Four inches that makes a difference

Four inches more. That’s all it would take. But alas, that shortage of four inches is significant.   City planners are today wishing they had four more inches to play with.

The significance is on Gloucester Street, shown above, behind the Queen Elizabeth Towers condos. Notice that the city has changed the painted bike lane to a parking zone. As part of the “deal” to install the separated bike lane on Laurier, the city relocated the parking from both sides of Laurier to both sides of Gloucester. The Gloucester bike lane becomes redundant when the Laurier lane is installed this fall. During the changeover period, the city will remove parking from Laurier, and the cycling lane from Gloucester.


Except the promised two side parking on Gloucester cannot go ahead because the fire department objects. The street is apparently 10cm too narrow to permit parking on both sides. So the City is permitting parking on the side closest to the condo. They could have left it on the south side of the street, and left the bike lane in … but instead they moved it to the north side of the street, presumably for easier access to the condo.

But wait, it gets more complicated! The south side is now changed to a “no parking” zone. There is a school on the south side (Centennial Public) with a steady stream of parents and chauffeurs delivering kids. The number of new parking spaces on the north side is now reduced by adding in a stopping zone for kiddie delivery. But realistically, how many drivers are going to stop on the north side and let precious little sprout cross the street? I suspect they will all stop on the south side, right at the school, same as before, signs or no signs. Thus rendering the loss of parking on the north side useless.

But wait, it gets more complicated! The parking is only on the north side for the one block behind QE Towers. For the other blocks, the parking reverts back to the south side. The City has put up additional signage all over the place, particularly at Percy, to keep motorists parking on the correct side.

Oh how we wish our City Planners had another four inches where it counts.

Enter Bobbitt concrete cutting. Why not hire a concrete saw service to cut off four inches of curb (from the north side, please)? Or two inches from each side? Surely two inches (of curb) would not be missed.

3 thoughts on “Four inches that makes a difference

  1. I am constantly amazed by the over zealousness of the city to restrict parking, obviously they see parking offenses as a revenue generator.

    I live in the Civic hospital area and I saw new signs today banning parking on a Saturday as well as M-F !

    Allowing parking in this case and many other cases would encourage traffic calming as the street becomes artificially narrower.

  2. Eric, I generally agree with you and appreciate the work you do towards making our urban spaces more ped friendly, but let’s be honest here – if the city chopped off 4 inches of sidewalk space to make room for *gasp* parking, you’d post an outraged blog entry about that. 😉

Comments are closed.