By Jennifer PagliaroCity Hall Bureau
Fri., Nov. 15, 2019
A construction co-ordinator will work to make the Yonge-Eglinton area safer and less congested, Mayor John Tory announced Friday.
The one-year pilot will start Dec. 2 and involve a “hub co-ordinator” who a city news release said will “conduct logistical planning of the right-of-way, review construction management plans, connect travellers with real-time information, collaborate with enforcement officers and communicate impacts and changes to businesses and communities in the neighbourhood.”
The pilot comes two months after Evangeline Lauroza, 54, was struck and killed by a cement truck that was turning right as she was crossing Erskine Ave. near the intersection of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. She was remembered as a devout woman who played guitar at regular religious get-togethers.
“Her death was a tragedy as is every death on our roads, but we got together in the immediate aftermath of that and promised to take action and today we’re taking the first step,” Tory told reporters. “The city is growing at a rapid pace. And while much of the construction that we are seeing right now will be buildings for people to living in and to work in or much needed transit infrastructure like the Eglinton Crosstown, this construction, the magnitude of this construction, does create real issues for people ... just living their lives in these communities.”
Toronto is currently home to the most major construction projects of any major North American city, the city’s news release said, with 120 cranes at work.
Staff said the pilot could lead to a permanent program that would see similar construction hubs set up in other busy parts of the city.
According to the release, a similar program in Seattle in 2016 saved that city 200 days of construction and $15.5 million.
Councillors Josh Matlow, Jaye Robinson and Mike Colle who represent the surrounding area hailed the pilot in a statement, saying they welcomed both safety efforts as well as the plan to help with congestion.