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Dundas West businesses fight to save parking spots

Sep 29, 2009 04:49 PM
Tess Kalinowski
transportation reporter

Businesses on Dundas St. West say they will consider their legal options if Toronto City Council votes this week to eliminate rush-hour parking and cut other round-the-clock spots on their street between Dovercourt Rd. and Lansdowne Ave.

The city plan, which would also put pay-and-display parking on side streets and eliminate 51 permit-parking spots will devastate some small businesses, according to the Dundas West Business Improvement Area.

“It’s difficult enough to run a live music venue - we’re just worried this will put us over the edge,” said Tracy Jenkins, general manager of Lula Lounge. “I really don’t know if we could survive. We’re already struggling with the economic downturn.”

The city has justified its decision based on a TTC study that compared traffic flow in March 2006 to the same month in 2008, said Sylvia Fernandez, head of the BIA.

But the comparison is unfair because the weather in March 2006 was unusually mild, compared with a record snowfall two years later, she said.

Mayor David Miller asked the Toronto Parking Authority to come up with some parking in the area, “But they’ve not come up with any solid leads,” she said, adding there are no Green-P lots.

The impact of reducing left turns at intersections on the same stretch of Dundas West should be studied before parking is removed, Fernandez said.

The city delayed voting on the plan in April to allow time for the BIA to come up with a solution with the local councillor, Adam Giambrone. But a last-minute meeting with staff from Giambrone’s office on Monday didn’t yield a compromise, Jenkins said.

“It felt as though we were talking to the TTC and not to our councillor, since the only factor that they are willing to consider for our neighbourhood is streetcar speed,” she said. “I think we’re all feeling that we don’t have any representation at the municipal level because we have the bad luck of having the TTC chair as our councillor.”

But Giambrone said many residents and motorists are pleased by the proposed changes because they will move traffic into the curb lanes, enabling both cars and transit to travel faster.




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