July 12, 2010
Stung by criticism over a proposal to expropriate properties to build second exits for two Danforth subway stations, the TTC has unveiled plans that would allow people to keep their homes.
The new plan for Greenwood involves building an underground walkway from the subway platform to a Linnsmore Cres. property which is currently vacant. As a result, a home on Strathmore Blvd. would not have to be demolished and no one displaced.
The plan was greeted by enthusiastic applause by residents attending a public meeting Monday night, although several voiced concern that the TTC is simply putting on a show for the community and will revert to its original plan, which remains on the table.
“We should’ve asked for more public input and we apologize for that,” Susan Reed Tanaka, TTC manager of engineering, told the meeting at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute.
The original proposal for constructing second exits for the Greenwood and Donlands stations for fire safety has been criticized since it was unveiled June 29 because it involved expropriating homes.
Steve Martin, a spokesman from the Greenwood community, said he was “pleased to see that the TTC has taken our suggestion and done something with it.”
Reed Tanaka said the new plan for the Donlands station involves moving the original second exit west to Dewhurst Blvd. No private property will be required, though the city must first approve of the road narrowing.
This option was not as popular among residents. Lisa Dymond, a representative of the Strathmore Donlands Action Group, said it was “not acceptable to our community” because it will allow TTC riders to exit into “the heart” of a residential neighbourhood.
Dymond said it will also increase the amount of idling “on streets where our children play” by cars waiting to pick up passengers.
She requested the second exit either be on Danforth Ave. or be an emergency exit only. She said the TTC has not given the public enough time to contribute to the project’s design and urged the proposal be rejected at the TTC meeting on Wednesday.
“We are dealing with a broken process,” Dymond said.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said public input will be considered at the meeting, though the revised plans proposed by Reed Tanaka will be recommended to the board.
Earlier Monday, mayoral candidate George Smitherman spoke in front of the Strathmore Ave. home where Danny and Grace Calia have lived for 51 years. The couple’s home had been targeted for expropriation and demolition under the original plan for the Greenwood exit.
Smitherman said the TTC may do many things well but consulting with the public on upcoming projects isn’t one of them.