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Capture the Hog: Don't Narrow Lansdowne!

Posted by Tanja / May 20, 2007

Lansdowne AveA snapshot of the west end this long weekend as residents of Lansdowne band together against proposed street narrowing. It's quite a sight, as nearly every house along the road between Bloor & College St has dressed their property in at least one of these signs.



Adam / May 20, 2007 at 06:00 pm
This corner of the city needs something done to kick-start some neighbourhood building because to say Bloor/Lansdowne has problems would be seriously understating the matter. Problems started many years before Giambrone was elected so whatever the solution it'll have to have many parts and be sustained over a long period of time.

Simply adding more police to the area hasn't done a whole lot, though it's probably going to need to be part of the larger solution.

Wider sidewalks that encourage people to come out of their homes would be a great start, as well as enhancing the local parks and school grounds. Getting funds to do facade improvements for local businesses might also tease out some community pride, too.

So I hope the Lansdowne residents opposed to wider sidewalks are able to step back and look at the bigger picture and see how this can contribute to a better neighbourhood.
Piero / May 20, 2007 at 10:27 pm
Wow, I am shocked. Residents don't truly understand the benefits of wider sidewalks. Any other community would kill for wider sidewalks. It's ironic that the Save our St Clair foundation was fighting for wider sidewalks. I fully support narrowing the streets. Way to go Giambrone. The guy is a superstar as far as civic politicians go.
Matt / May 20, 2007 at 10:35 pm
After watching a crew of about a half dozen guys placing signs on just about every lawn this past Thursday. I can't help but wonder how wide spread the support for this campaign truly is.
Matt / May 20, 2007 at 10:39 pm
Although on second thought, if the signs are still up that must say something.
Tanja / May 20, 2007 at 11:40 pm
FYI, if you've never been on down this part of the street, it's residential. There are no stores, just people's front lawns. All i can think of are a laundromat, high school, and public park. St Clair is not a comparable example, as it's all stores and cafes who crave sidewalk space.
ramanan / May 20, 2007 at 11:46 pm
Matt, don't underestimate how lazy and passive people can be. Plus, people renting homes may assume the landlords put the signs there.
Lala / May 21, 2007 at 01:23 am
How about focusing on getting the intimidating thugs out of the schoolyards first?
Piero / May 21, 2007 at 02:48 am
For Jane Jacobs fans, read "The Death and Life of Great American Cities". The first
three chapters titled:

"The uses of sidewalks: safety"
"The uses of sidewalks: contact"
"The uses of sidewalks: assimilating children"

are terrific and 100% relevant to Landsdowne. The fact that there are no stores or places for people to socialize and for eyes to watch over the street and the children is a detriment to safety and the cultural vibrancy on a neighbourhood. Great book. Real eye open.
Mark Dowling / May 22, 2007 at 10:03 am
So to summarise the prevailing wisdom of the comments above - the residents are liars or absentee landlords and Giambrone is not to be questioned further about his survey?
ramanan / May 22, 2007 at 02:33 pm
Yes Mark, clearly your generalizing has captured everything people here are trying to say.

Driving up Lansdowne yesterday, there are signs everywhere, plus hand written messages on signs. (The signs are all written by the same person as far as I can tell. They must be distributing them to supporters.)
smartygirl / May 22, 2007 at 04:42 pm
who said the residents are liars? wha...?

that said, there is no way i would call giambrone a superstar (i've lived in 18 too long for that). i think that a big part of the residents' concerns are to do with on-street parking, but i think there is a fair amount of unhappiness about the consultation process. especially considering how ignored this part of town is. you ignore them for years and then decide to push ahead with a plan without asking the people what they want? they're going to dislike it on principle.
Piero / May 23, 2007 at 12:25 am
I'm not clear on what the protocol is for notifying residents about the street narrowing. Definitely helps if residents are on their councilor's mailing list and if the city tries to notify residents in multiple ways and not just rely on the newspaper. Regardless, it seems the residents are steadfast in their opposition based on arguments of parking and slower moving traffic.

