Toronto is complaining about the Honda Indy again
Today in things people are griping about on Twitter, the Honda Indy has returned to Toronto, bringing with it a series of road closures, a crush of tourists and hours upon hours of high-pitched buzzing noise.
Local racing fans are delighted to welcome the annual IndyCar Series event back to Exhibition Place this year for a boisterous weekend of fun in the sun.
Toronto drivers, on the other hand — those who don't have the privilege of zooming through the Ex's temporary street racing track — are less enthusiastic.
NIMBY time: the Honda Indy is a stupid thing to cripple the west end for. It’s noisy, disruptive, not for a good cause, and all around has just gotta go.— Alex Benac (@alexbenac) July 11, 2019
The Honda Indy kicks off today, but road closures on account of the event began Wednesday at noon.
Lake Shore Blvd. West is currently closed from Strachan Ave. to British Columbia Dr. and will remain that way until late Sunday night after the races have wrapped up.
This isn't the only Indy-related road closure, but it's certainly one of the most controversial given how frequently commuters use the Lakeshore every day.
Lake Shore Blvd CLOSED Strachan Ave to British Columbia Rd starting Wednesday, July 10, 2019 8pm for Honda Indy. DELAYS OF 1 HOUR OR MORE ON GARDINER. AVOID DRIVING. Severe traffic delays expected throughout Toronto. Severe delays to streetcars including 504 King & 501 Queen. pic.twitter.com/2dxUEBt7Np— TorontoRoadClosures (@ToRoadClosures) July 10, 2019
This type of backlash against major road closures isn't unusual in the City of Toronto (or any city, I imagine) — we see it every time a huge, corporate-sponsored event shuts down local streets and gums up public transit, inconveniencing thousands of residents who need to get around.
"STOP shutting down Lake Shore Blvd in rush hour for Honda Indy and getting people stuck in traffic for hours and severely delaying bus and streetcar service!" reads a newly-launched petition calling for the Honda Indy to be cancelled.
"STOP shutting Lake Shore Blvd on the same weekend that subway Line 1 is closed from St Clair to Lawrence on July 13-14, 2019 and Line 2 is closed from St George to Broadview on July 14, 2019 before 12pm!"
Fuck the Honda Indy who even watches this crap WHY ARE ALL THE MAIN ROADS BLOCKED— sofie Ⓥ (@datesofie) July 11, 2019
Posters promoting said petition — which has so far earned only three signatures — have been popping up around neighbourhoods within earshot of Exhibition Place in recent days.
"STOP making a huge amount of noise and disturbing local residents!" it reads. "Both Montreal and Vancouver have cancelled car races on city streets. Time to do the same in Toronto! Move Honda Indy to a racetrack!"
Indeed, the noise has traditionally been viewed by some who live in the area as excessive, especially on weekend mornings.
Shoutout to the sounds of the Honda Indy at 8 AM on a Saturday. pic.twitter.com/WyKMCmV5Ho— Richard Baxter (@RichBaxter) July 14, 2018
All of that said, the event — billed by Toronto Tourism as a "world-class motorsports festival" — is pretty major.
The Honda Indy is the second-longest running IndyCar street race in the world and brings thousands of excited visitors into the city each year with money to spend.
Whether or not the tourism dollars are worth annoying Toronto locals for a few days each summer is a matter of opinion — but that can be said about pretty much any event ever staged in this fine city.
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