You’ve probably noticed that Leaside’s streets are busier than ever. More people are driving these days, not just through our community but all across the city. Feeling more protected against Covid in their cars, or working from home, fewer people have been using the TTC. Result? Heavier car traffic, and reduced revenue for the TTC.
These trends, if they continue, have major implications for Leaside. Ever increasing traffic counts mean more pollution and speed, and less safety. Continuing revenue shortfalls for the TTC mean a greater likelihood of reductions to (or cancellations of) surface transit.
Regarding local flow-through traffic, the City-supported Leaside Traffic Management Plan (LTMP) team is getting closer to designing a neighbourhood-wide traffic calming system. Local site visits and site meetings will be taking place during the summer.
I’ve reported previously that there is a Lawrence Park Traffic Management Plan in the works as well. Both the LRA and the Lawrence Park ratepayers await a joint meeting with City staff to discuss interim and longer-term measures. We expect to have this meeting during the summer.
On the TTC front, Leaside Life readers will also recall my earlier columns concerning discussions about the future of the South Leaside 88A and 88B bus routes. I attended the TTC’s Service Plan Stakeholder Meetings in 2019 and 2020 to underscore the importance of those routes to both Leaside and Thorncliffe Park.
My impression was that the TTC had not given enough thought to the negative impacts of these actions.
Reducing access to transit is an important issue for Leaside. Last year’s TTC proposal to eliminate the 88B bus route would significantly reduce service for much of South Leaside. At last year’s meeting, I asked for a commitment that no decisions regarding changes to Routes 88A or 88B be made without extensive local consultation.
When I wrote to Councillor Jaye Robinson recently to ask when I might most productively approach the TTC to discuss options, I was assured the TTC is committed to sharing details as they become available, with both her office and the LRA directly.
We are also concerned about bus service on Eglinton Avenue East.
The LRA and Leasiders want to be consulted about potential bus service changes both before and after the LRT is up and running. This includes any TTC proposals to reduce bus frequency as well as the number of bus stops along the long stretch of Eglinton Avenue East between the Bayview and Laird LRT stations.
These cuts were already being discussed before Covid, and may be more likely now. While these measures might be influenced by the reduction in TTC ridership and revenue during the pandemic, they would significantly reduce our residents’ access to – and even the availability of – public transit within Leaside.
Our next Zoom meeting is on WEDNESDAY, JULY 7th. To attend or participate, please let us know by July 7th so we can send you the Zoom access details.