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Residents block Mississauga buses

BORIS SPREMO, CM/TORONTO STAR

MINI-BLOCKADE: Residents of Burnhamthorpe Rd., fed up with Mississauga Transit using their residential road as an ``expressway'' to the Islington subway station, delayed the buses at a crosswalk during yesterday morning's busy period.

Burnhamthorpe homeowners fight back

By Joseph Hall
Toronto Star Transportation Reporter

After waiting years for politicians to get Mississauga Transit buses off their street, Burnhamthorpe Rd. residents decided it was time to drive their point home.

About 50 homeowners living along a manicured, residential section of the west Toronto street, joined in a mini-blockade of the Mississauga buses during the morning rush, slowly crossing a crosswalk en masse each time one of the vehicles approached.

``We're going to do this on random days until Mississauga stops using our street as an expressway,'' said resident Cam Campbell. ``They're showing contempt for us and contempt for the City of Toronto and we're finally fighting back.''

Burnhamthorpe Rd. residents have complained for years about the buses, which rumble along the four-lane roadway about 300 times a day to and from the Islington subway station.

The Toronto Transit Commission has asked its Mississauga cousins to use high-occupancy lanes on Dundas St.

The 7 a.m. demonstration coincided with a ban imposed by the TTC yesterday on any Mississauga buses using Burnhamthorpe from entering the Islington station.

Residents said fewer Mississauga vehicles than usual were using Burnhamthorpe yesterday.

``But they're just rerouting them down the East Mall, and I'm sure they intend to move them back when we go away,'' said resident Richard Stephens.

TTC chair Howard Moscoe also took part in yesterday's demonstration.

``There's no excuse for Mississauga Transit to continue to use Burnhamthorpe at this moment,'' he said.

But Mississauga Transit officials say moving buses to Dundas would add $750,000 a year to the system's operating expenses.

Toronto Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby (Kingsway Humber) said she is skeptical of those figures.

``I've seen wonders done with numbers and I don't think that those numbers are necessarily valid,'' said Luby.

``The residents have become pawns in a very determined bid by Mississauga council not to relent.''

Moscoe said he has spoken to Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and is willing to negotiate with her ``for however long it takes'' to get the issue resolved.




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