Jameson Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

Many of you have written to me sharing your concern regarding pedestrian access to the waterfront during construction of the Jameson Avenue Bridge Reconstruction (May to November 2008).

Like you I am very frustrated with the lack of pedestrian access to the waterfront from Parkdale. As you are aware, the roadway and pedestrian infrastructure environment presents several logistical problems.

With regards to the bridge reconstruction, rescheduling to later in the year provides a very narrow window of opportunity to complete the project before the onset of winter, potentially resulting in full closure of the bridge over the winter and possibly into the spring if the project cannot be completed. Given the possibility of bad weather in the late fall this is a very real risk.

Installation of temporary traffic signals anywhere in proximity to the bridge is extremely unsafe due to the number of FG Gardiner Expressway ramps and criss-crossing of traffic in the area. lt might be possible to install temporary signals near Dowling Avenue but this is not an ideal location since there is turning traffic from Dowling Avenue onto westbound Lake Shore to be considered, along with six lanes of traffic and an uphill grade approaching eastbound on Lake Shore. In addition, there is no direct pedestrian access to Dowling Avenue from the Jameson/Springhurst area. Pedestrians would have to walk to King Street then west to Dowling before walking south to Lake Shore (a distance of about a kilometre). This is similar to the distance required in walking to Dufferin Street. Finally, Dowling Avenue presents many installation problems, including pole locations to support the signals, and the need for controller equipment including pedestrian call buttons. Assuming funds for the installation can be secured, installation would take several weeks. Given the time involved, bridge work will be nearly completed before the signals could be installed (under current scheduling of the bridge work).

Erecting a temporary bridge would cost over $200,000.00 and this would also require constructing a sidewalk to access the bridge. Further a temporary bridge would only have stairs, creating difficulty for cyclists and persons with strollers. Again installation time must be considered which impacts on current scheduling.

I urge you to visit the Western Waterfront Master Plan, http://www.toronto.ca/waterfront/wwmp.htm, which will be addressing this very issue, and voice your concern. Although the input period for the initial public consultation is complete there will be further public input sought over the coming months in regards to the WWMP. Dates of these public information/consultations will be posted on this website, www.gordperks.ca as soon as they become available.