TORONTO – John Tory said four or five events will be moved this summer to accommodate other events like the Pan Am Games or closures of the Gardiner, Don Valley Parkway or TTC to try and alleviate some of the gridlock fuelled by multiple closures.
He wouldn’t say which events would be moved but suggested it was part of his campaign promise to coordinate closures and events.
“[City staff] told me they have successfully negotiated… the moving of certain events from one time to another because of these schedules and because of the special circumstances this year with the Pan Am Games,” Tory told reporters following his Friday morning meeting.
Tory promised while on the campaign trail that he would chair a Road Closures Coordination Committee to improve construction coordination in the city.
The mayor is also asking the province to make some changes to traffic plans surrounding the Pan Am/Parapan Games. The province is currently planning on closing some lanes on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway two weeks ahead of the games for an education period. During the games the lanes will be restricted to athletes and vehicles with a minimum of three people.
He’s asking that be changed slightly to just one week and allowing vehicles with just two people to use the HOV lanes.
“We have to approve this plan and I want to approve a plan that will keep this city moving,” Tory told reporters. “I think the Pan Am Games will run fine but I’m trying to make them run better not just from the point of the Pan Am Games but from the city as a whole.”
Tory announced some smaller changes Friday as well, including asking the annual weekend closures of the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway be shortened as much as possible.
Tory revealed some of the proposed measures to reduce traffic congestion after the committee’s first meeting in December. Some of those measures include rethinking when and where organizers of marathons and festivals schedule their events, giving private construction companies “incentives or disincentives” to limit the amount of lanes and time taken up for projects, and keeping road restrictions limited to a certain time of day when traffic is less frequent.