The facts are:

1. parking is drastically underused during the day and will still be 50% under capacity after the reductions.
2. Traffic peaks are predominantly downtown office workers, not residents
3. Overnight parking permits number 59. There will be 110 overnight spots after the reductions.
4. No new traffic lights and improvements in pedestrian lighting
5. I'd kill to have a SUBWAY and several buses and street cars a short distance away from where I live. I only have access to a single streetcar. Anyone living on that stretch does not drive to work downtown and anyone going North in the morning won't be adversely affected as that is not the peak direction.

This is the right thing for the neighbourhood. The only people they're standing up for(in practice, not in their hearts) are the transient drivers.
Mark Dowling / May 23, 2007 at 05:17 pm
Giambrone says he surveyed door to door.
The protesting residents said he didn't.

Someone's not telling the truth - and my observation was simply that just because some commenters above favour giambrone's plan should not be cause to doubt the residents' view that consultation was not properly done.
wes / May 23, 2007 at 06:25 pm
I just bought a house on Lansdowne and I am totally for the narrowing of Lansdowne. The corner of Bloor and Lansdowne is dangerous and ugly and any improvements will help. I'm guessing there are a few lazy people on the street who can't use the new pedestrian crossings or improved stop lights. I think they have a really weak case to go against this thing and I really don't understand their mentality. How can larger sidewalks with more trees be a bad thing?
Mark Dowling / May 25, 2007 at 11:52 am

maybe you could talk to your neighbours with signs and let us know what they say?
gypsybird / May 27, 2007 at 06:44 pm
Sam Galati / May 28, 2007 at 06:05 pm
sam galati / May 28, 2007 at 06:28 pm

Regarding your comment about Jane Jacobs, I will mention that I have read some of her work -- and from my reading, one of her strongest themes is the importance of community consultation. More than anything, she was a caution against top-down decision making that ignored how people actually used the street in favour of a technocrat's vision of how the street should be used. Top down was bad in Jacobs' day. And it is bad now even if we happen to agree with the technocratic visions that are being pushed through nowadays.

Does that mean that I think that municipal governments should only do what the majority in a community want. Not necessarily. However, unless there is a transparent and open process in which concerns can be dealt with, then you are not likely to build safe communities.

We can disagree about the physical features that may make for safe communities. But if the City is intent on shoving projects through without allowing for adequate consultation, then what it is fostering is disengagement, not safe communities. Physical features by themselves do not create safe communities. If those features are pushed through in a way that makes people bitter, resentful, angry and shut out of the process, then how can you possibly lay claim to building a safe community?

Piero, I agree that Jacobs' work is a real eye-opener...But for me, it was an eyeopener about the importance of process and community consultation in planning our public spaces.
landowneresident4life / May 29, 2007 at 02:45 am
i can see noone is getting the big picture. the residents on lansdowne(college to bloor)[and surrounding area]have been victims of the drug problem for the longest time. now they are victims of a councillor who is foolowing his own agenda and want to pass it off as a communitiy supported project which is not the case. they will not be able to properly "neighbourhood watch" because they will be targets. in the laneway they will have to watch over their shoulder even m ore than usual because they have no other choice. that stretch is also a main route for the fire house down the street. this plan will affect the capabilities of any emergency services and because of the high crimes and seniors this is not good. the wore thing is that the residents werent properly informed or consulted they were told half dont care. i dont know that but i know they all work hard.
Herb van den Dool / May 29, 2007 at 11:36 am
No one has mentioned the cyclist angle yet, and Sam's site makes some misrepresentation of what's exactly going on on Lansdowne. The "narrowing" refers to the car parking on the east side. All the space formerly taken up with parking will be distributed to the sidewalks, boulevard of trees, and wider driving lanes (with bike lanes along part of it). Even though there will be some traffic calming features, it should actually greatly facilitate cycling traffic which is currently being ignored. Sam, cyclists are the current second-class citizens on Lansdowne. Get used to giving up a bit of privilege for safety of others.

Lansdowne has been a part of the Bike Plan since 2001. It's no big surprise that is has finally come up for some road work and painting some new lines.
Sam / May 30, 2007 at 04:50 pm
Giambrone's support staff is incompetent and I wouldn't be surprised if they had forgotten to do door-to-door consultation and told Giambrone they had anyway. I don't think Giambrone would want to relegate those not fluent in English as second class citizens, as one person suggested. He has been vocal in having community notices and such translated so all citizens can read it.

