Spadina subway expansion might be delayed because of obscure rule; city council appears to lose its mind

Spadina subway expansion might be delayed because of obscure rule; city council appears to lose its mind

(Image: TTC) 

It’s bad enough that a much-needed expansion of Toronto’s transit system is being delayed because the province can’t cough up the money it promised. Now, a different plan that the province actually has managed to find money for—the extension of the Spadina subway line to York University—is risking delays because of an obscure city rule.

The Toronto Sun reports:

Work on the long-delayed Spadina subway extension could be held up again unless city council agrees to scrap an obscure by-law preventing fuel from being trucked on the road above a subway line.

“If this by-law (exemption) isn’t ultimately approved, it will make it very difficult to complete the subway project on time and could in fact lead to much higher cost,” TTC chairman Adam Giambrone said….

The by-law poses a problem for the new line because it will pass along, and cut access to, the fuel tank farms located on Keele St. north of Finch Ave., where tanker trucks rumble by the score on a daily basis.

So Toronto has an obscure, possibly outdated law that is getting in the way of a much-needed transit expansion. Seems like a simple enough problem to solve, except that apparently sometime on Wednesday, Toronto city council went even nuttier than usual, with veteran councillor Howard Moscoe hollering about deregulation being responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and Maria Augimeri calmly informing her fellow councillors that if the rule is changed, “blood will be on your hands.”

Maybe this is why council has been so cranky about the G20: we don’t need outsiders to make this city look chaotic and ridiculous—we can do that all on our own.

• By-law needs to be scrapped [Toronto Sun]