Mayoral race turns focus to Gardiner, Lake Shore
John Tory, Karen Stintz critical of Toronto's road construction planning
John Tory is using words like "complete nonsense", "a world-class mess" and "simply unreal" to describe the traffic situation on both the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard.
The mayoral candidate says the repairs to the two east-west thoroughfares at the south of the city are entering a "permanent rush hour" state. In raising the congestion on those roads, Tory is extending the transit debate, which has primarily focused on subways, to car traffic.
"This is not how you run a city. Torontonians shouldn’t be forced to arrive late for work because of the lack of thought or planning by city official," said Tory.
Lanes on the Gardiner are currently closed as a part of long-term repair projects. Repairs and similar closures on Lake Shore begin on Wednesday, to get the road ready for the Pan Am Games next summer.
Karen Stintz, a city councillor also running for mayor, made similar comments on the traffic along the Lake Ontario shore, saying "our transportation planning is in a state of disarray."
She has promised to appoint a transportation czar to mediate such problems. She blamed Rob Ford's mayoralty for the construction-induced congestion.
"When we should have been planning ahead and making calculated decisions to address congestion, this administration has provided poor judgment by compounding gridlock on our roads," she said.
Tory points to a lack of communication between two planning offices as one source of the problems.
“Believe it or not, I have confirmed that the office running the smaller Lake Shore job did not communicate with the office running the bigger Gardiner job, which is simply unreal,” said Tory. "As mayor I will ensure this will never be repeated."
The city planners deny there is no communication, however.
Tory and Stintz are among more than 50 people seeking to be elected mayor of Toronto this fall.
The election is on Oct. 27.