The Lansdowne issue seems like NIMBY to me. It's not like the driving lane will be narrowed so I don't know why there is so much concern. A similar issue arose in my neighborhood once and when I went to the community consultation, it was apparent people were finding excuses so they're driving experience wasn't hindered in some way.
sam galati / May 31, 2007 at 01:10 am
Please note that the comment left by "Sam" at 4:50 pm was not by me.

I don't think I made any misrepresentation on my site. However the space for the lane being taken out is being distributed, it is going from 4 lanes to 3. We are reducing road capacity on a street that handles 17,000 vehicles a day. Currently, we are able to have 2 lines of traffic going south during the morning rush hours and 2 lanes of traffic going north for the afternoon rush hours. That means cars are able to move through more quickly and have less congestion. I am not against bicycles or trees for that matter, but many senior and disabled residents have raised concerns about how this will impact them. For these people, being able to park at the front is a mobility issue, especially on a busy road such as Lansdowne. Those who say just park in the lane should try putting themselves in the shoes of an elderly or disabled person who after the changes will no longer be able to be picked up and dropped off in front of their homes. There are other ways to enhance our cycling infrastructure without building it on the backs of the elderly and disabled. Do you really think it is fair that the road is redesigned in a way that takes away existing features now enable a certain group of people to continue to live on that street? I don't especially when we are taking away features that are needed by elderly and disabled residents. If this was a residential street, taking a lane away wouldn't be that big of an issue (at least for me). But Lansdowne isn't a residential street. It is one of the main north-south arteries in west-end Toronto. And traffic on the street has gotten much higher in recent years with all the new developments in the area.

As for your comment that Giambrone's staff may have forgotten to do a door-to-door consultation, that may be so. HOWEVER, the Councillor has been reported as saying that HE PERSONALLY did this door-to-door survey (Toronto Star, May 17/07). I don't see how is staff would be on the hook for that claim. As for your comment that the Lansdowne issue seems like NIMBY, that may be how it might look to you. You are entitled to your opinion. That doesn't invalidate the importance of due process and proper consultation, even in instances when you personally don't agree with the points of view (or even excuses) that you think people are putting forth. Due process means due process for all -- even for those whose opinions you don't agree with.
steve / May 31, 2007 at 11:20 pm
hello everybody,

I am a lifelong resident of Lansdowne and I am very upset with the way the people on my street have been treated. We are going to experience the biggest and most important construction project(and there has been many of them in our area)and we didnt even have the chance to properly give our vast knowledge of the street and the community as a whole. We are nice, hard working, polite, and friendly neighbours who have suffered because of the violence and crime that has plauged our community for the last 25 years or more.There has been murders, mugging, beatings, shootings, stabbings, rapes, assaults, thefts, vandalisms and a steady flow of drug dealers and addicts.
Now the city says they want to make our neighbourhood more beautiful by adding trees, flowers and grass. We are not scared any of there things but these things wont kill us.
We will be forced to use the laneway on a daily basis where we will become targets and victims. We will have to be even more careful than we already are because our laneways are filled with drug addicts, prostitutes, and peole looking for a way to get his next fix. With no parking in the front , neighbours will not be able to properly "watch the neighbourhood" and it become even more dangerous that it alredy is.This is NOT going to make our community ANY SAFER. The BIGGEST concern there is in regards to parking is that I feel that we suffer so much when it comes to leaving and coming home because many residents fear for their lives and dont want to become another statistic in the long line of victims in our area, we should have plenty of parking for our family and friends to come spend time with us, to party with us, to play with us, to live with us, to laugh with us, to cry with us and to mourn with us. Many times residents feel like prisoners in their own home but prisoners get visitation rights. We have gone through enough heartache and every time a neighbour gets hurt, victimized, ripped off, and taken advantage of, we as a whole community end up losing a part of our spirit. We deal with sick people who have lost their souls and some have no respect for human life.
The city is asking the homeless and the panhandlers what they can do to help them and us residents are being told whats best for our street. Walk a day in our shoes and tell me how important it is to add trees to make us feel better. We have been waing 12 years for our st. to get fixed and 32 years for the removal of the streetcar tracks that has been there and instead, everything is going to become that more difficult. WE HAVE GONE THROUGH ENOUGH.
The city also says Lansdowne is a minor arterial roadway but theres a reason there is no parking between peak hours of travel( 7-9 am southbound = 4-6 pm northbound).
We share the road with 17,000 vehicles a day including buses, trucks, tractor-trailers, cement trucks and many cyclists. People use this stretch of Lansdowne (college to Bloor) to get to any where the want to go from the North, East, South or West. Citizens take this stretch to get to College (where it begins) Dundas, Queen, Jameson, King, Queensway, Q.E.W., Lakeshore, Gardinar, Bloor, Dupont, Annette, Davenport, Caledonia, Old Weston Rd., St. Clair,
Rogers, Eglinton, Black Creek, Dufferin, Allen Rd, and then off to the 401 and the 400. >THIS IS NOT MINOR.<
This is not just a community issue, IT IS A CITY ISSUE.
I hope everyone doesnt judge people for what they believe in or what they are tring to accomplish, but to try to understand what they have, and are still going through
because some people dont know how good they have it, until
its gone.
Its ironic Lansdowne is in the middle of St. Helens and St.
Clarens because we feel we need a MIRACLE to stop this disaster of a project.

