Mayor John Tory’s endorsement of a $2 toll for motorists on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway has garnered both applause and criticism.
That being said, East York residents may have cause for concern. Councillor Janet Davis of Ward 31/Beaches-East York says the tolls would result in a significant amount of traffic leaving the expressway and entering East York roads.
“There will be a 12-per-cent diversion into local streets from the DVP and nine per cent from the Gardiner Expressway,” she says.
According to Davis, these estimates were presented in a report provided by Toronto city staff. It gave no further information about the impact of tolls on local roadways, she says.
The proposed tolls could raise $166 million per year in revenue and pay for $33 billion of unfunded infrastructure projects such as Smart Track and the downtown relief line. They could also lessen commute times by two to eight minutes.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said in a news release that the polls will cause “gridlock” in nearby streets. It has launched an online petition to stop the motion.
“There will be further reports on traffic impact in the new year,” Davis says.
The tolls must be approved by the province. The City of Toronto Act, which prevents the municipality from maintaining a toll highway, must be amended in order for the project to go through.