Residents in the Three Valleys community between York Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East got the ear of the city’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Wednesday, to reassess the level of noise they’re suffering from the non-stop traffic on the Don Valley Parkway.
The residents had submitted a petition, asking that an existing noise barrier along the west side of the highway be extended to muffle the sound.
But city staff pointed out that a 2006 noise assessment indicated existing and future noise levels wouldn’t warrant a barrier, which could cost as much as $1 million.
Resident Dana Dvorak argued that the noise study wasn’t representative. And she said a noise attenuation wall on the east side of the highway made things worse.
“While there is a wall on the east side of the Parkway, there is nothing to block the noise from reaching our area,” she said. “Our noise problem has become much worse ever since this wall on the east side was built. The traffic noise bounces off the wall and carries straight over top of the ravine into our community.”
The committee wouldn’t go as far as building a wall. But committee chair (and local Don Valley East Councillor) Denzil Minnan-Wong said it made sense to redo the noise assessment.
“A million dollars is a lot of money that we should only spend if it’s necessary,” he said, adding that doing the second study would be a more economical approach.
Minnan-Wong moved a motion that the study be conducted at a location agreed to by the residents, and that the matter only come back to the committee if the noise levels exceeded 60 decibels.
“If it meets those standards, it’ll come back for consideration; if it doesn’t meet the standards, that’ll be the end of it,” he said.