TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association said it is pleased with Toronto Mayor John Tory’s support today for the “hybrid” option regarding the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway.
The hybrid option proposes a freeway link be added between the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, which the OTA and the Gardiner Coalition supports. The alternative proposal simply calls for tearing down the elevated portion of the highway without a replacement for the traffic capacity.
Mayor Tory expressed the need for the hybrid option today to reporters ahead of tomorrow’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) meeting on the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment (EA).
Mayor Tory spoke about the need for the hybrid option to minimize traffic and keep the city moving.
“OTA is heartened that Mayor Tory has shown leadership by officially declaring his support for the continuous link option, which is critical to the preservation of transportation service levels as well as safety throughout downtown Toronto,” said OTA v.p. Stephen Laskowski. “We are hopeful more decision makers will follow suit and voice their support for what businesses and many residents believe is a far less costly and disruptive option.”
In addition, the OTA submitted a deputation today to the PWIC for tomorrow’s meeting. In the letter, OTA cited a recent University of Toronto study that discovered tearing down the eastern portion of the Gardiner would cost up to $37 million per year as a result of increased delays and traffic congestion.
“With congestion already a major issue in the city, it is OTA’s concern that any additional disruptions to commercial operations will only lead to increased costs of downtown goods and services. In a worst case scenario, as the current truck driver shortage intensifies and capacity continues to tighten, some carriers could even decide to opt out of the downtown market – as has happened in other highly-congested cities like New York – which would drive costs up even further for Toronto businesses and consumers,” the letter stated.