Kristyn Wong-Tam and Denzil Minnan-Wong argue over how to turn Yonge into New York

Kristyn Wong-Tam and Denzil Minnan-Wong argue over how to turn Yonge into New York

(Images: Christopher Drost) 

Yonge Street retailers are complaining that the area has too much foot traffic—which sounds a little nuts, but their reasoning is that any would-be leisurely shoppers get caught in the stampeding crowd and are whisked right by. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam thinks reducing the number of car lanes on Yonge and widening the pedestrian area using business-sponsored planters would liven up the street (and make it more like New York), and she has applied to try out the scheme from mid-August to mid-September for the Celebrate Yonge festival. Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the city’s public works committee, has a totally different vision: convert Yonge and Bay to one-way streets south of Bloor to improve traffic flow and create space for cyclists—which would also, oddly enough, make Yonge more like New York. Since this is the third time Minnan-Wong has looked into fixing up Wong-Tam’s ’hood (he asked the city to look into the Yonge-Dundas pedestrian scramble without consulting her and led the fight to remove the Jarvis bike lanes, also in her ward), we’re bracing for a turf war between two three-named councillors. [Globe and Mail]