To: Mayor Tory & Councillor Grimes
Save the Van Dusen pedestrian bridge
Councillor Grimes and Mayor Tory,
We are reaching out to you in hopes you might be able to help. We live in the Norsemen Heights, Sunnylea, Kingsway, and Thompson Orchard areas and recently we have found out the pedestrian bridge over Mimico creek at Van Dusen has been closed in indefinitely. This bridge is always very very busy with pedestrians and cyclists at all times of the year, but particularly since the pandemic has begun. This bridge connects our community and gives everyone, particularity, families and elderly an alternative to walking or biking along the busy Bloor road Bridge or Royal York bridge.
Since the closure there has been little to no communication as to the reason for the closure or the timing or next steps for the repair, in fact at first the bridge was closed with a piece of caution tape which has now been replaced with a fence. The community has now heard from our local parent group that the bridge has been condemned and maybe closed for a year to two years but we have heard nothing from the city nor has any signage been erected.
As the city focuses on initiatives to create shared streets and has developed ActiveTO as part of the pandemic response, we would like to draw your attention to this piece of valued pedestrian infrastructure.
Our ask with this petition is threefold:
1) provide communication (public notice and signage “upstream” of and at the bridge) to the community with regards to the issue with the bridge and the timing for repair. By doing this your will at the very least note that this is important infrastructure to the community.
2) Expedite the repair. If this was a vehicle bridge a year to two years would not be acceptable and it also should not be for pedestrian infrastructure.
3) the last is more of a question, what is the proactive asset assessment and maintenance program for pedestrian infrastructure? Is it run to fail as it seems? Is there a proactive condition assessment program that would allow planning and repairs to occur prior to failure in order to minimize the time required to get a bridge like this back into service in the future? Are we investing in the long term care of pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure so that we can ensure it is continually maintained?
There has already been much interest from the community regarding this closure and we would really appreciate your attention and follow up in this matter.
Active community members
Why is this important?
- No public notification, information, or consultation about the closure, duration or reopening
- Impacts (reduced routes) to cyclists, pedestrians, and families during this time of social distancing / pandemic
- Impacts to kids (increased distance / increased risk on high traffic routes) walking to local public schools including Norseman, Our Lady of Sorrows, Bishop Allen, and ECI
- Impacts to traffic to local businesses on Bloor street