A long-neglected stretch of Lansdowne is getting a much-needed facelift - trees, wider sidewalks and bike lanes - and residents are up in arms?
It's a little hard for outsiders to wrap their heads around the Toronto Lansdowne Residents' Association's (TLRA) claims that the $2 million plan to take away a lane of parking and narrow Lansdowne from Bloor to College is going to mean traffic chaos.
A mountain of planning evidence suggests that bike lanes and narrower streets actually calm traffic.
Try telling that to the TLRA's Sam Galati
, who managed to get some 250 people out to protest the plan while local Councillor Adam Giambrone
and Mayor David Miller were taking in the Portugal Day parade along Dundas Saturday, June 9.
"Extensive development north and west of the area has increased congestion," says Galati, whose group filed a complaint with the integrity commissioner claiming that Giambrone's own survey of residents, done during the last municipal election, "served to mislead the public on the level of support on the street for this project."
Giambrone contends that the decision is part of a broader consideration of what makes streets work.
"This is really part of looking at the city as a whole and making some tough decisions," he says.
Further south, the anticipated narrowing is getting good reviews. Miller points out that the area south of College he represented as a councillor also has narrowed lanes, and "it has been an extraordinary success... increasing green spaces and making it safer by slowing traffic."