City councillor wants expert panel to examine commuter parking shortage
Codi Wilson, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:27AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 19, 2017 1:14PM EST
A Toronto councillor wants the city to assemble an expert panel to examine a commuter parking shortage that he says is causing ‘absolute chaos’ for some drivers.
In a motion that will be tabled at Thursday’s executive committee meeting, Coun. James Pasternak recommends that a blue ribbon panel of experts be formed to “contextualize, assess, vision and provide commuter feedback on the commuter parking needs” along the University-Spadina subway line and elsewhere.
The Ward 10 councillor said the goal of the panel would be to analyze recent planning and real estate decisions that have created a commuter parking shortage and find alternative parking options.
"We have absolute chaos since the commuter parking lots are slowing closing, particularly around the University-Spadina extension and across the city and there is no plan to make sure there is capacity to handle the overflow," Pasternak told reporters at city hall Thursday.
"It has created a lot of problems in the inner suburbs."
He added that those who use the lots are "loyal customers" of the TTC.
"These are commuters who are coming from home, dropping off their kids at school. They need an inexpensive place to park but they get on the TTC. They do not take their cars downtown and that is exactly what we need in the city. I’m not sure why it is being discouraged," he added.
In a Dec. 15 letter to the executive committee, Pasternak wrote that the problem is "particularly acute" in the area around Wilson Station.
The closure of the commuter parking lot at Wilson Station in December upset many drivers who said other lots in the area are flooded with cars every morning.
The lot, located on Billy Bishop Way, is one of multiple commuter parking lots slated for redevelopment by Build Toronto after being declared surplus land by city council in 2009.
At the Billy Bishop Way lot, Build Toronto will be constructing a new shopping centre.
In a report released last month, the TTC said an additional 2,162 spaces will be lost over the next few years at Wilson and Downsview stations.
In a statement issued to CP24 Thursday, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said that the lost parking spaces will be recovered when the Toronto-York-Spadina Subway Extension opens at the end of the year.
He said the TTC will gain about 2,800 new spots when the extension is operational.
About 1,100 new parking spots are also expected to open up at Yorkdale Station next month.