Newsstand: July 23, 2013
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Newsstand: July 23, 2013

And not a single update about you-know-who! In the news: Bixi shouldn't expect a TTC bailout, the Gardnier is getting two lanes narrower, a downtown curb turns red, the Bay-Bloor scramble could go, and it's apparently not that hard to steal a giant piano.

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The Bixi bike service is not likely to get a reprieve from the Toronto Transit Commission. A staff report from the TTC’s Wednesday meeting recommended against the integration of Bixi into TTC services, saying that such a move would “constitute a distraction from the TTC’s already-challenging mandate.” The report also said that Bixi—which can no longer meet its debt payments, including on a $3.9 million loan guaranteed by the City—is not financially sustainable. A report on how to keep Bixi going is set to be presented to Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee in the fall.

Another major road closure for Torontonians: the Gardiner Expressway will be down two eastbound lanes starting this week. The two lanes, running from Jarvis Street to the Don Roadway, are expected to be shut down for repairs until December. As part of ongoing repairs to the Gardiner, Torontonians can expect the following closures this week: the eastbound Gardiner curb lane from Spadina Avenue to west of Lower Jarvis Street will be closed on Wednesday, the eastbound onramp at Jarvis Street will be shut down from Wednesday to Friday, and two eastbound lanes from Lower Jarvis Street to Saulter Street will be shut down from Wednesday to December 1.

The City is rolling out a parking pilot project that’s aimed at making it clearer to Torontonians where they can’t park. The curb along Armoury Street, just off University Avenue, has been painted red to make it clear that parking along it is verboten. Nine curbside spots in “no stopping,” “no standing,” fire hydrant–adjacent, and pedestrian crossing areas will be painted as part of the project, which aims to see if painting the curbs makes drivers more aware of the restrictions and therefore more likely to abide them. Mayor Ford will kick off the project with a press conference today.

The pedestrian scramble at Bay and Bloor Streets could disappear as the City considers changes to the intersection. A public consultation meeting will be held on July 31 to discuss changes to the Bay-Bloor intersection, and removing the scramble is among them. According to the public notice of the meeting, the intersection is not heavily used. The addition of bike lanes along Bay Street from Cumberland Street to Bloor Street is another change that might be coming to the crossing.

Toronto General Hospital is down one Steinway baby grand piano after it was stolen in broad daylight last week. The piano was housed in the hospital’s Peter Munk Wing until July 14, when three men posing as piano tuners walked out with the $27,000 instrument at about noon, armed with just a dolly. It took four days for volunteers to realize the piano was missing. “I’ve been managing security since 1999, and have not experienced a theft as ballsy and as crazy as this one,” Todd Milne, the hospital’s head of security, told the Globe and Mail.

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