Re-Routing Lawrence Buses

Count five buses in this photo, 3:30 pm.

The bus terminal at the Lawrence TTC station is scheduled for underground re-surfacing beginning in June.  The project will continue until at least the end of 2019 and will reduce the number of buses that can be accommodated in the station during construction. As a result, certain buses will need to find an alternative location to turn around.

The TTC is proposing to re-route empty buses from the Lawrence station, west on Lawrence and north on Avenue Road, to turn around at a TTC-owned loop just south of Roe Avenue. The buses would return to Lawrence station by reversing this route.

BPRO has voiced our concerns to the municipal government and the TTC.  We are worried about increased traffic congestion and risk to pedestrian safety. Lawrence and Avenue Road is a precarious intersection and we feel the inherent risks created by increased bus traffic, especially turning bus traffic, should not be taken lightly by the TTC.

The northeast corner of this intersection is particularly crowded with pedestrians – youth walking to one of four schools in the vicinity, TTC users waiting at the bus stop, people crossing to Shoppers Drug Mart, etc.   Foot traffic will only increase, as will the safety risk to pedestrians, once the new Starbucks opens at the corner this spring.

Another of our concerns is the increase to cut-through traffic into the Bedford Park community. Frustrated drivers already divert onto our residential streets because of the traffic backlog on westbound Lawrence and on Avenue Road.  We don’t need more of this.

We also cannot ignore the traffic pressures that will mount in this area with three large condo projects – the resumed construction of 1700 Avenue Road at Fairlawn, the continuing excavation and construction of 1580 Avenue Road at Bedford Park Avenue, and the upcoming development of 250 Lawrence.

Today’s existing traffic volume in our area is bad enough.  BPRO will vigorously oppose any proposal that increases the risk to pedestrian safety or that adds to the already high volume of shortcut traffic through our residential streets.

“The Better Way” needs to find a better way to manage this problem!

We have urged Mike Colle, our Ward 8 Councillor, and Jaye Robinson, TTC Chair, to find a safer, more workable solution. We feel the impact on our neighbourhood is too great to proceed with this proposal.

BPRO, along with other concerned neighbourhood groups and individual residents, would like to see the Roe Bus Loop site revitalized into a new parkette. Our collective community is starved for green space so a park, albeit small, would be a big improvement.

On April 3, Councillor Colle’s office advised us that a meeting will be arranged with his staff, TTC and Councillor Robinson to discuss the issue and work to find an alternative solution.  BPRO has requested representation at this meeting.  We will keep you updated on progress.