New ideas pave the way for street safety

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By Hamida Ghafour

Ryerson will be safer and more convenient for pedestrians if campus planner Manny Ravinsky’s new scheme is approved.

No more cars honking at students around the intersection of Gould and Victoria streets. No more frustrating traffic jams outside the parking garage.

Ravinsky’s proposal to change campus pedestrian and vehicle routes is now awaiting approval from city hall.

The main points of his plan include:

  • closing the crossing at Gould and Victoria streets off to traffic;
  • creating a daycare drop-off centre;
  • building a new subway entrance near the corner of Gould and Victoria streets.

“If nothing was done there would be a lot more traffic on Gould Street and a danger to every,” Ravinsky said. “I’m pretty confident that some, if not all the recommendations will be followed.”

City councilor Kyle Rae said he’s hopeful the plan will be approved, but warns the interests of the school must be balanced against the concerns of Ryerson’s neighbours — especially PenEquity, the developers of the new theatre complex.

“It’s an interesting idea,” Rae said, “but we have to make sure PenEquity has access to trucking and shipping.”

The proposed changes are needed because the new entertainment development, being built on the corner of Dundas and Yonge streets, is expected to create more pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Victoria Street will be a one-way street during construction only. Once the intersection is blocked off near the bookstore, it will reduce the problem of too many cars and too many pedestrians. The long lineups at the garage are because of traffic trying to cross Victoria Street, Ravinsky said.

Another proposal would see Gould Street closed to traffic from O’Keefe Lane to Bond Street. This way, trucks dropping off goods to stores in the entertainment complex would enter from Yonge Street and not contend with students.

“It’s the most dangerous pedestrian crossing on campus and it would be cleared of traffic,” Ravinsky said, referring to Gould and Victoria streets.

The section on Gould Street near Bond Street will be converted into a circular drop-off centre for the daycare at Ryerson. Bond Street, however will remain two-way.

The other idea is creating an underground walkway for commuters coming from the Dundas Street East subway. That would be created on Victoria street , south of Gould Street — although it can’t happen until the university reaches an agreement with local landowners.

Rae said the underground walkway is a good idea.

“I think the TTC would be interested,” he said. “As we redevelop Yonge Street, there’s going to be pressure to relieve pedestrian traffic.”

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