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Pears Ave. bears the muddy fruit of construction labour: The Fixer

Construction is a good thing — or so we are told — but it is no excuse to make a muddy mess of city streets.

When cheerleaders are tooting Toronto’s horn, they often point to cranes in the air — among the most in North America — as a sign of progress, prosperity and vitality. And they’d be right.

But others not so charmed by it are mindful of the accommodation we must all make, in the name of progress. For example, gridlock caused by a condo project that blocks a traffic lane for 18 months.

Less obvious intrusions into the public realm include secondary effects of all that work, like mud tracked onto to city streets by big trucks pulling out of construction sites.

We ended up on Pears Ave. last week, while driving near Davenport and Avenue Rds., and found the small street coated with mud from construction jobs on opposite sides of the road.

On the north side, work is underway on a condo tower wedged into a tiny parcel of land. The sidewalk is closed, but a walkway has been created with hoarding and concrete barriers that take up part of a traffic lane.

Another job across the street has resulted in a mud pit exactly where the sidewalk ends; on the other side of the project, large slabs of plywood are laid across bare ground to help people tiptoe around the mud.

The cumulative effect is a sheen of mud coating the road and the temporary walkway; anyone who chooses to avoid the sidewalk is forced to march through the mess on the road.

A city bylaw prohibits “fouling of the road allowance” by mud or debris from construction sites. It requires builders to hire a street sweeping contractor to keep the road scoured clean.

It also recommends that heavy-gauge gravel be spread at the exits of job sites, which helps remove mud from the wheels of trucks, like wiping their feet before getting to the street.

Obviously, that’s not happening on Pears.

STATUS: Andre Fillippetti, in charge of right-of-way management in that area, sent us an email, saying: “The contractors are definitely responsible for keeping the roadway clear of debris and mud.” Fillippetti said the contractors would be given notice promptly.