Toronto pedestrians say temporary crosswalk near Eglinton and Avenue can be dangerous

Efforts to construct Metrolinx’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT line continue to hamper the flow of both vehicular and human traffic along the major east-west artery, particularly in the area close to Avenue Road.

Businesses in the area have previously complained that the green tarps cordoning off the work and the sidewalk adjacent to it have hurt their bottom line.

Now pedestrians say the work is creating unsafe conditions for them as they cross Eglinton Avenue.


READ MORE: Business owners may seek compensation for LRT construction impact

Due to the closure of the north-south crosswalk on the northern side of Eglinton at Avenue, the city gave Metrolinx permission to install a temporary crossing on Eglinton west of Braemar Avenue; a block west of Avenue Road.

It was completed last August.  But due to the bottlenecked traffic in the area, cars often end up stopped in the middle of that signalized temporary crossing.

During any given rush hour you can watch pedestrians bobbing and weaving around those cars as they cross the street; their sightlines obscured as they try to beat the countdown clock.

“I’ve had to do it a few times, where I’ve had to look at them and say ‘you are actually in my way,’ and I’ve had to move around or stop for a while or go back a couple times,” says one area pedestrian.

READ MORE: Local businesses worried Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction will destroy livelihoods

“If the signal turns back on, then I’m really unsafe … I’m in the midddle of the street and both ways traffic is moving.”

In an emailed statement, the regional transit agency tells Global News that when the signals were installed “all the appropriate signage was installed and an outreach effort was made in the immediate area to inform the public of the change.”

The statement goes on to say that “[Metrolinx] will be monitoring any concerns that may come to us from those in the Braemar Avenue area. And will continue to work with the City to ensure both driver and pedestrian safety along Eglinton Avenue.”

If there are issues, city council hasn’t heard them.

READ MORE: Eglinton Crosstown LRT delayed by one year until 2021

“To date, we have received no complaints about the intersection. We have lots of mechanisms to deal with the complaints, so I was unaware that there were any issues,” Coun. Christin Carmichael-Greb.

“If we need to change something, if we need to tweak it a bit we can always do that. But we can’t tweak anything if we don’t know there are any issues.”

The temporary intersection is expected to remain in its place, just outside the Eglinton Grand, until at least 2021.