By Anne Smith
Ryerson’s proposal to solve traffic problems on Gould Street will reach the city’s doorstep in the next two weeks, but it may be some time before students will see any changes.
Both the city and Ryerson agree the cars that are congesting Gould street and using the parking garage off victoria create unacceptable traffic problems.
Car and pedestrian traffic will increase because of the Yonge-Dundas redevelopment and with Ryerson’s new student campus centre, which will be built at 55 Gould St.
When the Yonge-Dundas redevelopment occurs, Ryerson students may get a TTC entrance right on the campus’ doorstep at Gould and O’Keefe Lane.
Manuel Ravinsky, Ryerson’s facilities and campus planner, will meet with downtown city councilor Kyle Rae in the next two weeks to discuss Ryerson’s proposal to help solve traffic on campus.
“There have already been a number of accidents involving cars,” Ravinsky said. “It definitely needs to be changed.”
Ravinsky said Ryerson will suggest closing parts of Gould and Victoria Streets to all traffic except emergency vehicles.
Under Ryerson’s proposal, both ends of Gould would remain open to allow service vehicles’ access to buildings such as the library, bookstore and West Kerr Hall. The south end of Victoria would remain open to allow access to the parking garage, Ravisnky said.
But Gould from O’Keefe Lane to Bond Street and the north section of Victoria Street, would be for pedestrian traffic only, said Ravinsky.
This entire area could be remodeled to welcome pedestrians, Ravisnky said. The road could be raised and re-paved with bricks, and benches and greenery could be added.
Michael Robertson, from Rae’s office, called the area around Gould Street an “accident waiting to happen.”
He said the city is willing to consider all proposals, and changes could be made before the end of the year.
But Ravisnky isn’t so sure about that. He said any changes to Gould and Victoria will affect neighboring streets and be subject to bureaucratic negotiating.
Other time-consuming issues that haven’t been broached are how much this will cost and who will pay for it.
Ravinsky said Ryerson students may get TTC access with the Yonge-Dundas redevelopment. Underground retail space may be built along Yonge Street from Dundas to Gould, and if this retail tunnel could be extended over to O’Keefe Lane, an above-ground TTC entrance may be opened at the corner.
Ravinsky said his proposal to the city, though asking a lot, gives him leeway to work with in negotiations. “The worst possible solution would be a stop light at the intersection of Gould and Victoria,” he said. “That would be the absolute minimum we could agree to.”