By Philippe Devos
Even if you haven’t seen Bowfinger, you’ve surely seen the scene (played over and over again in TV trailers) in which Eddie Murphy runs across an L.A. freeway — dodging cars and trucks as they speed along. That scene could have been shot on Gould Street.
Cars speed down the wide street to make the turn onto Yonge Street. Trucks deliver stock to area shops. Boyfriends pick up girlfriends. Parents pick up their kids. If there are no film-crew trailers clogging the street, cars are usually parked illegally, making it difficult to look if the coast is clear to cross. Students take their lives into their hands every day just trying to get to and from class. If they don’t end up as road kill, the exhaust from cars is sure to shorten their lives.
But why stop at Bond Street?
The university should push to make Gould Street a pedestrian-only path from the lane all the way to Mutual Street.
It wouldn’t be so hard.
Blocking traffic on Bond Street at O’Keefe House provides a nice spot for cars to turn and for students to be dropped off and picked back up. Closing Victoria Street at Gould still allows access to the parking garage. Shutting Dalhouse Street at the Dominion still allows access for shoppers to park and pick up groceries.
Keep Mutual and, of course, Church streets open to allow adequate access to the campus and allow people making deliveries to Ryerson to stop briefly on Gould if they can’t be accommodated at the Gerrard Street loading dock.
What you’re left with is a safe, student-friendly boulevard through campus. It would beautify Ryerson and make the campus more cohesive.
The time to do this is now. The campus has never been busier and it’s about to get a lot worse. When the construction on the Yonge-Dundas redevelopment peaks, trucks and equipment will rule the roads. After the project is finished, thousands more people (and their cars), will be drawn to the area to shop, see movies, hang out. More trucks will be making delivers to all the new retailers.
The university must act now to keep that traffic off our campus.