Thousands of Canadian drivers drove through a central Toronto street for several months with no real explanation as to why it was being closed to traffic during the daytime, drawing ire from social media users. The timing of the closure coincided with rush hour, driving people to take detours through their neighborhood for unclear reasons, Toronto’s Metro Morning reported.
A video posted by a driver on March 13 showing the closed stretch of Danforth Avenue inspired critics, who explained that the closure of a section of the street was to the city’s benefit. The city has been working to prioritize road maintenance during summer months, which is better served by a roadway that is not going to be filled with cars. “They deserve it; that’s why they’re doing it,” one Twitter user said. Another added, “Use your common sense. Here in the city we waste millions of dollars every day with street closure projects that are not planned for, simply to redirect traffic.”
Some wondered whether the city of Toronto could be partially liable for the delay. “Can’t believe @metronews has profiled the Danforth Ave turn lane closure while this is currently literally happening,” one Twitter user tweeted, posting a video with the words “How a $3 million grant approved by the @cityoftoronto says yes to closing Danforth Ave to vehicles during rush hour.”
Can’t believe @metronews has profiled the Danforth Ave turn lane closure while this is currently literally happening. #theability. #tfl — Raymond (@RaymondGaman) March 12, 2019
“I’ve had several complaints from drivers that have made it through that section on a rainy day and been told there’s no one out there to help,” said Charles Cuadros, a former Department of Transportation commissioner, according to the Toronto Star.
Cadrows, on of the bigger problems with the @metronews. Regular crashes every day as a result of the central Danforth Ave. wet shoulder closures. And yeah, the $3 million grant approved by the @cityoftoronto says yes to closing Danforth Ave to vehicles during rush hour. — Charles Cuadros (@AvenueScape) March 17, 2018
The city’s public works department said in a statement that a contractor is temporarily closing the road to begin repairs. The city began conducting a years-long study of the street in early March, which helped the contractor decide on the renovations. While there are several complaints about the street, it’s clear that there’s no clear explanation as to why the road’s closure might benefit the city at this time. Some studies suggest that poor infrastructure, such as roads with narrow lanes, are forcing drivers to carry more weight, which takes more gas to generate. But it’s not clear if there’s been enough attention paid to the inconvenience that is adding to the city’s traffic problems.