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Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Yonge and Bay Streets To Become One Way?

Yonge, Bay to go one-way?

May 08, 2012

By Don Peat

Read More: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/08...-to-go-one-way

Public Works chairman Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong wants to study the idea of turning two of the downtown’s busiest north-south streets into one-way roads. “It would, I think, improve traffic flows and you’d have the ability to, I think, also include some sort of separated bike lanes and possibly add transit as well,” Minnan-Wong said. “I think it would be a really interesting approach or study … I think we need to look at innovative approaches to dealing with gridlock and congestion in the downtown core.”

- Last year, the public works committee gave the green light to a yet-to-be completed downtown transportation study to look at ways to improve the flow of traffic. “We do have a congestion and traffic problem, I would hope that council would be looking at ways … of improving traffic in the downtown core and not making it worse,” Minnan-Wong said. Councillor Adam Vaughan blasted the idea and warned the change, if it ever happened, would “wipe out every small business” along those streets. “One-way streets destroy commercial activity on them,” Vaughan said.

- Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, whose ward includes Yonge St., said there should be research and studies before Yonge and Bay Sts. are turned one-way. “We can’t necessarily do it because of the whim of a councillor,” she said. “We can certainly look at it and study it but I’m not sure if that’s the way that we want to go. One-way streets in some cities do not facilitate good commercial activity, we know that for a fact.”

- She will ask the Toronto and East York community council next week to approve closing two of the four lanes on Yonge St. between Gerrard St. and Richmond St. from Aug. 17 to Sept. 16 for the Celebrate Yonge street event. The plan, endorsed by the Downtown Yonge BIA, would widen the sidewalks during the closure and allow around 12 business operators to bump out patios. “This is not the first street in Canada to go through this intervention,” Wong-Tam said. Asked if she’d ever push for the change to be permanent, Wong-Tam said she was taking the issue “one step at a time.”


Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun files)

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