Holt Renfrew lay-by is a bigger problem than Pusateri’s
If the Pusateri’s lay-by has to go, the Holt Renfrew lay-by on Bloor St. should be right behind it.
Those who shop for fine comestibles at Pusateri’s Yorkville location are accustomed to wheeling into the lay-by near the Bay St. doors and tossing the keys to a valet to park the Mercedes.
It’s safe to assume that Pusateri’s customers are not particularly concerned if the four-car indent in the sidewalk squeezes pedestrian space, but city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam is, and wants to get rid of it.
Pusateri’s says the future of the store is at stake if its hoity-toity clientele are denied the ease of front door parking, and has hired the Sussex Strategy Group to lobby the city to back down on a plan to eliminate it.
If Pusateri’s puts the squeeze on pedestrians, you’d think Wong-Tam would take a dim view of the traffic bottleneck caused by a similar lay-by in front of the chic Holt Renfrew location on Bloor, between Bay and Yonge St.
Holt Renfrew offers valet parking on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, where customers can also pull into a lay-by and have their auto whisked away by a liveried attendant.
During the afternoon rush on Thursday and Friday, the number of vehicles to be parked sometimes exceeds the spaces in the lay-by, but it is no bother to the Rosedale matrons who shop there; they stop in the curb lane next to cars already in the lay-by, turn on the four-way flashers and wait for the valet.
Rush hour traffic headed west from Yonge is squeezed into the inner lane while Mrs. McBucks awaits the valet. At busy times, several cars are idling in the curb lane until the valets clear the backlog.
Traffic can quickly back up through the Yonge intersection, to ensure that a few special people are not denied the comfort of someone else parking their car.
Anyone who has inched along through the regular gridlock on Bloor during rush hour knows it’s already jammed, without the added obstacle of luxury autos in the curb lane.
I asked Wong-Tam on Monday if she had concerns about the traffic situation caused by the Holt Renfrew lay-by.
Not at all, she said, adding that her office hasn’t had any complaints about it.
Consider this the first, councillor. And hopefully, not the last.