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Concerns about pedestrian safety raised over Eglinton LRT construction

Pedestrians commuting through the Eglinton Avenue West subway station say their safety is at risk due to the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

In order to reach the subway station, those crossing at the intersection of Eglinton and the Allen Expressway are forced to stand in a makeshift island, protected only by traffic barrels. During rush hour, that limited space fills up quickly, creating a confusing and dangerous situation.

Metrolinx spokesperson Jamie Robinson said they have received several calls from concerned commuters and that adjustments will be made as necessary.

“We know there are concerns, we are concerned,” said Robinson. “We take the concerns of pedestrians walking very, very seriously.”

Robinson said since construction began they have improved safety in the area by increasing pavement markings for pedestrian and drivers, adding barrels around the makeshift island and posting signage in the area.

“We worked very closely with the city transportation, with the Toronto police service, with the local councillors,” he explained. “We’re continuing to look to improve the area, addressing concerns as we see them.”

However, Robinson noted that pedestrians need to take the proper precautions such as crossing at the lights and following the posted signs.

“Pedestrians are encouraged to cross only when it’s safe,” he explained. “If they see it’s crowded (at the island) maybe they want to stand on the other side until it’s safe to travel.”

This is not the first intersection pedestrians have raised safety concerns over since construction on the Eglinton LRT began.

Area residents claim that construction has been the cause of several severe accidents at Eglinton and Chaplin avenues.

“When you’re building a large infrastructure project like this in a heavily congested or urbanized area, you’re going to be faced with all sorts of challenges,” said Robinson. “That’s why we work closely with folks to implement the changes that need to be done to create safe work zones and create a safe community.”

Construction on the Eglinton LRT is expected to be finished in 2016.