January 18, 2018

Tomorrow, the $51 million insane transportation plan, “REimagining Yonge,” will be brought forward once again to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.

“Despite all the objections both in and outside of the community, Councillor John Filion continues to push this insane plan forward,” said Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti. “If we do not make our message loud and clear, this plan will be rammed down our throats and destroy the heart of North York.”

Residents have been vocal about how state-of-good repair and sidewalk resurfacing must not come at the expense of traffic flow. While Yonge Street is due for resurfacing, local residents and businesses are up in arms about how this plan would be devastating to the community. REimagining Yonge proposes to take away two lanes of traffic on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard Avenues for bike lanes.

“Taking out lanes of traffic is never a good idea, so this madness needs to stop,” said Mammoliti. “Congestion is one of the GTA’s biggest problems costing every family $125 per year. Congestion takes time away from families, slams deliveries to a grinding halt, hurts our economy and environment. But whether it’s the Bloor Street bike lanes, King Car Exclusion Zone, or Ruining Yonge, it’s clear that our city has its very own King of Congestion in Mayor John Tory.”

Mammoliti believes that the introduction of an insane transportation plan for North York will only exacerbate the congestion that commuters are already experiencing. Yonge Street’s intersections with Finch and Sheppard Avenues are among the top 10 of the city’s busiest. The bulk of the REimagining report describes the benefits of the $51 million plan and the $71 million alternative to resurface Yonge Street and add cycling lanes to Beecroft Road. Meanwhile, a simple resurfacing of Yonge Street and it’s sidewalks costing much less receives very little enthusiasm in the report.

Eight out of ten Ontarians drive to and from work every day, and Toronto consistently ranks in the top five of North America’s most congested cities. Reducing lanes of traffic will only hurt the productivity and quality of life of North America’s fourth largest city.

“Any plan to eliminate cars will only back up the bowels of our city. Mayor Tory said the King Car Exclusion Zone was a one-off, but what we’ve seen from him shows that if he really had his way, he would ban cars from the entire city,” said Mammoliti. Under the Tory Administration, the TOcore plan has identified 12 streets in the city to be “reimagined.” The proposal aims to reduce the lanes of traffic across the city.

“If Tory gets his way, lanes will disappear on University Avenue, Parliament, Jarvis, College, Gerrard, Front, Queen, and more,” concluded Mammoliti.