Nobody is sorry to see an end to transit shelters with only one wall
There’s no shortage of people who won’t miss one-sided transit shelters, judging by online comments and emails about my Thursday Fixer column on Astral Media’s decision to stop putting them up.
Astral has a 20-year contract to provide the city with street furniture and has so far erected about 50 “canopy shelters” in places where there isn’t enough space for a regular, four-sided model.
In some cases they replaced larger shelters, leaving people who don’t know about restrictions on sidewalk encroachment that didn’t exist when the earlier shelter was built to fume about being short-changed.
There were so many complaints that they are all but useless that Astral decided to pull the plug on them and won’t put up any more, even if it means no shelter in some locations where there used to be one.
“Worst design ever!” said one reader who posted a comment to my column. “What does it matter how many sides these shelters have if there are huge gaps at the bottom allowing cold wind and occasionally car splashes in?”
Joy Milando sent me an email saying an aging shelter with glass on three sides, at the southwest corner of Avenue Rd. and Lawrence Ave., was just replaced by one with only a narrow roof and glass on one side.
The old one faced north and “did not impede the sidewalk, nor was it rusty,” said Milando.
“Now there is no shelter from the cold north winds or from splashing caused by traffic turning south on Avenue Rd. This was an idiotic decision and can’t even be called a shelter. There is no shelter.”
Heather Davies emailed to say “I laughed when I read today’s Fixer article! One of those shelters has just been installed this week at Don Mills Rd. and McNicoll Ave. The ‘wet paint’ signs were still on it this morning.
“There used to be a full-sized shelter just around the corner on Don Mills, but was removed during recent road construction. The new one is in a better location but is pretty useless.”
One of the online comments asked, “Does anyone at Astral actually take transit? Apparently not, or they would come up with something better that offered real shelter.”
More on that in my Monday Fixer column.