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Toronto to temporarily fix access to Wheel-Trans blocked by Bloor Street bike lane

Click to play video: 'City failed to fix access to Wheel-Trans blocked by Bloor Street bike lane' City failed to fix access to Wheel-Trans blocked by Bloor Street bike lane
WATCH ABOVE: City failed to fix access to Wheel-Trans blocked by Bloor Street bike lane – Nov 15, 2016

As cyclists zip past on their morning commute, Kaley Roosen is left at the curb.

“I’m really frustrated,” she said.

She alerted the city in early September that the new bike lane made her journey dangerous.

The city built the bike lane between the sidewalk and where Wheel-Trans stops.

READ MORE: Some Toronto Wheel-Trans passengers say they’ve been left at the curb due to new bike lane

Prior to the bike lane being built, a Wheel-Trans bus could pull up to the sidewalk and lower its ramp across the curb.

Now that’s impossible.

Roosen said the city ignored her appeals for action.

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Just over two weeks ago staff told Global News that they would slope the curb with what is known as a “curb cut.”

“We expect it will be installed within two weeks,” said Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, Manager of Cycling Infrastructure and Programs for the City of Toronto.

It has not been done.

WATCH: Wheel-Trans passengers say they’ve been left at the curb due to new bike lane

Click to play video: 'Wheel-Trans passengers say they’ve been left at the curb due to new bike lane' Wheel-Trans passengers say they’ve been left at the curb due to new bike lane
Wheel-Trans passengers say they’ve been left at the curb due to new bike lane – Oct 31, 2016

“I haven’t heard anything from the city. I haven’t heard a response from my initial two complaints, haven’t seen any work done,” said Roosen.

Global News followed up with two city councillors.

Joe Cressy, Councillor for Ward 20 said staff assured him that it will be fixed “imminently.”

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“I hope as soon as today, imminently is what I was told by city staff,” he responded when asked what he expected staff meant by “imminently.”

Cressy was also asked why, if staff knew about the problem in early September, it still hasn’t been fixed in mid-November.

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“This is a design that has been done as a pilot, so that you can make changes,” he said. “Had we gone in and done a permanent installation with significant capital repairs it would take years to fix.”

There are still questions as to how access for people with disabilities was overlooked in the first place.

The building fronting the area is an accessible Toronto Community Housing building, with almost a dozen assisted living apartments.

“It sadly is not very surprising,” said Lubna Alsan, with Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.

She said all too often people with disabilities are left out of the planning process.

READ MORE: Advocate fights for more accessibility at federal election polling stations

She added that including them during the process, instead of after, is common sense.

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“This is the question I want to ask the city, ‘Why are we not at the planning table? Please?,'” she said.

The city claims Wheel-Trans was consulted. But the TTC, which runs Wheel-Trans, said while meetings were scheduled — they did not happen.

“I don’t see any evidence that accessibility was considered,” noted Roosen.

After speaking to Global News two weeks ago, city staff now refuse to do an on-camera interview.

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Initially, they sent a brief statement saying they would have the curb cut done “as soon as possible.”

Later, they followed up with a more detailed reply.

“We anticipated that the work would be done by mid-November. Unfortunately, this is not the case as we are still waiting for underground utility locates to be completed so that we are able to safely dig in the area to cut the curb to create the ramp,” Hayward Gulati said in a statement.

“We apologize for the delay in completing this work. In light of the fact that this work took longer than originally anticipated, our staff will provide a temporary asphalt ramp at this location until such time as the permanent curb cut can be installed.”

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The city said the temporary ramp would be installed within 24 hours.

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