Sufferin’ Dufferin 29

Our favourite bus route gets some needed attention

Opinion

TTC Riders, a transit advocacy group, has stirred up a storm about our favourite bus route…the Sufferin’ Dufferin 29. That’s what one protestor wrote on a sign at a July 25 morning rush hour demonstration at the Dufferin station.

TTC Riders are concerned about a report, prepared by transit staff, which said the Dufferin 29 was the most overcrowded bus route in the entire system. At peak times it operates at 120% of capacity. A close follow-up? You guessed it, the Lansdowne.

TTC Riders, a grassroots transit advocacy organization, calls for a number of funding options for the TTC and dedicated bus lanes on busy routes such as the Dufferin bus routes. 

Here’s a City TV report on the TTC Riders demonstration:

Anna Lemer of TTC Riders

And here’s one by CTV Toronto:

Chris Fox , CTV News Toronto

Which brings us back to the two massive developments proposed for the corner of Bloor Dufferin and questions about why those two developments don’t take transit into consideration.

Up at the Dufferin Galleria site provision has been made for buses to pull off of Dufferin Street and into the parking lot where they can load and unload….and buses can be short turned if needed.

Why, at Bloor and Dufferin are buses expected to load and unload on the street? Shouldn’t there be provisions for buses to pull off of Dufferin Street and load and unload at protected loading platforms. That would sure improve car and truck traffic flow on both Dufferin and Bloor.

Even better why shouldn’t the buses get off of Dufferin Street and make a wide arch around this new planned community….making a stop in front of the new apartment and condo towers, continuing on to a stop in front of Walmart and ending the loop in front of Joe’s No Frills?

Isn’t easy transit access a main requirement for a well-planned community?

Since both of the developers involved (Capital Developments for the condos on the school lands and Primaris for the mall apartments) are advertising their developments with easy access to transit shouldn’t they step up with some innovations?

Sure, there’s talk of a tunnel under Bloor Street to connect new residents on the southern developments to the subway just north of Bloor, but precious little else.

The scrape of green space allotted for the ill-named Dufferin Common park that sits across from the Dufferin Mall entrance is described by Primaris as little more than a waiting room for the Dufferin 29 bus. Isn’t this the perfect place for a bigger and better Dufferin Grove Organic Market?

Couldn’t Primaris offer to build and maintain the site but let the people at the Grove’s organic market run it? Maybe the much vaunted design people at Urban Strategies could design some nice tent domes to shade the vendors.

Sure, we’d all miss strolling beneath the canopy of trees which shelter the overflowing vegetable stalls rink at this time of year. But those wonderful canopy trees near the hockey rink would probably thank us for stopping the weekly influx of vans and trucks compressing their tree roots.

And maybe we could expand the market to two days a week. Or….a Christmas market featuring local artisans?

-Joe McAllister

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