Majority of Torontonians oppose long-term traffic closures for construction: poll
A new poll suggests that a majority of Torontonians are not in favour of long-term sidewalk and traffic lane closures in the city’s downtown core.
The Forum Reach survey, which randomly polled 757 Toronto voters, found that three quarters (76 per cent) disagreed with contractors closing off traffic lanes and sidewalks for long-term projects and developments while only 15 per cent said they believe the contractors should be allowed to do so.
The poll, which was conducted on Oct. 25, also found that 45 per cent of respondents find the continuous construction downtown makes it “difficult to get around” while 23 per cent said the construction is a sign the “city is thriving.” Meanwhile, about 26 per cent said the construction downtown doesn’t affect them.
“Torontonians are as fed up as Mayor Tory is with these constant lane closures and sidewalk diversions,” Forum Research President Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said in a news release in conjunction with the poll.
“One has to ask, will Toronto ever be finished?”
Another topic the poll touched on was how long developers and contractors should be allowed to close sidewalks and traffic lanes.
About 51 per cent said the traffic and sidewalk closures shouldn’t be allowed to last for longer than a weekend. Of those respondents, 16 per cent said the closures should only be permitted to last one day or less and 29 per cent said a week or two is an appropriate amount of time for closures to occurr.
Earlier this month, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced that the city will no longer approve applications for developers who want to close city streets for long periods of time. Though city council voted to increase fees charged to developers who wish to block lanes or sidewalks back in 2015, Tory said the price hike hasn’t deterred developers like he had hoped.
“I tried the financial carrot and the results just aren’t good enough,” Tory told reporters on Oct. 11. “So, now we will have to use the regulatory stick.”
The survey is considered accurate plus or minus four per cent 19 times out of 20.