Etobicoke York Community Council looks at rerouting traffic at Gardiner and Park Lawn Road
By Cynthia Reason
Humber Bay Shores commuters currently battling daily gridlock might soon be granted a reprieve from their morning traffic woes.
At this week’s meeting of Etobicoke York Community Council (EYCC), councillors directed Transportation Services to investigate the feasibility of restricting vehicles exiting the eastbound Gardiner Expressway during the morning commute from turning south onto Park Lawn Road – at least for the duration of rehabilitation work currently being undertaken on the Gardiner.
“Park Lawn and Lake Shore in Humber Bay Shores is at a tipping point,” Etobicoke-Lakeshore Councillor Mark Grimes told his fellow councillors at the Tuesday, Nov. 10 meeting.
Much of that traffic, he noted, is originating from the “significant number” of eastbound commuters opting to exit the Gardiner at Park Lawn in order to avoid construction on the expressway during the morning rush.
“We’re hearing it from the residents down there, that it is just absolutely inundated,” Grimes said. “The residents are asking us to look at options, because it’s ridiculous in the morning.”
A relatively new community in Ward 6, Grimes explained in his motion to EYCC that Humber Bay Shores is comprised almost exclusively of waterfront condos that have brought thousands of new residents to the small geographic area around Lake Shore and Park Lawn in the last few years – with much more development on the way.
“Until recently, Park Lawn Road north of Lake Shore Boulevard West was zoned for employment uses, however, the Ontario Municipal Board overturned city council’s decision and permitted the construction of residential buildings in place of employment uses,” Grimes wrote, noting that, as a result, more and more condos are being built in the area.
“This new density was never considered in the city’s plans for the area, and Ward 6 is now suffering from a traffic crisis.” With so many condos currently being built in the area, “hundreds of dump trucks and construction vehicles” have also multiplied on local streets, further serving to bog down traffic, Grimes added.
A comprehensive Transportation Study of the area that Grimes requested in 2012 is due to be complete in 2016.
“Something needs to be done now, though,” Grimes argued. “We had a paid duty cop down there this week. We’ve got hundreds of dump trucks. We’ve got nine buildings in the hopper. It is just insane. We need some help down there.”
Grimes’ motion, which requested that the Director of Transportation Services report back to EYCC “as soon as possible” as to the feasibility of implementing the southbound restrictions from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday, was unanimously approved.