Toronto

If Bay-Bloor pedestrian scramble dies, will a new one be born?

A Toronto pedestrian advocate says if the city removes the scramble crosswalk at the intersection of Bay and Bloor, it should put a new one in somewhere else.

City council to decide Yorkville crossing's fate at upcoming meeting

Rays of light are reflected from the cold street as a women uses a crosswalk downtown Toronto on Thursday, January 9, 2014. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

A Toronto pedestrian advocate says if the city removes the scramble crosswalk at the intersection of Bay and Bloor, it should put a new one in somewhere else.

The city’s public works committee voted five-to-one Monday to remove the special setup in favour of traditional crosswalks, work that will cost an estimated $26,000. City council will get the final say on removing the scramble at an upcoming meeting.

Dylan Reid, spokesman for Walk Toronto, warned councillors that removing the scramble — which has been in place for over four years — sends the wrong message.

The scramble intersections are iconic. People really see them as an example of how vibrant downtown Toronto.- Dylan Reid, Walk Toronto spokesman

"The scramble intersections are iconic. People really see them as an example of how vibrant downtown Toronto is and how increasingly pedestrian-oriented it is," he said.

A city report found pedestrians use the Bay-Bloor scramble less than other locations like Yonge-Dundas.

Stephen Buckley, the general manager of the city's transportation services division, said the report shows while the Bay-Bloor scramble saved pedestrians seconds, it cost motorists minutes. 

"We try to follow a rule of proportionality here," Buckley said.

Reid didn’t take issues with the city’s report, but said if the city is going to use criteria to measure the failings of scrambles it should also use that criteria to look for new opportunities.

He suggested the intersection of Bay and Wellington Streets, where pedestrians are "spilling off the sidewalk."

Have your say: what Toronto intersections should get pedestrian scrambles? Or, are their other scrambles you think the city should do away with? Tweet us @cbctoronto or leave a comment on our Facebook page or below.

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