Today’s Globe and Mail has a story about how the Dundas West BIA faced off against the TTC in order to introduce rush hour parking along its street. Interestingly, the BIA seems less concerned about parking availability than the fact that two lanes of rush-hour traffic turns Dundas into an unappealing “highway”:
From the Globe and Mail (link – might be behind a paywall by now):
Gayley Bissoon, who has run Gayley’s Café on Dundas Street West for 13 years, said the strip was slowly changing, thanks in part to a growing population of young professionals and the nearby popular Latin music club Lula Lounge.
But the parking rule change was desperately needed to make the street – and her café, where she counts her homemade cinnamon buns among her most popular offerings – more inviting.
“My biggest beef is that between 7 and 9, it’s like a highway on Dundas Street,” she said. “… People are angry if you even try crossing the street.”
Councillor Adam Giambrone supported the BIA, which is located in his ward. This is despite being chair of the TTC, which had urged the city to uphold the rule against rush hour parking. Ward 19 Councillor Joe Pantalone, on the other hand, sided with the TTC, saying that the rule change was contrary to the intent of the Official Plan, which emphasizes transit. He called the decision “hypocritical.”
But other key goals of the Official Plan include preserving “vibrant neighborhoods” and “attractive streets.” Should there not be a balance between these goals and the need to move people? Why should one automatically trump the others?
Councillor Adam Vaughan supported Giambrone and the BIA, saying the move to allow parking would turn Dundas from a thoroughfare into a destination: “I can build an expressway through every neighbourhood,” Mr. Vaughan said. “I can tell you at the end of the day … I will not have created a destination to anywhere.” (Globe and Mail)
Like Dundas, Roncesvalles is classified under the official plan as an “arterial road” (but minor, rather than major), and it faces similar challenges in balancing the needs of businesses, residents, transit riders, pedestrians and other users of the street. The BIA and the community are working with the City and the TTC to develop a plan for a major reconstruction of Roncesvalles, likely to occur in 2009.
Link: Dundas West BIA – “Dundas West Parking Initiative Update“