Thank You for taking the time to
read this. Its my 1st time.

Steve Barbosa

You can reach me at
steve / May 31, 2007 at 11:38 pm
the 0 in barbosa is a zero.

I also have much research done in traffic patterns and the impact this will have on a major scale.
Stephen McCammon / June 1, 2007 at 01:17 am
Neighbourhoods are made up of people with different points of view, goals, and backgrounds. This isn't simply about what Lansdowne is going to look from a bird's eye view a year from now. It's about how the community is going to come through this and how we're going to move forward as a community. In the end, if the people most intimately affected feel disregarded and disrespected, the neighbourhood will have lost something fundamental, however many trees, bike lanes, or parking spots appear on your computer screen on Google Earth or on your commuter scene passing through a part of town many have called home for decades.

Speaking as a more recent comer and neighbour on St. Clarens, my hope, still alive today, is that we pull together, residents, councillor, and community, and figure out how to move forward based on respect and engagement. Recent signals from the councillor's office add to that hope.

PS The yellow signs stay up on our front lawns because we want to be heard. The passion is real and its not going away.

PPS Its pretty interesting to hear how patronizing we can allow ourselves to become. Are some of us more committed to our ideas about what is "good" then the idea that others may have good cause for coming to a different conclusion about what that "good" looks like? Some of the commentaries above sound 'green', but feel mean. "Progressive" types including the organic soy chai gentry must remain honest and face the fact that righteousness is a form of lazy intellectual f-as-c-hion-ism. There's room for us all, but just remember, the local marketplace of ideas is the toughest test and those who consider, reconsider, and evolve, the truest friends.
carolyn passarelli / June 1, 2007 at 12:59 pm
This issue came to my attention completely by accident only 3 weeks ago. I am a resident on St. Clarens Ave. for the past 6 years and hope to remain one for MANY years to come. The fact that I stumbled upon this NEIGHBOURHOOD issue shocked me because Mr. Giambrone or any of his support staff never came to my door and I work from home and english is my first language. I feel stomped on by this plan because there has been no public consultation from him (even though he and Mayor Miller put it in writting that there would be!!).
I can't help recalling my parents stories of immigrants to Canada and feeling over looked and like they had nothing to offer in there community until they finally broke down some of the barriers that english speaking Canadians take for granted...........well Narrowing Lansdowne sure sounds and feels the same. Stop thinking not in my backyard and really LISTEN to what the residents and neighbouring streets say about THEIR community!
shoelaces / June 1, 2007 at 02:00 pm
steve / June 1, 2007 at 04:43 pm
Everyone should ask the residents WHAT THEY REALLY THINK about this. Ask them what would make their community safer. TREES OR GETTTING RID OF THE VIOLENCE AND CRIME WEVE BEEN THROUGH FOR OVER 25 YEARS.

