.

"They're not touching the ones at Yonge-Dundas and Yonge-Bloor because they are working better," said Tory.

With files from the CBC's Jamie Strashin


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