quiet streets toronto

People in Toronto keep moving the quiet street barriers

Toronto has been feeling a lot more forward-thinking and Euro lately thanks to the addition of things like new curbside patios and street space dedicated exclusively to pedestrians and cyclists to help people maintain physical distancing while enjoying the outdoors amid the pandemic.

Though the city's ActiveTO project — for which a slew of popular roads have had temporary barriers positioned to close them to cars (aside from the vehicles of those who live on the streets in question) — has been extremely successful so far, it seems some drivers aren't huge fans of the initiative.

People across the city have been sharing photos and accounts of locals going out of their way to move pylons delineating "quiet streets" completely off the roadway so that they can drive through areas meant for community enjoyment.

It seems that it's been happening in neighbourhoods all over the place, including on Secord Ave between Dawes Road and Eastdale Ave, Fulton Ave between Broadview and Pape, Woodfield Road between Eastern Ave and Walpole Ave, and along High Park Ave between Bloor and Dundas West.

And, Toronto's new bike lanes have been meeting a similar fate, with motorists actually driving into planters and flattening metal barriers used to block off space for cyclists on major thoroughfares like Bloor Street within days of them being installed.

Toronto's non-emergency 311 line has been alerted about numerous instances of quiet street and bike lane separators being tampered with and is investigating, but it is unknown whether the incidents are intentional or accidental.

Mayor John Tory has called quiet streets and ActiveTO an "important part of our restart and recovery planning," saying in a release that "by giving people space to practise physical distancing while being outside for activity, we are supporting fundamental health advice while continuing to work to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Residents who have been enjoying the additional space for pedestrians in the city lately seem to agree that the type of people who want to screw with ActiveTO barriers are just one of the reasons why we can't seem to have nice things in this city.

Lead photo by

@willlamond


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