TY Steve email me the O in my last name is a zero
Tanja / June 2, 2007 at 03:00 am
Some community protest photos seen here:
Lansdowne Resident / June 3, 2007 at 06:44 am
Lansdowne Resident / June 3, 2007 at 06:57 am
Oh, and just a clarification- bicyclists use Lansdowne already- it will become actually more difficult for them to use it if it is narrowed...I support the bike paths on College- I just don't think they work very well as cars ignore them.
Mike / June 3, 2007 at 12:43 pm
When these signs on Lansdowne started popping up on peoples lawns I thought I'd take a look see what's going, and from what I've seen there's a lot of FUD being spread around, mainly from the opposition of this project.

One thing in particular has caught my attention and bothers me to no end:
However the space for the lane being taken out is being distributed, it is going from 4 lanes to 3. We are reducing road capacity on a street that handles 17,000 vehicles a day. Currently, we are able to have 2 lines of traffic going south during the morning rush hours and 2 lanes of traffic going north for the afternoon rush hours.

No matter which way you look at it, there are really only 3 lanes during morning or afternoon "rush hour", then after that is trimmed to a measly 2 lanes, at which point is terribly congested and a danger to anyone who rides a bike on the street. The fact of the matter is narrowing Lansdowne to 3 lanes is not going to hinder traffic anymore than it already is, what it will do is take away precious parking spots.

<p>"Many are concerned that the plan will create more traffic congestion (and pollution)"</p>
Claiming that narrowing the street will cause more pollution is just silly. If Lansdowne can accommodate 17000 vehicles in its current "four lanes" then when narrowed it will not be able to handle 17000 vehicles, thus eliminating that argument. please don't play the green card.

The last thing that bothers me about this whole campaign is the "disabled and elderly" points that are on the wonderfully hand crafted signs. I walk up and down Lansdowne a lot, its a great way of getting into the city, so when I see stairs on every house it makes me wonder, "where are all these disabled people?". In my short 3 years in this neighbourhood I have not once seen any disabled residents. Maybe it's because they're always indoor, but to claim that narrowing the street will hinder them seems overly wrong if anything it will be a good thing .

While I do support narrowing Lansdowne I do have to agree that simply pushing this through city hall without proper consultation is wrong, and that it should be stopped on that basis and that basis only, not on FUD.
Sam Galati / June 3, 2007 at 10:41 pm

You say that it is just silly to suggest that narrowing the street will not cause more pollution. Well, the Fire Department has expressed concern that narrowing the street will increase congestion -- which means more vehicle emissions (ie pollution). Also, the City's own traffic calming policy acknowledges that traffic calming (which this project has been described as) is not appropriate for routes with over 8,000 vehicles a day, partly because of the increase in vehicle emissions that is likely to occur. In other words, people's concerns about increased pollution are not as silly as you may think.

Last summer and fall, we had one lane on this route closed because of work on a water pipe. The result was traffic backed up for many hours of the day, often from Bloor to College. Many people are concerned that that situation will become permanent once you are no longer able to add a 3rd lane during rush hours.

You say that Lansdowne will not be able to handle 17,000 vehicles a day when the narrowing takes place. Our concern is that it will be LESS ABLE to handle this volume of traffic -- BUT WILL STILL BE REQUIRED TO HANDLE THIS VOLUME OR CLOSE TO IT. There is only so much traffic that can be diverted onto adjoining side streets. And is it right to divert traffic to these adjoining streets when these adjoining streets were not built with this purpose in mind?

Those who live on the street know that traffic on this route has increased substantially because of all the new developments in the area. That is why many people are concerned about this plan.

