In an interview this morning with CP24, Mayor Tory revealed that one idea he’s been presented with to aid physical distancing measures is to make the city’s sidewalks one-way.
“There is an idea that has been put to me of one-way sidewalks, meaning that northbound would be on the right side and southbound on the left side. The thing is, I don’t know how you police that but maybe you can put up some signage. So, I am not averse to that if it is proving to be a problem in given areas,” Tory told Gurdeep Ahluwalia. “I’d ask people to let us know if there are places in the City where there is real congestion on sidewalks,” added Tory, encouraging people to call 311 with that information so the City can make an informed decision.
Despite being open to the idea of one-way sidewalks, Tory remains against the idea of opening up some of the City’s streets to pedestrians, an idea some urban planners have suggested, including Toronto’s former Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat.
“This whole notion of closing down the street… I said, if we’re not trying to get people to be on the sidewalk on downtown Yonge Street, why would you close the street so more people could walk on the street?”
So, while it doesn’t seem residents will be able to walk freely up and down the City’s streets anytime soon – despite the complete nose-dive in traffic – they may be forced to walk on sidewalks with a particular direction in mind.
The City has already stepped up its enforcement blitz, targeting 20 “high-use” parks over the weekend to ensure residents were adhering to the City’s policies regarding physical distancing measures. A total of 48 tickets were issued over the long weekend. Meanwhile, as of 12:30 pm on April 12, Toronto has recorded 2,225 confirmed cases of COVID-19.