Tory announces new utility work restrictions to improve traffic flow downtown
Maintenance work will not be allowed on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in downtown core
Toronto is implementing new restrictions on maintenance work in an effort to improve the flow of traffic downtown but some city councillor's are divided on the plan.
Mayor John Tory announced on Wednesday that maintenance work will not be allowed on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. within a four-square-kilometre area of downtown.
He also said that work can be done in parking lanes between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Tory specifically took aim at maintenance trucks that have blocked traffic lanes during the day for non-emergency work.
"It's not fair to residents or businesses and it's not something that should be happening in a major city," he said.
In a statement released by ward 20 city councillor, Joe Cressy said he doesn't support the plan for residents in the Trinity-Spadina area.
"I stand in complete opposition to forcing downtown residents to accept late-night and overnight work on a regular basis," he said.
I am dumbfounded by this. 240,000 people live downtown & it is expected to double to nearly 500,000 people in the next 25 years. To think that the Mayor can unilaterally announce that those residents will be subjected to overnight construction is totally & completely unacceptable <a href="https://t.co/EzBgZ4w4CZ">https://t.co/EzBgZ4w4CZ</a>—@joe_cressy
While Cressy was not on board with Tory's new restrictions, Ward 28 city councillor Lucy Troisi said in a tweet that she supported the plan.
"This common-sense policy change was introduced by City staff 3 weeks ago. It ensures utilities won't tie up active lanes of traffic for non-emergency work - so streetcars, bikes, buses & cars can move," she said.
As a Downtown Councillor I was consulted by transportation staff and I believe this is a balanced approach necessary to keep the city moving. This is about non-emergency utility work not major road construction <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/getTOmoving?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#getTOmoving</a> <a href="https://t.co/tsWDEjLEsf">https://t.co/tsWDEjLEsf</a>—@LucyTroisi
Beyond the designated area and parking lanes Tory said workers will be allowed to do maintenance in the "off-peak direction" as long as it's been determined by city staff first.
The policy will also apply to all subcontractors working on behalf of utility companies on hydro, telephone or cable companies.