If the City was seriously committed to diverting substantial traffic away from this route, I might be more open to support the proposal to narrow the street. However, the traffic diversion should be done before the street is narrowed. If the City really was serious about all this, why isn't it proceeding on a test basis (by setting up temporary barriers) to determine if narrowing will actually reduce the traffic volume?
Sarah Latha-Elliott / June 5, 2007 at 12:51 am
As a Lansdowne resident, I am distressed about the misrepresentation of the Lansdowne construction and renewal project as 'Lansdowne Narrowing'. Lansdowne is a 2-lane roadway(parking on both sides with two remaining lanes in the centre), with allowances made during the two rush-hours each day for an extra lane of traffic in the busy direction (south in the morning, north in the afternoon). Surely there can be no doubt about this fact: whether you choose to refer to it as a 2-lane, 3-lane or 4-lane roadway, there is one lane in each direction for 20 of the 24 hours in each day. The renewal plan for the street will thus have a negligible impact on traffic flow. Talk of 'narrowing' and references to the 17,000 cars using Lansdowne each day is simply inflamatory.

As someone who is hyper-vigilant about ensuring democratic process and equitable, consultative decision-making in every sphere possible, I am always concerned when people feel excluded from ANY process. Working-class and immigrant communities in particular, always need to be watchful that they are included to the extent that more privileged, elite neighbourhoods expect and receive opportunities for consultation. However, to conflate concerns about consultation with a blanket opposition to this project is A BIG MISTAKE and frankly, insulting!

In general, opposition to this project stems from an individualistic, self-focused approach where concrete is prized over green-space and hundreds of litres of water are rountinely used to chase a single leaf from the sidewalk area in front of a given person's property. A man commented in one news story: "Where will I unload my groceries?" Elsewhere in the opposition literature, it is mentioned that people will have trouble receiving delivery when they purchase new major appliances.

So please, don't hesitate to bombard City Hall and Councillor Giambrone's office with feedback if you feel you have not been consulted. But don't insult people's intelligence by pretending that opposition to this plan is about anything more than an unwillingness to forego personal conveniences for the sake of the quality of life of the broader community, both your immediate neighbours and those surrounding us.
sam galati / June 5, 2007 at 07:34 pm
You say you are "hyper-vigilant" about ensuring democratic process and equitable, consultative decision-making in every sphere possible, yet you say opposition to the plan is unwarranted. Maybe you can explain why folks in Dufferin Grove are entitled to have two public meetings about a toilet in their park but people on Lansdowne are not entitled to even this with respect to a project that will cost almost $2 million on their doortstep. I recognize you strongly support the project but what right do you have to suggest that people's concerns about this project are not legitimate? When you make such statements, you are basically saying that consultation is unwarranted because there is only one right point of view -- yours. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, this incident has touched a nerve with locals -- and the patronizing treatment they have been receiving from local politicians. What they are starting to say is that they are unwilling to be treated like second class citizens -- whether they are right or wrong in their views about the City's plan, they don't deserve such treatment. I would suggest that the only people who are conflating opposition to the plan with concerns for consultation are those who for whatever reason don't want to see appropriate consultation take place. If you really do support the idea of consultation, then you need to be willing to consider other viewpoints (albeit not agree with them), which based on what you've written, doesn't seem to be the case. You seem to be for consultation -- but only with people who hold views similar to yours. That's not consultation. And it's ok to not be supportive of consultation -- but then don't pretend to be defending something you don't really seem to believe in.
gypsybird / June 5, 2007 at 11:16 pm
Sarah, I think its about exactly what they're saying its about; lack of consultation. Its obvious from your posting that you feel superior to the rest of your neighbors, while trying to masquerade as a socially conscious, fair minded individual but at least give them some basic respect eh? 'opposition to this project stems from an individualistic, self-focused approach where concrete is prized over green-space'. huh? you sound like the self focused one here. if you really are so 'hyper vigilant' about democratic process where've you been while your neighbors try to get some democratic process going for them? Did you express your so sincere 'concern' to the media?
Or are you only worried about democratic fairness for yourself?
Sorry, but you're going to have to do better if you want to make an itelligent contribution to the discussion.
sam galati / June 6, 2007 at 08:08 am
BTW Sarah,
I don't recall seeing any mention in the opposition's literature about delivery of new appliances. Yes, I heard the gentleman make the comment about his groceries. Maybe when you get to be his age, having to walk long distances with loads will be an issue for you also.

