In 2007 there was a big “hullabaloo” about the narrowing of Lansdowne from a street with fast traffic and parking on both sides to a street with wider sidewalks and trees on one side and parking (still more parking than actually used) on the other, as well as sharrows for cyclists on both sides.
Predictably, a local residents group called the Toronto Lansdowne Residents’ Association (their website seems to be non-existent now) proclaimed that this would be the end of the world… they said that traffic would be backed up all over the neighbourhood, causing more pollution and creating delays for the TTC and emergency vehicles. You can see some of their statements on a BlogTO post about it, in addition to the BikingToronto post I wrote that took apart their argument systemically, with facts.
I biked over to that part of the city after work last Wednesday, and took some photos… so we can all judge for ourselves if the elimination of parking and some bike sharrows have truly caused traffic chaos in this neighbourhood (these photos were all taken at approximately 5:40 PM, the “heart” of rush hour):
Maybe I am missing it, but I can’t find any “chaos” in these photos… can you? It’s hard to tell in these photos, but NONE of these vehicles were having any trouble moving… there weren’t even line-ups at the traffic lights at College and Bloor Streets.
If someone from the Toronto Lansdowne Residents’ Association can let us all know if it’s usually chaotic on Lansdowne and I just happened to bike by on the ONLY chaos-free day – I’m good with that too. I’m willing to visit again.
Lansdowne is much nicer now. Don’t let anyone tell you that re-designing a street to take space away from cars is a bad thing.