Jun 11

‘Construction chaos’ is chance for new administration to prove effectiveness

Councillor Ana Bailão made the rounds this week for the latest “Oh no! Road Construction!” story, this time focused on Dundas West. I’m not always sympathetic to those who immediately complain about so-called construction chaos. It happens sometimes, and we must persevere. Still, though, it seems undeniable at this point that the city has a real problem when it comes to the coordination of utility work, to the point where construction delays are far more common than they should be.

Soon after the media jumped on Bailão’s story, Public Works Chair Denzil Minnan-Wong joined the party.

The Toronto Star’s Robyn Doolittle:

Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works committee, said this is yet another example of shoddy planning that leads to over-budget spending, lengthy delays and city roads being ripped up, rebuilt and ripped up again across the city.

“We are told time and time again, over and over again, that things are coordinated and then we find out after the fact, when things go wrong, that they weren’t,” he said.

via Fed up with sidewalks being ripped up everywhere? So is the city – thestar.com.

This an area where the new administration has a real chance to prove their effectiveness. It’s an identifiable problem, and has been for years. It might even be a case where a more stereotypically conservative approach — involving yelling and threats — is kind of appropriate.

It’s not a simple problem, however, and there’s a great danger in oversimplifying. This isn’t about lazy unions or inept city staff. It’s about a bunch of agencies — some private and some public — trying to coordinate communication and requirements to one another across a very large and very busy city.

Jan 11

Come to Roncesvalles, Wear Black

From BlogTO’s editor and seemingly only writer, Derek Flack:

Rob Ford and area councillor Gord Perks met with members of the Roncesvalles BIA earlier this afternoon so as to get to get a look at the state of the street and to listen to some of the community’s worries and complaints regarding the yet to be finished construction in the area.

via Rob Ford pays a visit to Roncesvalles. (Derek also provides the photos.)

I think this is the part of the job that will eventually drive Ford crazy. In his past life as councillor, he loved pointing out delayed projects and community complaints. Now that buck stops with him.

Jan 11

Oh no! Road Construction!

Daniel Bitonti for The National Post:

Behind the counter at Aris Place, a diner near the corner of Roncesvalles and Fermanagh avenues where a group of men in their 70s sit in the back at tables that look nearly as old, John Athanselos uses a spatula to check eggs, bacon and potatoes sizzling on a griddle.

Every so often, he waves the spatula in frustration at the streetcar stop directly outside his front window where, after a year-and-a-half of construction that clogged Roncesvalles and squeezed the small businesses that line it, streetcars finally began running again on Dec. 19.

via Roncesvalles’ still-unfinished rebuilding strains neighbourhood | Posted Toronto | National Post.

This is kind of a ridiculous lede to what otherwise is your standard horrors-of-road-construction article. “He waves the spatula in frustration” indeed.