By Hamida Ghafour
Waiting in long lineups to get a spot in the parking garage may be a growing problem, but it will only last for another few weeks, a university official said.
Once Victoria Street becomes a one-way street north from Dundas to Gould, traffic circulation will improve, Manual Ravinsky, campus planner of capital and facilities for Ryerson, said. That’s expected to happen later this fall.
“It’s because of the sheer volume of people trying to find a parking space and traffic crossing paths,” he said. “Victoria Street is also a small street, which is a big problem.”
But tell that to disgruntled commuters who complain about being late for class because of lineups.
“I’m sometimes late for class,” Amanda Kutten, a fourth year business and management student, said. “I’ve noticed it’s worse this year than last year.”
Dan Aquino, a second year civil engineering student, agrees.
“It’s always full,” he said. “We got here early this morning. We usually get here at 10 or 11 a.m., but now it’s full at about 8 a.m.”
Part of the problem is construction of the Yonge and Dundas multiplex, a 30-cinema entertainment mecca slated to open by Christmas 2000.
Ryerson traded airspace over the parking garage for 20 years worth of revenues and guaranteed lecture space in the theatre. The school has use of 12 cinemas for five hours a day, eight months out of the year. The school is losing 12 out of 372 parking spaces in the garage.
Keith Travis, project manager for AMC Theatres of Canada, the U.S.-based company building the theatre complex, acknowledged there is a traffic problem but they are doing their best.
“It’s safe to say there is minor inconvenience,” Travis said. “But we are ensuring it’s kept to a minimum.”
He said the construction workers usually work off peak hours such as nights and weekends to minimize problems.
Rumours that developers of the Yonge and Dundas multiplex may scale down the number of theatres they are planning to build are false, despite a story in the National Post this summer, Travis said.
Even if they did, it wouldn’t affect the lecture space Ryerson will get, Ravinsky said.
“Whether or not AMC scales back, we’re confident it won’t affect the nature or size of the cinemas that we’ve negotiated,” he said.