A Toronto man voices concerns about pedestrian safety and accessibility.
Brian Provini, who lives near Yonge and Wellesley streets, says a self-service bike rack in Wellesley’s car park poses safety risks and makes it difficult for disabled pedestrians to cross.
“It’s a danger,” Provini told PKBNEWS, adding that “pedestrians should be our priority.”
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The area is very busy, as people often bypass the car park to get from Wellesley to Maitland Street.
Over the past few months, Provini says he’s seen all kinds of people clash over the Bike Share station.
“When you see able-bodied people tripping and falling, when you see crippled, disabled or sick people having to move around…the city thinks that’s good,” he said. “To me, that indicates the city doesn’t care.”
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The bike unit sits next to designated handicapped parking spots, requiring them to circle around the rack.
“They are disabled. Why should they walk 25 meters? Provini asked rhetorically.
Dave Core pulled into the parking lot as he took his wife to the nearby Holland Center at Sunnybrook Hospital.
“As fairly frequent visitors to the Holland Center where the majority of people have had a lot of knee surgery and have mobility issues, it’s tough,” Core said.
“The space here is not enough to move around.”
On one side of the bike rack, the space is tight and would be difficult for someone with a walker or wheelchair to fit through. The other side of the station has more space, except that pedestrians often encounter oncoming traffic from vehicles exiting the car park.
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“It’s about accessibility for everyone, and that’s the principle behind it all,” says Anthony Frisina of the Ontario Disability Coalition. “Inclusive for all means everyone, everywhere.”
Bike Share Toronto tells PKBNEWS that before setting up the station, staff “ensure that the position allowed a clear and safe path into the parking lot, as well as an alternative entrance from the west side of the lot.”
The company adds that it welcomes public input to identify options that would make parking easier to access.
As for Provini, he hopes the station will be moved to the southeast end of the car park, away from busy Wellesley Street.
In the meantime, the office of Robin Buxton Potts, who represents the ward, told PKBNEWS the councilman is looking into the matter.
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