18-year-old came up with new city planning

Hafeez Alavi. Credit: Hafeez Alavi twitter

Councillor says ‘Lawrence Prospect‘ campaign demands will happen

If you have ever used the Lawrence Avenue East stretch, you might know how busy it can get. For the new city planning, there is not much planning for the stretch of Lawrence Avenue East.

Here comes Hafeez Alavi, an 18-year-old university student who believes changes to the seven-lane stretch of Lawrence Avenue East can allow pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and motorists to use it safely.

Hafeez Alavi. Credit: Hafeez Alavi twitter

Alavi found Lawrence is scheduled to re-emerge from Victoria Park to Warden avenues. But these improvement does not include bike and bus lanes, raised crosswalks, and fewer driveways, which Alavi feels residents may not see for a long time.

He has created The Lawrence Prospect, which is a campaign to involve all the residents to come up and discuss what a “complete street” they can get.

Alavi is spreading awareness with the help of his website and also other residents of the area by distributing flyers.

Hafeez Alavi, left, Luke Marlatt and Rosemary Boissonneau gather to hand out flyers in the Warden and Lawrence area. Crecit Dan Pearce/Metroland

A 2021 report by RapidTO showed commute times dropped two to five minutes and bus reliability increased by 10 per cent.

Alavi also showed a demonstration of how roads can be made safer in a tweet. Watch the below video.

Official response

Councillor Micheal Thompson said “I’m happy to report that his desire and his intentions to improve overall community safety is something that we’re actually doing,” to CityNews.

Thompson also pointed installation of traffic signals at two intersections for the safety of pedestrians.

TTC advocacy group response

Shelagh Pizey-Allen is a spokesperson for the advocacy group TTCriders. She says “Lawrence East has actually already been identified by the TTC and by the city as a road that should get some form of transit priority like a bus lane. Bus lanes make our trips faster, more reliable,”

“When we make transit faster, more reliable, more people will be encouraged to take it, so it’s really exciting that Hafeez is putting together this campaign and is asking all of us to think about how could Lawrence East be safer and better for everyone who’s using the road.”

Pizey-Allen also said the 54 Lawrence East buses are prone to overcrowding due to traffic delays and service levels, which causes major problems on the stretch.

“Sometimes the buses come in sets of two or even three because they get delayed in traffic and can’t keep the schedule, so bus lanes are really about making sure the TTC is more reliable and it’s really important.”

Alavi hopes his campaign like other general advocacy efforts will inspire more people to step up and call for changes.

Listen to the podcast with Hafeez Alavi.

Listen to the radio version below


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