The oppositions' literature also had references to the concerns of many elderly and disabled residents, for whom being able to be picked up and dropped off in front of their home is a mobility issue. I not you didn't refer to these concerns in your post. Was it by any chance because it would have made your comment about "personal inconveniences" sound a tad insensitive?
Scott / June 6, 2007 at 02:04 pm
Rob / June 9, 2007 at 11:57 am
17 000 cars per day/ 24 hours / 60 min / 3 lanes = about 4 cars per min per lane. I know it isn't evenly distributed but still. 17 000 is not a lot of cars.

I live further north on Lansdowne and bike south through that area every day(during hte peak traffic hours). The road is crap and needs to be redone, people park where they shouldn't forcing cyclists into traffic. The narrow street with a bike path will probably save lives.
sam galati / June 10, 2007 at 07:37 am
17,000 vehicles a day is not a lot of cars? What would qualify as a lot of cars to you? The 401?
No Bike Path / June 10, 2007 at 04:50 pm
Actually, the reconstruction of Lansdowne will not include true bike paths according to the report.
carolyn passarelli / June 10, 2007 at 07:50 pm
the city has already said that the project on narrowing lansdowne is a "LITMUS" test, so get ready .If you think this is not going to affect you or your neighbourhood, your kidding yourself.
ramanan / June 12, 2007 at 11:41 am
For people still following this Lansdowne street drama, Adam's office emailed one of the community mailing lists in the area about the project. (<a href="";>I've posted the email online.</a>) Two key points are:

1. "Currently, counts show that overnight parking is below half the available capacity, and will remain below capacity after the improvements are made."

2. "Traffic counts show that the road is currently operating at roughly 1/3 capacity, and will operate at roughly 1/2 capacity after the improvements are made. In other words, Lansdowne is more than capable of handling the traffic."
gypsybird / June 13, 2007 at 12:30 am
Hey, how about the key point of the disabled man who was told he didnt need handicapped parking anymore? Or the key point of the councillor somehow failing to make good on a written promise in 2006 to discuss the issue in the coming year (2007) and that no decision would be made until that discussion took place? Let's talk about those key points.
happy Lansdowne resident / June 13, 2007 at 12:37 am
Good Day!

If nothing else, this protest will help build a stronger sense of community. It's nice the city has their checkbook out to spend a good chunk of our tax dollars on our street...That in itself is good for our property values, and when these values escalate, many of the inherent street-level problems we see will begin to deteriorate. There has been an immense amount of energy spent on trying to discourage these so-called upgrades from happening in the form of public protest and demonstration. How can we, as residents, communicate in a positive way that the planned expenditures on our street are a good thing, and that valuable community input will only make the city's investment even more feasible?
Sam Galati / June 13, 2007 at 12:02 pm
Happy Lansdowne Resident,

I am glad that you are happy. The protest will help build a stronger sense of community, but this is not something that those who are ramming this project through despite what residents feel can take credit for.

I recognize that you welcome the changes. By all means, go forward and say that the plan is a good thing for our street. But why would you be looking to other people to do this when they are clearly saying that they don't want this plan? It's not that they don't want the City to invest in this neighborhood -- they desperately do. It's that they don't want this money spent in this way.

If you are seeing a lot of energy expended on this protest, it is because many residents are finally saying the are sick and tired of feeling treated as second-class citizens by local politicians.
Renata / June 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm
Hi.. let me introduce myself.. I have been a resident of St. Clarens Avenue for 43 yrs, I am aware of the problems at Bloor and Lansdowne and was a member of the Bloor Lansdowne Community Against Drugs, and spent many years involved attending revocation hearings to have liquor licenses removed from restaurants that catered to the drugs crowds on the corner. Instituted a moratorium on liquor licences for the stretch between Lansdowne and Dufferin and also had numerous safety audits in our neighbourhood. Therefore if someone thinks that "calming" Lansdowne will improve the drug situation the are confused. Improving pedestrian traffic on Bloor itself would indeed help, but Lansdowne pedestrian traffic has no impact on the drug activity as it is mostly limited to Bloor, between Lansdowne and St. Clarens on the North and South sides. The laneways that run parallel to Bloor between Lansdowne and St. Clarens just immediately to the North and South of Bloor also see drug activity take place if someone says our laneways are safer than the streets, I don't know where they live because the converse is true. So trying to argue that the "calming" measures will reduce drug activity in the neighbourhood indicates a lack of knowledge of the dynamics of the situation.

