According to new analysis released by Metro news, Eglinton Avenue is officially the deadliest street in Toronto.
The analysis shows that this year, eight pedestrians were killed on, or adjacent to, the east-west artery. No other roadway’s tally measures up to these numbers.
The majority of the reported fatalities along Eglinton took place in the east, where the road widens to six lanes.
According to the president of the Scarborough Residents Unite Neighbourhood Association, Joy Robertson, there aren’t enough pedestrian crossings along Eglinton Avenue East. Pedestrians are therefore forced to either walk long distances to cross, or risk jaywalking.
“Scarborough is growing. There’s more homes, but somehow our roads haven’t kept up,” said Robertson.
Meghan Sherwin, a resident of Leaside and founder of the Slow Down Kids at Play organization, attributes the problem to the continuous construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
“You’ve got a high volume of traffic and impatient drivers in really narrow lanes,” she said. “It’s confusing from a driver’s standpoint, and extremely complicated for cyclists and pedestrians to navigate.”
However, Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins told Metro that there is no evidence to support that Crosstown construction is a contributing factor to the high number of pedestrian fatalities.
“Safety is always our first priority,” Aikins wrote in an email. “Like any construction zone, people should take particular care when driving through the area; drivers are encouraged to slow down and watch for people on bikes and walking. We also encourage pedestrians to cross only at signalized intersections or crosswalks.”
According to Metro, Toronto’s road safety plan barely accounts for Eglinton, aside from a small section in Etobicoke. For the most part, speed limits on Eglinton have remained untouched and Toronto’s list of the city’s pedestrian safety corridors is mainly made up of locations downtown, largely excluding the Eglinton area.