By: Eva D'Ornellas
Minutes of Monday, October 28, 2019
Guests: City of Toronto Councillor - Michael Thompson
Member of Provincial Parliament – Christina Mitas
Topic: Updates on the status of the Scarborough Subway Extension and the plans for dedicated Bus Lanes on Ellesmere Road from McCowan to Military Trail
v Iain McLeod gave a brief update on the Metrolinx proposal of the BRT- Bus Rapid Transit that would connect the Toronto/Scarborough transit system with Oshawa, via Pickering, Whitby and Ajax (Durham Region).
Metrolinx turned down the GACA’s proposal of widening Ellesmere Road (east of McCowan) to a total of 7 lanes with 3 lanes each way for cars and buses with curb lane being an HOV lane and centre lane for left turns.
The current proposal is 4 lanes with 2 centre lanes of Ellesmere Road dedicated for Durham express buses only. This would leave a single lane each way for cars, trucksand local TTC buses and it will eliminate left turn lanes into the active commercial businesses and industrial units along Ellesmere Road between McCowan and Markham Road.
Community member requested a single page hand out be prepared of these proposals with diagrams available for the next meeting.
v City Councillor Michael Thompson congratulated Glen Andrew Community Association on being a well run, active and engaged Community Association in the City of Toronto.
v Councillor Thompson will advocate on behalf of the community and will ask City of Toronto transportation representative to look at GACA’s alternate proposal for the BRT- Bus Rapid Transit and give an analysis of it and see where it can go from there.
Community members raised questions that they would like Michael Thompson to ask about the BRT proposal such as whether saving 5 minutes on a bus ride is worth all the expense and turmoil this BRT proposal is creating.
v Councillor Thompson supports grade separations, elevations where there are GO train lines. He supports building an under or over pass in such places as on Progress Avenue between Midland and Kennedy Roads.
v Discussion on bike lanes commenced and that the City of Toronto will be building bike lanes on Lawrence Avenue in the future. Currently Scarborough Centre does not have a safe bicycle network. Councillor Thompson emphasized that in City politics, it is always a delicate balancing act trying to meet the needs and requests of various community members.
v Discussion of City of Toronto’s Vision Zero program, trying to make changes to traffic that preserves pedestrian safety.45% of occurrences involving pedestrians were in Scarborough last year. Mid block crossing is a problem.
v Councillor Michael Thompson supports the 3 stop Scarborough Subway extension. Stops at Lawrence (Scarborough Hospital), Scarborough Town Centre and McCowan and Sheppard. This is supported by Premiere Doug Ford and Metrolinx executive Phil Verster as per recent conversations Councillor Thompson has had with them. The Scarborough Subway is on the agenda of the City of Toronto Council meeting tomorrow morning, October 29, 2019.
v MPP Christina Mitas was introduced and welcomed. She addressed the GACA for the first time.
v MPP Mitas is in favour of the 3 stop Scarborough Subway as well. The next steps challenge is to get all three levels of government, municipal, provincial and federal to work together and provide the required funding support for the subway.
Expected completion date is 2029-2030.
Concern raised that if there is a change in government at any of the levels before the shovel is in the ground that there may not be ongoing support for this project by subsequent governments.
v There is a meeting on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at Scarborough Civic Centre at 7:00pm about a Farmer’s Market in Albert Campbell Square next year, May 2020. Community members who support this initiative should attend the meeting.
v Treasurer’s report provided by Tom Bozanis.
Motion to accept report as read made by Jack Law.
Seconded by George Murray.
v Motion to adjourn the meeting made by David Jackson
Seconded by Jack Law.
Minutes by Eva D’Ornellas