By Gerry Divaris

At the CCRA executive meeting in February, we were honoured to welcome Jennifer McKelvie in her official capacity as our new City Councillor.

She attended the meeting with City of Toronto Transportation staff who detailed the pending Port Union Road expansion project. As many of us know, the northbound lane on Port Union is a bottleneck. Well, as the old Hollywood movie line goes, “I have good news and I have bad news, what do you want first?”

The Port Union road widening will have a second northbound traffic lane added, making it a four-lane road. It will also boast sidewalks on both sides, on-street bicycle lanes and centre turn lanes in some locations. These upgrades should give all users of Port Union a less congested drive and improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists alike. The city is also working with the Ministry of Transportation to identify opportunities to extend the cycling facility north of Highway 401. That’s the good news.

The construction work on Port Union is planned for 2021-2022. This should be enough time for us to practice patience. We’ll certainly need it!

Last month, work crews started doing “utility locates.” The properties that will be impacted have been identified and the city will be engaging with these property owners now and in the spring. Broader public consultations will take place later this year and this utility work is expected to begin in 2020.

The city is currently working with Metrolinx to solve another traffic irritant in our area: improving connections to the Rouge Hill GO Station. This solution will certainly require some form of divine intervention. I’m no expert, but our roads are limited, we’re hedged in to the east by the Rouge River, and only have two north-south arteries, one of which is about to be torn up and expanded, Port Union, and one east-west artery, Lawrence Ave E.

So we will be enduring some pain for some road relief. Progress!