A local group pushing for smart transit growth in Toronto hit the streets over the weekend to distribute more than 100 lawn signs and collect signatures for a petition against a Metrolinx proposed bridge in their neighbourhood.
Options for Davenport has been campaigning to stop the province from rushing through a plan that would see a Gardiner Expressway-like structure built above their community.
“It was very successful,” Options for Davenport spokesperson Sam Barbieri told The Villager Monday, Nov. 30. “We hit most of the Junction Triangle, Davenport Village, Carleton Village and Wallace Emerson Village. People want to show the province that this is a bad idea.”
The group collected more than 700 signatures for a petition against the proposed rail overpass, which, if constructed, "would be unprecedented in North America".
“What is extremely troubling is the number of people we meet who had no idea about the overpass plan or who had been told it was already a done deal,” Options for Davenport chair Laura Zeglen said in a statement. “Half our battle is letting people know about the proposal. There has been very little effort on the part of Metrolinx to actually tell the people who live here what they’re planning.”
There is a lot of misinformation out there, Barbieri added.
“The city is against it; our councillor is against it. Our MP has concerns about the plan,” he said. “Experts are saying this is not a good idea. This is such an important infrastructure plan. Why are we rushing it?”
Earlier this year, Metrolinx announced its plans to construct a three-storey rail overpass through Davenport, which would stretch from Davenport Road in the north and head south for 1.5 kilometres before returning to grade just north of Bloor Street West near the Lansdowne subway station.
The provincial transit agency initially told the City of Toronto it would delay an environmental assessment until the spring in order to properly study the issue, however, soon after making this announcement, Metrolinx said it would be proceeding with the overpass plan in January.
“We’re not opposed to rapid transit, but let’s make sense of this. Let’s do it smart,” Barbieri said.
Visit optionsfordavenport.ca for details, to sign the petition or order a lawn sign.