Gardiner grief: delays, lane closures a sign of things to come
Long-term lane closures on Toronto’s busy Gardiner Expressway begin today and mark the start of a long-term repair project that will add extra time to an already busy morning commute for the next few years.
On Monday morning the left lanes on both the eastbound and westbound Gardiner were closed between Park Lawn Road and Strachan Avenue. The closures are part of long-term construction work on the Gardiner that will continue through to 2016.
“On my way in to work this morning, the road was already slower than usual,” CBC’s Linda Ward reported.
In the early morning hours there were further lane restrictions eastbound from the Humber River to Carlaw. Those extra closures were removed up as of 5 a.m.
Things didn’t get much easier as the morning wore on. CBC overnight reporter Tony Smyth reported stop-and-go traffic on the eastbound Gardiner at 6:40 a. m
As a result of the construction work, eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard was also very slow Monday morning.
There were also a dozen collisions on the Gardiner Monday morning, three of them involving injuries.
Other details about the long-term repair work on the Gardiner:
The work and the lane closures it creates will continue until December 2016 with a pause for next summer’s Pan Am Games.
During this period, crews will repair three bridges on the Gardiner between the Humber River and Park Lawn Road. There will also be work done this summer to replace the centre median between Ellis Avenue and Dufferin Street.
GO Transit officials say they expect the work will cause delays during peak hours on the following bus routes: 16, 21 and 31.
“You’ll definitely need to give yourself more time in the mornings,” Ward reported. “These delays are going to be the new normal for the next few years.” (Source: CBC News)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 22, 2011
Touch and GO on LRT
MPP Ted McMeekin says there’s little chance Hamilton will land Light Rapid Transit unless the city makes it a priority.“My read on LRT, put very simply, is we’ll take our cues from the City of Hamilton,” he said. “Let me say it as bluntly as I can: If LRT is not a priority for the city council and the citizens it represents, the province is highly unlikely to come to the table with big bucks to do it.”
McMeekin’s comments mark the second time this week a provincial official has stressed the importance of the city’s enthusiasm and desire for securing LRT. Earlier this week, Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency in charge of rapid transit, said public support will be “critical to successfully implementing the rapid transit this region needs.”
Those comments come after City Manager Chris Murray and Mayor Bob Bratina signalled a move away from pursuing LRT in favour of prioritizing all-day GO service. Part of that move was to suspend all non-essential work on LRT, which means a study of development possibilities along the LRT line will be cut short and the number of city staff working on LRT will shrink from six or seven to one.
This week, LRT advocates have raised concerns about how the city’s apparent cooling on the issue would be affected by comments from city hall.
However, in contrast to his comments earlier this week, Bratina said Thursday that LRT is a priority. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)