In my opinion, the Roncesvalles plan does not follow the pedestrians first, cars last hierarchy. Because very few parking spots will be sacrificed in the preferred design option, the plan is basically business as usual.
Street redesigns are a once in a lifetime event. The design picked for Roncesvalles will probably still exist when someone born today is a senior. The plan is based on a business fear of losing customers who are driving to shop. We don’t know how people will be travelling 60 – 70 years from now. I would guess that if we are still using personal vehicles to get around, they will be much smaller. I would hope that 60 years from now, people will laugh at today’s car dependence.
If Toronto truly wanted to promote alternate forms of transportation and reduce GHG emissions, our elected officials, including Gord Perks, would follow the lead of other cities and implement policies that discourage driving and promote walking, biking, roller blading etc. This means reducing parking spots and creating space on our streets that adequately accommodate all users. I believe that the preferred option for Roncesvalles is a wishy washy plan that seeks to make everyone happy. Framing it as innovative is a way to squash opposition. An innovative plan would truly put into place the transportation hierarchy supported by environmentalists. recognize