Meanwhile, daily York transit users transferring to the TTC spend about $1,700 a year on the two fares, Fred Winegust, co-president of the Spring Farm Ratepayers Association in Thornhill, said.
As a result, many York to Toronto commuters avoid taking Viva/YRT, choosing instead to have someone drop them off at a TTC stop or parking in the city, in the process cutting through York Region neighbourhoods to get to their destinations, he said.
That goes against efforts to get people out of their cars and onto public transit, Winegust said.
What I am saying is that there is a fair share that needs to be paid,” said Fred Winegust of the Congestion Relief Committee, South Central York Region.
“That fair share is not only for York region residents going to Toronto, but economic studies have shown that there are people from Toronto who are paying the double fare going into York region.”
“In doing that (the cheaper alternative) they (Mississauga and Milton) have no regard for the residents who live in the cities of Vaughan and Markham who will be impacted by potentially doubling the freight trains through their areas. It will benefit Mississauga and Milton to detriment of residents in Vaughan and Markham.”
What will happen now? RioCan’s Senior Vice President of Development said RioCan will work with all the stakeholders to finalize the new proposal. That means they will call another charrette with the residents association, the city and its partners. After consultation with all the groups, an updated proposal will be submitted to the city for review.
Long-time resident Fred Winegust is concerned too many parking spots will be lost during construction.
He pointed to a parking survey that found 88 per cent of the people using the plaza take cars to get there.
If it’s inconvenient to shop, people will go elsewhere, he said.
More than 300 people responded to Fred Winegust’s survey about SpringFarm Marketplace (Sobey’s Plaza) in the Clark and Hilda avenues area.
Ward 5 Thornhill Councillor Alan Shefman was also impressed by the response. “It provides a community voice with strength behind it,” he said.
Organizers of a public open house last night weren’t expecting the turnout, or perhaps the passion and interest that the redevelopment of one small plaza evoked in one Thornhill Vaughan community.
The meeting focused on a plaza on Clark Avenue at Hilda Avenue, just west of Yonge Street.