Safety measures proposed for two dangerous Toronto streets but people aren't happy
In the wake of the deaths of three people on Toronto streets, city council is looking to make changes but the residents don't like everything that is being proposed.
Several people died in collisions on Toronto streets in October – including 17-year-old Nadia Mozumde at Birchmount Road and Danforth Avenue; an 81-year-old man at O'Connor Drive at Pape Avenue; and Valdemar and Fatima Avila at Parkside Drive and Spring Road.
"Today was a march down Parkside Drive to protest the unsafe conditions along this stretch for all road users. High speed caused the tragic crash two weeks ago that took the lives of the Avilas." #SafeParkside #visionzero https://t.co/fXMFAZMz7X— SafeParkside (@safeparkside) October 26, 2021
Now Councillor Gord Perks is asking council to approve a list of safety changes on Parkside Drive, and Councillor Brad Bradford wants to reduce the speed limit along O'Connor Drive from Coxwell Avenue to St. Clair Avenue East from 50 kilometres per hour to 40 kilometres per hour.
Councillor Jennifer McKelvie is also asking that the city "accelerate the roll-out of Vision Zero through the 2022 budget process, to improve safety for the most vulnerable users of our transportation system — pedestrians, school children, older adults and cyclists."
All of these proposals are coming forward at the next City Council meeting on Nov. 9.
At least one of the proposals for Parkside Drive is not sitting well with residents. The proposed changes include reducing the speed limit from 50 kilometres per hour to 40 kilometres per hour, installing "Watch Your Speed" signs and a traffic signal; and installing a sidewalk on the west side of Parkside Drive between Bloor Street south to High Park Boulevard.
For decades @cityoftoronto councillors have left people stranded walking beside #HighPark on ParksideDrive making their own trail ~ outrageous negligence next to “a jewel in the City’s park system” #shame #negligence @Walk_TO @biketo #walkTO #PublicHealth https://t.co/XcppsSM9uO— Janet Joy Wilson (she/her/fietser) (@jsquaredink) October 27, 2021
"Residents of the community are very upset with the woefully inadequate initiatives put forth by yourself and Councillor Gord Perks," said Safe Parkside member Faraz Gholizadeh in an email to Mayor John Tory.
"Not only were the concerns of the community completely ignored (in fact there was ZERO community consultation prior to submitting the motion), it fails to even scratch the surface of the many factors that make Parkside so deadly."
A proposal to add Green P parking spots on the west side of Parkside Drive between Spring Road and north of the underpass and Bloor Street south to High Park Boulevard is particularly upsetting area residents.
"The only thing this will do is create extremely dangerous high-speed weaving of cars, a dangerous condition that already exists on the east side of Parkside," said Gholizadeh.
Gholizadeh suggests Perks was already considering adding Green P parking to the west side of Parkside before the tragic collision occurred.
"This has nothing to do with safety."
I drive Parkside fairly often in the early mornings. Drivers are currently passing me doing about 70 kph. Dropping the limit without enforcement will maybe get them to go 60 kph? Photo radar would be welcomed.— Andy Wickens (@AndyWickens53) November 5, 2021
Safe Parkside member Genevieve Lacroix adds that the Green P parking doesn't solve the problem for cyclists. She suggests a bike lane would allow for a safe commute route connecting the new bike lane infrastructure from Bloor to the Martin Goodman Trail.
It will also force more people to jaywalk to access homes if they can't find parking on the east side, create more congestion, and may be considered a permanent fix, thus preventing the installation of bike lanes and/or other infrastructure measures altogether, she says.
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