Berardinetti will ask council next week to vote to reject the “absolutely ridiculous” greenway plans for the Eglinton LRT where it runs above ground in Scarborough.
She is also asking council to push to allow emergency vehicles to enter and exit the trackway when responding to emergency calls and creating separated bike lanes along the street rather than the current plan, which wouldn’t separate the bike lanes.
“It is all about safety,” she told the Toronto Sun. “They are worried about a visual impact and I’m worried about the impact of emergency services and safety.”
The Scarborough Southwest (Ward 35) councillor said the greenway — where grass would be planted in spots along the LRT lines — would prevent fire trucks and other first responders from using the right-of-way to respond to emergencies.
“If the green grass is gone, the emergency vehicles can access the trackway,” Berardinetti said. “It’s about emergency vehicles and it is about time.”
Installing the greenway is 22% more costly than building traditional track.
She argued separated bike lanes were dumped from the project to allow for the greenway.
“I think it is absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
Metrolinx spokesman Jamie Robinson said city planning officials were “keenly interested” in having green trackway along certain portions of the Crosstown in Scarborough.
The city has agreed to fund the greenway, he added.
“We embraced that and so there will be green trackway along portions of the surface section in Scarborough,” Robinson said. “That’s in the project specifications.”
He said emergency officials raised the issue withe Metrolinx of being able to cross the trackway in the event of an emergency.
“There are a series of locations where emergency vehicles will be able to cross back and forth across the track,” he said.
But he confirmed emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to jump onto the right-of-way and use them as a clear path to respond to an emergency.
“It is not necessary,” Robinson said.
“Emergency vehicles will not be able to travel down the right-of-way.”
Robinson stressed there are bike lanes planned for Eglinton but they are not separated.
Asked why they aren’t, Robinson said there is a “significant” cost.
“It has not been an issue, it has not been a requirement and we’re not building separated bike lanes,” he said.
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