It’s the most avoidable, and it’s also my most hated.
I’ve talked about this in the past, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why Toronto city council continues to allow condominium developers to essentially “lease” an entire lane of traffic for years at a time, and motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians suffer.
Just because I sell condos for a living doesn’t mean I’m not outraged at the bending-over-backwards that the city does to accommodate developers.
Shutting down lanes of traffic is unnecessary, and if you believe John Tory, it’s going to stop…
Those two words, if you’re a motorist, make you cringe right now.
We all know that Richmond Street has been down to one lane since the summer, and yet there’s no real way around it, so we take Richmond when we go west, and the traffic alleviates once we hit University Avenue.
I take that route 5-6 times per week, as I drive throughout the GTA.
Last weekend, I found myself stuck in gridlock once I passed Spadina, and there I sat, barely moving, for almost ten minutes.
It wasn’t until I could see up ahead that it finally dawned on me: “The city has sold another lane of traffic.”
It drives me crazy.
I’ve read a few articles over the past week about Mayor John Tory trying to eliminate or reduce these “condo closures” of our city streets. HERE‘s an article from which I’ll take the following excerpt:
In spring 2015, Toronto upped the price developers pay to close lanes of traffic for their work. A flat fee of $5.77 per square metre jumped to between $26.35 and $105.41 per square metre on a monthly basis.
At the time, it was hoped developers would see the higher charges and adjust their behaviour. It hasn’t worked out that way, Tory admitted Tuesday.
“I tried the financial carrot and the results just aren’t good enough,” he said. “So now, we’ll have to use a bit of the regulatory stick, hopefully combined with some approaches that work in other cities and some private sector ingenuity.”
Oh give me a break!
$105.41 per square metre, per month?
That’s not going to discourage any developer from thinking outside the box, and trying to avoid blocking traffic for two years.
And where the HELL did this $5.77 fee originate? Why even bother?
Our congestion in Toronto is getting worse and worse as our population grows, public transit is still trying to catch up with the 1980’s, construction dominates the warm-weather months, and these road closures just kill us sometimes.
Then again, sometimes it’s not just a lane that’s closed. Sometimes it’s an entire street! Take a look:
It’s getting sad when we can accurately predict future lane closures.
Here’s Dundas & Jarvis, where I shot a video a few weeks back, showing the demolition of buildings on the northeast and southeast corners, both of which are going to be condos.
As I say in the following video, we finally got the west lane of traffic back after two years of it being “leased” from the city by Great Gulf Homes.
How long until the east lane is bought out, and the traffic bottleneck begins all over again: