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Should Yonge Street Lose a Lane?

As part of the GTA Transport Summit on Wednesday, Gary Welsh, Toronto's General Manager of Transportation, suggested that Yonge Street could be narrowed down to three car lanes south of Bloor to expand sidewalks, discourage car use, and benefit pedestrians. It's an interesting idea for a strip of the city that sees so much pedestrian traffic; for all its vibrancy, Yonge Street (particularly between College and Bloor) is not the most attractive or walkable street in Toronto.

Two articles reporting the story cite the obvious concern of increased traffic congestion. While drivers would definitely have a lot to complain about, the reduction would help Yonge not because of what it removes, but because of what it could add. With a lane of traffic gone there might actually be room for trees, some public art, and maybe even bike lanes.

With Yonge as important a driving route as it is, though, I have a feeling it's an idea that'll have a tough time getting off the ground.

Image by Metrix X from the blogTO flickr pool.


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