Mayor Ford doesn't like idea of taking cars off King Street
'You cannot shut down King Street for streetcars,' Ford says
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he's a fan of the man at the helm of the TTC, but not his proposal to test the effect of taking vehicles off King Street during the morning rush hour to smooth the way for streetcars.
The idea has been tossed around before, but TTC CEO Andy Byford has brought up the concept again, calling for a study to examine the possibility of closing King Street — and possibly Queen Street — between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on weekdays.
TTC chair Karen Stintz published a blog post on Sunday, saying the Byford had "courageously" put forward a proposal that has the potential to improve the traffic flow downtown.
"I support him in this," Stintz said in her post. "We must explore all options because it is not getting better with the status quo."
According to Stintz’s post, the TTC board will be discussing Byford's proposal at a meeting on Monday afternoon.
Ford, on the other hand, made it clear Sunday that he simply believes the proposal is a non-starter.
"You cannot shut down King Street for streetcars," Ford said Sunday afternoon, when speaking on his weekly radio show.
"What you have to do, and I've said it from Day 1, [is] phase out streetcars."
The mayor said buses "move a lot faster than streetcars" and can move around traffic more easily.
Ford said he had spoken with Byford at an event on the weekend and personally raised the issue with him.
"I said, 'Andy,you've got to look at the big picture here. Where are all the cars going to go? Where all those cars going to go?'" the mayor said.
Ford encouraged his listeners to call Stintz and Byford and ask them why they are asking to study the King Street proposal.