Local streets 'like Beirut'

Residents complaining about state of roads

Donwoods Drive is a doozy.

A gateway residential street to Hoggs Hollow, the steep swath of pavement can rattle teeth and bones. It practically crumbles beneath the weight of a bike or car.

“This is the worst road in the city,” says a cyclist struggling through the intricate maze of ruts and pockmarks on a sunny May afternoon.

Standing off to the side, councillor Jaye Robinson nods in agreement.

It’s nothing she hasn’t heard before.

“The residents email me and say, ‘We feel like these are the streets of Beirut, not a Toronto neighbourhood’.

“If you’re cycling or driving, it’s just a mess.”

The bigger mess is the bureaucratic red tape her office has had to wade through just to get even a superficial fix for the road that runs off Yonge Street.

After a year of calling city departments on a weekly basis, Robinson went “up the chain,” taking the matter to a deputy city manager, she said. Finally, she received approval for what’s known as a “shave and pave” for the road this summer, which will offer a slight buff of the road.

Part of the reason it’s taking so long to get Donwoods onto a capital works project list is because the whole neighbourhood is undergoing a massive replacement of aging stormwater pipes and subsequent road reconstruction.

“There are some cases where we know the road has to be fixed, but we can’t do it immediately because of other work that others might be doing,” says John Mende, director of transportation planning. “Because the last thing we want is for us to fix the road and then Toronto Water goes in … to cut it up to repair their sewers.”

But Robinson said the timelines for Donwoods are unacceptable.

She’s asked the city to fasttrack the work being done on Donwoods Drive between Donino Avenue and Ivor Road.

The acceleration will mean the major reconstruction work will be completed on this road in 2013 instead of on the original schedule of 2015.

Though pleased Donwoods will be dealt with sooner than expected, Robinson said she’s got a list of roads in her ward that need repairs.

“I want to get some of these roads back up to a level where they’re functional,” she says.

About this article:

By: Karolyn Coorsh
Posted: Jun 8 2012 5:48 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto