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politics

Duly Quoted: David Soknacki, on Banning Street Parking Downtown

Mayoral candidate has radical idea to help both cyclists and drivers get around the city.

“On arterial roads, we ban on-street parking at all times. That would free up real estate to allow for cycling and better flow of traffic.”

-Mayoral candidate David Soknacki, speaking in an interview this week about his proposal to ban parking on main streets in the area between Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street, south of Bloor Street. “Gridlock is such a reality that lane space on key roads is more valuable to move people than it is to park cars,” Soknacki commented in a press release. The ban would be phased in over three years—and new private and public off-street parking, the candidate said, would “easily compensate for parking demand over the course of the phase-out.” Once all those parked cars had been removed, the City would work to connect additional car lanes and/or cycling lanes on each route.

This idea was not greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm by the chair of the City’s public works committee, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East): “You take parking away from a road, businesses and residences will be very vocal.”

Franz Hartmann of the Toronto Environmental Alliance also expressed some skepticism: “Streets need to be designed for multi-modes. I’m not sure if a one-size-fits-all approach will work. I don’t know whether it’s a great idea.” But as the National Post noted, “In a campaign for the mayor’s chair that has so far been somewhat short on radical ideas, we finally have a radical idea.”

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