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TTC study slammed

Parking claim misrepresented, Dundas St. business owners say

Last Updated: 12th November 2009, 4:00am

Merchants on Dundas St. W. are fuming after finally getting a look at TTC traffic studies they say they couldn’t see when city council voted to eliminate on-street, rush-hour parking outside their businesses.

The studies, obtained after the Dundas West BIA filed a Freedom of Information request, show “no significant differences” in TTC travel times between October, 2006 when the parking was banned and October, 2008 when it was allowed under a pilot project.

The BIA says the studies show the parking didn’t slow down TTC street cars and that left-turn prohibitions were working to keep traffic moving.

“It just proves what we’ve been saying all along,” Dundas West BIA chairman Sylvia Draper-Fernandez told the Sun yesterday.

The TTC had produced studies comparing traffic between March, 2006 and March, 2008 which the commission said showed parking led to TTC delays.

Businesses had argued against using those studies because the 2006 study was during a mild March and the 2008 study was during a record snowfall.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross said the study obtained by the BIA is “one snapshot in time.”

“There would be so many variables in the data,” he said. “It doesn’t require an expert in transit planning to know that if there are parking restrictions and turn restrictions for example versus no parking restrictions and no turn restrictions, it’s going to be a difference in transit reliability.

“That parking is going to have an impact … it affects reliability of transit.”

Draper-Fernandez said compromises worked out at council to save some spots and telling people to park on side streets, won’t work and will take up spots that residents need.

The area has no city-owned or private parking lots.

Saving the parking is a quality of life issue for the neighbourhood, she said, adding that without parking Dundas St. will be turned into a four-lane highway.

“It’s being turned into a highway more and more everyday,” Draper-Fernandez said. “It’s not all about cars, it’s about a thriving neighbourhood.”