Currently, with 4 lanes on Lansdowne, the buses pull into the curb lane while passengers disembark. This permits other traffic to still flow in the two driving lanes. The current proposal means the buses have no curb lane to pull into, resulting in cars idling and emitting pollutants while they wait for the bus to finish passenger disembarkation. Those of us who have waited at Lansdowne and College know what congestion results when we have the streetcar parked in the middle lane and the bus stopping to let passengers on and off at College. So how will narrowing Lansdowne improve the community? I live on St. Clarens Avenue, we already experience overflow traffic from Lansdowne on our street. Many people speed up on this street to bypass the congestion that already exists on Lansdowne. Therefore, any change to Lansdowne will impact us, yet this street has yet to be "officially" notified of this change and consulted on this matter. Where is the democracy? Why was this matter not consulted with the St. Clarens residents. I have devoted myself to this community when many moved out because I love my neighbourhood and as such feel I am entitled to a say in changes that impact me and my family. I am willing to abide with the majority, but Adam Giambrone is not the majority, he is not even a resident and he should definitely not be permitted to dictate his vision of this community to hard working immigrant people.
shoelaces / June 26, 2007 at 11:58 am
Who said narrowing would actually fight drugs and crime on Lansdowne? So far I've read that it would be a good start to making the area look nicer and that's about it. I think safety starts with taking some pride in your neighbourhood and looking out for one another. Sure pedestrian traffic has no impact on actual crime but have you ever been to Winnipeg. There is tons of crime in the north end of that city and guess what? Most average Winnipeggers don't even think of venturing downtown at night or in the day for that matter. For the single reason that there are not people roaming the streets who are looking out for each other. This only escalates the crime factor by allowing the criminals to control an area due to fear. Having more sidewalk space encourages foot traffic which means there are more eyes in an area. This can only be a good thing unless you have the view that you'd be safer in a vehicle in certain areas. The future of this ciy relies on transit and decent foot traffic to make cleaner air. Take a look outside at the smog and tell me different. I've also heard that narrowing will cause more congestion which I don't believe. There will still be 2 active lanes in both directions after improvements are made. What is left is one less lane of parking which doesn't even get used anyways. What I would like to know is what great plan does Sam Gelati have for this section of Lansdowne. If he is so against this thing then provide your idea for the area. Oh I know let's take the city to court and make them spend more money so they can undue the job in a city that is already super tight on funds. Make sense? Not really.
Sidewalk Space / July 17, 2007 at 02:40 pm
<p>Hi Shoelaces, Having more sidewalk space located directly beside backed up industrial &nbsp;traffic rarely gets people out of a walk...this is what the narrowing of the street will do...</p>
More Concrete; No Trees / August 27, 2007 at 08:21 pm
Councillor Giambrone has lied to the residents of Lansdowne. The reconstruction of Lansdowne will have no bike paths, and few trees and flowers planted. In actual fact, the City has made a greater environmental footprint, with more concrete, traffic calming bump outs and a narrow neck which will create major traffic accidents for buses and industrial vehicles. I am ashamed of the City Councillors for for allowing such a destructive plan to go through after Councillor Giambrone ran an imaginary poll to sway their vote.

Don't take my word for it- come see the traffic fiasco in the making.
anonamous / September 17, 2007 at 09:44 pm
im sorry what does a wider side walk accomplish aswell this is supposed to be a greening project why is there so much comcrete it looks ugly. what is the point of all theys stupid bump outs it makes no sence Giambrone you are not being intelligent with this plan i know most people dont want this plan so why do it?
Six Accidents on Lansdowne / December 1, 2007 at 03:19 pm
There have been at least six accidents on Lansdowne since it has been narrowed, and since its reopening to traffic two months ago. One accident had a car skidding over a sidewalk for twenty feet- if there had been a pedestrian on the sidewalk, they would have been killed. Another was a three car collision in front of West Toronto Collegiate.
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