Hundreds of drivers have been inconvenienced over the past seven months
Drivers puzzled by lane closed for months on busy Toronto street for no apparent reason
Hundreds of drivers have been inconvenienced over the past seven months because a busy Toronto street was shut down due to ongoing repairs without any apparent reason.
Travellers were told they couldn’t get around the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) because it was closed for a construction project. It then became clear that the closure was part of a Canada Day long weekend festival that had since left the road in disarray.
“If I had been driving down that road, I would have crashed,” Toronto Liberal MP Mark Holland told CBC Toronto. “There’s a minimum amount of opportunity to absorb all of that information in seconds. This has been the most disappointing experience I’ve had with a government road closure.”
The regular road closures came in at a time when Canada is grappling with severe traffic congestion across the country, leaving many commuters angry.
The closure on DVP began in March 2018. On Canada Day, municipal authorities shut off DVP access to parts of the street, which is particularly heavily used by evening commuters between 4 and 8pm. After a May long weekend, as Toronto gears up for the start of the summer tourist season, the project was refilled, without explanation.
On Sunday, Toronto was hit with torrential rain, leading to serious flooding that closed several major roads, including DVP.
The Los Angeles city councilman Paul Koretz tweeted on Sunday: “Fun reminder: Carpool. Take transit. Or avoid DVP altogether. Don’t drive in #LA which looks like this.”
Rainfall fell at more than 5cm per hour in parts of Los Angeles. Some downtown streets were closed after drains overflowed and ran into downtown buildings.
People have been frustrated with delays caused by the project. Amanda Tam @amanda__tam tweeted on Sunday: “Come on we’re Toronto! Try and get home for dinner! Give it time we’ll be home soon!”
And Derek Collins @y1vone commented: “Subway. Tunnels. Metro & buses. Cabs. And we still can’t get home.”
The Don Valley Parkway is one of Toronto’s most congested roads and is supposed to last 1,000 years. As of March 2018, the stretch of road – linking Toronto Pearson airport to the village of Etobicoke – took nearly two hours to travel.
A Canada Day long weekend event on the stretch of the road was a constant frustration for nearby commuters. People were stopped from parking in front of businesses and were forced to walk over the fallen street. Workers at businesses like restaurants, coffee shops and service outlets reported being swamped by a wave of people who were frustrated when they could not get to work.
The closures came amid a lengthy delay in completing a $64m road project that was supposed to wrap up by the end of 2018.
A Toronto city spokesperson, Erica VanSylvie, said they were considering using signs with maps to alert drivers about the road closure.
Toronto’s city council has said it will look into the DVP project. Mayor John Tory said the closure has been among his frustrations with Toronto’s city council.