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06/11/2010

More G20 road closures

No real surprise here: Police are warning that the G20 will bring major road closures and delays. Don't worry, Torontonians. You can always ride a bike downtown and park it -- oh wait, they removed all bike rings along the fence perimeter*. Foiled!

Better walk or ride the Rocket.

From Star reporter Jim Wilkes:

Motorists should prepare for major headaches – and significant highway delays – when G20 leaders come to town later this month, police said today.

Against the backdrop of Friday's morning rush hour on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Mississauga, officers from Toronto, Peel and Ontario Provincial Police announced plans for motorcades to and from Pearson airport that will close parts of Hwys. 427 and 401, the QEW and Gardiner Expressway from June 24 to 27.

“There will be significant delays,” said OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford. “While some rolling closures may only last 15 minutes, it may take us 45 minutes or more to clear the backup caused by each closure.”

Roads that feed highways, both in suburban areas and downtown will also be affected by the interruptions. Police urged motorists to begin making plans to take alternate routes or use public transit during the summit.

“Start planning now and try to avoid those highways and it will probably save you a lot of grief and aggravation,” Woodford said.

“The main route that will be affected is the 427 southbound and then the northbound on the Sunday (June 27). The QEW, Gardiner and Hwy. 401 going into Toronto will be affected because a lot of that traffic has to route onto the 427, which will be closed from time to time during the summit.”

Toronto police Sgt. Tim Burrows said hundreds of officers, many on motorcycles, would accompany more than 60 motorcades that will carry world leaders and their delegations to and from the downtown security zone.

How extensive motorcades will be and how long roads will be closed will be determined as the summit proceeds.

“It really comes down to the designation by the RCMP, CSIS and then the other federal parties involved with the heads of states of their own countries,” Burrows explained. “Whatever the threat assessment is, is on a regular continual basis being made to determine how much of a motorcade those people will get.”

Several roads around the summit site will be closed full-time during the talks, including Front St., Blue Jays Way, Bremner Blvd., Lord Simcoe Dr. and Bay St.

The eastbound ramp from the Gardiner to Bay, York and Yonge Sts. will also be closed to civilian traffic from June 24 to 27.

Peel police Const. Adam Minion said there would be major traffic disruptions around Pearson airport as leaders and their delegations arrive and depart. He urged people to allow extra time to catch flights or pick up passengers during summit days.

“There will be a heavy police presence, vehicle congestion and you may see the military,” he said.

* Thanks for the correction, astute blog reader!

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