The city’s public works committee voted five-to-one Monday to remove the special setup in favour of traditional crosswalks, work that will cost an estimated $26,000. City council will get the final say on removing the scramble at an upcoming meeting.
Dylan Reid, spokesman for Walk Toronto, warned councillors that removing the scramble — which has been in place for over four years — sends the wrong message.
"The scramble intersections are iconic. People really see them as an example of how vibrant downtown Toronto is and how increasingly pedestrian-oriented it is," he said.
A city report found pedestrians use the Bay-Bloor scramble less than other locations like Yonge-Dundas.
Stephen Buckley, the general manager of the city's transportation services division, said the report shows while the Bay-Bloor scramble saved pedestrians seconds, it cost motorists minutes.
"We try to follow a rule of proportionality here," Buckley said.
Reid didn’t take issues with the city’s report, but said if the city is going to use criteria to measure the failings of scrambles it should also use that criteria to look for new opportunities.
He suggested the intersection of Bay and Wellington Streets, where pedestrians are "spilling off the sidewalk."
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