EXPERTS, POLITICIANS REACT TO REPORT RECOMMENDING DESTRUCTION OF EASTERN GARDINER EXPRESSWAY

Feb 06, 2014

By Scott Walker

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A Toronto staff report that recommends tearing down the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street is getting bad reviews from experts and some politicians.

The staff report looked at four options for the eastern end of the aging expressway: maintain it, improve it, replace it, or remove it.

Removal got the highest rating in a number of areas, including benefits to cyclists, pedestrians, and the environment.

But some experts say what really matters is its impact on traffic. Murtaza Haider is a transportation expert at Ryerson University. He says the report appeared to rank several factors equally, when what really matters is that tearing down the Gardiner would add about ten minutes to commute times in the East end. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly doesn’t like that statistic, either. He points out that gridlock costs Toronto six billion dollars a year, and any additional travel time in the east end will add to that cost.

The Public Works Committee will consider the report next month. It then goes to city council in April.

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