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27 Comments

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Roncesvalles Construction Sucks

Travel along Roncesvalles Avenue these days can be an exercise in frustration. As preparations for the new streetscape promised by the Roncesvalles Renewed project roll on, residents and visitors are dealing with an ever-evolving construction zone where one never quite knows where today’s newest obstacle will be. While the end result will be a street designed to be friendlier to cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users, the process of getting there is starting to grate on those dealing with the latest deep hole in front of their business, blockaded side-street access, and the detour of southbound TTC service along Lansdowne (traffic flow on Roncesvalles is currently northbound only).
Early Sunday morning, a frazzled soul reached their “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” point. A series of banners expressing disdain toward the construction equipment impeding access to Roncesvalles decorated the fencing that graces at least two intersections.
Photos by Jamie Bradburn/Torontoist.

Comments

  • Robert Ruggiero

    Thank god the city is being proactive and replacing watermains before they burst.
    At least we know it’s temporary.

  • http://undefined Nicholas

    In an ideal world there would be no construction, disruption, perterbations etc. etc. Soma would be available to all. Republican cranks would not be having tea parties. Sheesh, what do people want? First they complain about the city falling apart, and then they complain about it being fixed. Sucks it up, buttercup!

  • http://undefined Mark Ostler

    Love the constructive and entirely mature language of the signs.
    And just to echo the other two comments, it’s not only streetscape improvements–though Ronces sidewalks definitely need an upgrade–that are being implemented. Extremely old watermains are being replaced, as are the streetcar tracks.

  • http://undefined Darren

    Isnt this about the street art, and the fancy curbs they want to created for the 504 but will do nothing but slow down all the traffic?

  • http://undefined scientz

    I’m sure it’ll all be super great when it’s over, but it’s annoying being woken up after I’ve just gone to bed (I work nights) by construction. For some reason it just feels like it gets more intrusive and ridiculous everyday, too. I’m sure that’s just me and my frustrations, though.

  • http://undefined andomano

    People want stuff fixed, but then complain about when stuff is being fixed. Irony? Me thinks so.

  • http://undefined johnsr

    I think part of the problem is that residents don’t see any end in sight. Everything was pretty much paved a month ago (making me think the watermains were finished), and then for some reason they started digging again which I assume there’s a purpose for but I’d at least like to know why!
    Does anyone know where you can find details of the progress? It’d likely help to solve some of the problems if we could figure out what’s happening with the construction. The construction sign at the bottom of Roncey says “completion date: winter 2010″.
    It’d be pretty easy to get the info out there, setup a blog with updates on the progress of the project. Hooked up to a Twitter account and FB fan page to get the info out to people. Obviously wishful thinking but I’d be damn impressed if the city could pull it off.

  • http://undefined Darren

    People never asked for this. Its just a councillor trying to leave a legacy for himself. The key there is this line; “end result will be a street designed to be friendlier to cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users”
    What the F does that actually mean??

  • Mark Ostler

    Darren, people definitely want old watermains fixed (otherwise they’d break and we’d have floods) and that’s what’s being done right now. The streetscape improvements haven’t started yet. They’re happening later, after the old streetcar tracks are replaced.
    It was the city and the TTC that respectively determined that the watermains and tracks needed to be replaced and that’s what will take the bulk of the construction time. If I remember correctly, the streetscape improvements are an initiative of the Roncesvalles BIA who thought that they could be rolled into the already-planned infrastructure replacement. I’m sure Gord Perks helped the BIA liaise with the city and I know he supports the project, but I don’t think he came up with the idea himself.
    Incidentally, have you walked along pre-construction Roncesvalles before? The sidewalks definitely need to be fixed up and I’m sure I’m not the only resident to feel that way.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    I sympathize — I really do — but the reality is most people don’t work nights, the watermains need replacing, and if the work doesn’t start early in the morning, it will either go later into the night or last longer altogether.

  • Darren

    I’ve walked through that area two summers ago frequenetly, and this summer I was at the bottom of Ronce every Thursday evening after dragonoating at Sunneyside. Seemed fine to me.
    I have though gone through 6 months of watermain repairs here on Adelaide and Yonge and Adelaide and Church, which were then used as an excuse by the TTC to replace the streetcar tracks. Nice way to pay OT to streetcar operators working time and half as switch operators. It was a nightmare just crossing the street as a pedestrian. You can take a picture of that construction and superimpose that with track repair construction of the 1930s, and it would seem identical. It makes you question why as a city we are stuck using century old technology.
    Gord Perks is the same guy who as a private citizen and transit advocate was dead set agains the Spadina Ext, as he (like me) didnt believe that subways should be build alongside highways (like the Allen ex) and surrounded by concrete jungles of parking lots and busbays. He quickly changed his tone once in council. I wouldnt trust a project that he is involved with

  • http://undefined Vincent Clement

    Bitch. Bitch. Bitch.
    Living at a corner property, I endured two summers of reconstruction – one for each street – while the city installed a storm relief sewer.
    Inconvenience? Sure. But now I know that my basement won’t flood if it rains a lot and that the water and gas mains should be good for another 50 or so years. The city installed a sewer cleanout at each private sewer connection. I’m not complaining about the benefits.

