City of Toronto Turns a Blind Eye to Impacts of the Jarvis Street Reconfiguration
Submitted by Andrea Garcia on 20 April, 2012 - 15:03
This month, the Toronto Cyclists Union released a legal opinion calling on a Schedule C Environmental Assessment for the reconfiguration of Jarvis Street, based on the potential for significant adverse environmental effects from the project. A Schedule C environmental assessment would address the potentially significant adverse effects of decommissioning the bike lanes and adding a reversible traffic lane on safety, air quality, efficient transportation, healthy lifestyles, cultural heritage, and the economy. This week the City's Transportation Services department responded by refusing to acknowledge that the Jarvis reconfiguration is new project, and therefore doesn't need a Schedule C Environmental Assessment. Although it took city staff over two weeks to respond, they were not able to present any arguments rebutting our case, nor did they address any of the various safety and environmental issues we raised. Due this unsatisfactory and timid response, we will request a Part II order with the Ministry of Environment at the Province for a full Environmental Assessment.
Since the installation of the bike lane, the number of cyclists on Jarvis Street has more than tripled. Despite the popularity of the bike lane, an overwhelming show of support for leaving Jarvis Street as is at the July Council meeting and no public consultation to gauge support for any changes, the City will continue to move ahead with Mayor Ford’s $272,000 Gravy Lane.