Transport Action Ontario (TAO) has been participating as a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) in the consultations for the Gardiner East EA since its inception in 2009. Our last position paper was published in March, 2014, where we supported the “Remove” option. Subsequently, Council directed staff to undertake several additional studies – primarily to evaluate a new “Hybrid” option, and to study traffic mitigation steps for the “Remove” option.
During the past year, the SAC continued to meet to review the new findings. A public meeting on the new results was held in April, 2015. The matter came before Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on May 13, and will go to Council in June. As input to these deliberations, TAO issued an updated public paper.
The paper concluded that the “Hybrid” option is not appreciably different than the “Maintain” option, other than relocated access ramps. It also noted that a small reconfiguration of the urban boulevard in “Remove” has reduced the auto and truck travel time penalty to only 3 to 5 minutes, as verified in two independent studies. Therefore TAO continues to urge Council to advance the “Remove” option as the preferred alternative for completing the Gardiner East EA.
Our updated position paper can be viewed here: TAO-GardinerEast2015-05-11