  • http://undefined njcwelke

    More information on the progress of this project would be helpful, but at least the residents of Roncesvalles will see a benefit from this (the watermains are badly needed). Go north a few blocks and talk to the people living near the tracks starting at Dundas and Dupont – they’ve had construction (think pile drivers, sometimes 8am-8pm six days a week) for so long that is seems like there was never a time when the area wasn’t ripped up. And for what? So our friends who work downtown and live in Brampton don’t have to get up for a 6am train (or 90-minute drive) because they’ll have all-day diesel service going through the area.

  • http://undefined W. K. Lis

    You getting the idea, Darren. It will slow down the traffic according to plan. That is so that the people will be able to see the displays in the store windows. That is to lure them into the shops.

  • http://www.torontoist.com David Topping

    Issues aside, I can’t help but find the “SO SUCKY” sign especially really adorable. The tone of all of these, after all, seems less vitriolic than…I don’t know…semi-ironically frustrated?

  • http://www.thepleasureisback.com Adam M.

    I moved to Roncesvalles just as construction had started and haven’t found it to be too much of an inconvenience. Sometimes I even kind of enjoy it. I understand senior citizens a stroller-pushing parents may not like it so much but everyone ought to agree that repairing old infrastructure is worth the pains involved.

  • http://undefined andrew

    If I recall correctly, the impetus for this project began prior to Perks’ term on council. I seem to remember the RVBIA discussing this project when Sylvia was in office.
    When I was at the PVBIA, one of the things the City was attempting to get a handle on was trying to cram construction for track replacement as close as possible to other kinds of construction, so as to avoid even longer periods of inconvenience. I understand that the scale of these kinds of projects, coupled with the size of the City’s bureaucracy, is ripe for crazy-making for residents. Glad people are taking the route of expressing frustration creatively.

  • http://undefined scientz

    No, I get it. It’s just frustrating while it’s happening. It’s long overdue, but it would be better if the city could snaps its fingers and have it done. Also, unicorns for public transit.

  • http://undefined Solex

    But that’s all they can do, Nick. That’s why I wish that half of them lived somewhere else.

  • http://undefined mattalexto

    Are those letters in the Virgin Mobile shade of red?

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    I think swans are the mainstream alternative, but I can certainly get behind unicorns myself.

  • http://undefined violet

    yes, we need infrastructure to be repaired and improved, but we need it done in a timely and responsible manner… Roncy residents have been told that this is only the first year of TWO years of disruption, with streetscaping happening next year, – and no regular TTC (i.e. south & north bound streetcars) until all that’s over…
    yes, it’s a hassle for residents, but the real pity is how many businesses have folded since the construction has begun… at last count 8!!! on a strretch that’s barely over a kilometre long, that’s a lot… small businesses supported by local foot traffic has been the lifeblood of our “village” life on roncy… the irony here is that we may break what’s magic about our nabe, in the name of improving it!

  • davisdavis9

    I say embrace the entropy. As a longstnading roncey local, I like having the street all anarchified. There are barely any cars on the road, compared to last year, and if you do have to drive up there, you can park anywhere for free. Plus, there are now these odd little steampunk temporary hydrant water flow things, which are turning into odd and lovely ice sculptures, not unlike the ‘ice cylinder’ which looks so cool in the contempo section of the AGO. Viva los shambles.

  • http://undefined Christina Allknowing

    On the long list of things that truly do suck, road construction does not appear. Any volunteers for a counter-installation to this sucky baby’s sorry display, a celebration of the beneficial chaos that is Roncy road repair?

  • Darren

    Knock yourself out

  • http://undefined Tracer Bullet

    Wow, Canada is like a magical land where the citizens care about public infrastructure and want it to work properly.
    Anyone want to marry a gay American dude so I can haul ass up to Toronto?

  • http://undefined LynnS

    Hey, I’m all for improving the water mains, I’m all for necessary repairs. The issue isn’t that- it’s the poor way in which this has been handled.
    Several times a week my water is shut off without warning- tell me that’s not a big deal when you’re in the middle of a shower or getting ready for work or trying to get a drink or cook. I’ve tried to contact the city several times and have been ignored. I’ve asked if we can be told or find out when water shutdown will happen (perfect spot for Twitter, anyone) and haven’t received any information.
    The construction itself is dragging on, which happens, but it’s the poor communication from the city which really bothers me. How hard would it be to have some information available to us- and if it is around, it would be nice to have it more readily available. I’ve searched.
    It’s not that the repairs are unwanted or that people aren’t glad their being done, it’s that the city just isn’t handling it well.