Pedestrian and bike plan released: it’s amazing

The Pedestrian Safety and Cyclist Committee has released its report, and it’s amazing, thorough, enlightened, and balanced. The 31 recommendations  would reinvent cycling and walking in Weston and Mount Dennis and would, at last, connect our riding to the rest of the city.

The biggest proposed changes are long bicycle lanes along Weston, Jane, and Black Creek Drive. Currently, there is no safe, direct route from Weston and Mount Dennis to the Junction area of Toronto or the York Rec Centre. These new paths would fix that—and make cycle commuting much more attractive. The report says that the PSCC was “surprised” to see that Weston and Jane had been left out of the city’s 10-year plan, and asked for that to be reconsidered. Jane, in particular, has “the potential of being a north – south artery for cycling.”

The PSCC also recommended that the city install bike lanes to connect the new Mount Dennis station to existing bike lanes on Eglinton, which, bizarrely, do not quite reach the station. The Weston Station, too, needs a connection for bicycles, they said.

The report wasn’t all about bikes, though; it also asked the city to conduct Road Safety Audits to improve pedestrian safety at the following locations in Weston and Mount Dennis:

  • Weston Road and Oak Street
  • Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue West
  • Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West

The authors said, “We need to be proactive—not reactive—in conducting safety audits of locations identified by the community as unsafe”.

They would also like the city to “reduce the speed limit on all local streets in Ward 11 immediately surrounding a school to 30 km/hr and create “School Safety Zones” around all schools in Ward 11. Making the bridges and tunnels in Weston better for pedestrians is also a priority, and the city should look into installing physical barriers, such as decorative railings, along the . Lawrence Avenue Bridge over the Humber, and the Weston Road underpass, which crosses under the UPX tracks near the Superstore.

 

Eglinton closed between Black Creek and Weston this weekend.

That’s pretty much it.

According to M.P.P. Laura Albanese,

  • This work is scheduled between Saturday March 24th and Sunday March 25th, 2018 
  • The work will occur from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Eglinton Avenue West will be closed from Saturday March 24 at 6:00 a.m. to Sunday March 25 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Work may be rescheduled due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.

For more details, read this.

Crosstown update and open house tomorrow

Metrolinx is holding an open house to showcase its Eglinton Crosstown project tomorrow, Tuesday, between 6:30 and 8:00pm. The project is set to open in 2021 and provide rapid transit and connections along and (mainly) under Eglinton between Mount Dennis and Kennedy Road. On display will be images of construction progress, construction timelines and details of likely impacts that future construction will bring in terms of noise and inconvenience.

Location: York Recreation Centre at 115 Black Creek Drive.

Mount Dennis Station Update

Today, Crosstown published to Twitter this photo of Mount Dennis Station under construction.

The Twitter caption reads: “It doesn’t have a roof yet, but Mount Dennis Station is certainly shaping up! The elevated concrete centre piece will be the passenger platform”.

Crime Statistics for 2017 in 12 Division.

From 680 News

CP 24 hosts an interesting page of statistics detailing crime across the city for the last few years. Visitors can see the occurrence of categories of crime for a particular police division or month and see the trends for a the last few years along with the ‘clearance’ which is police parlance for solved.

Having taken statistics courses in the golden era of the abacus (the more modern plastic ones though), we were trained to stay calm about trends when the occurrence rate is small. For example, murders in 12 Division were down 60% last year. That sounds like a huge drop but the actual number went from 5 in 2016 to 2 in 2017. Wonderful news but while 60% is more impressive, it’s not the whole picture.

More concerning is that certain crimes seem to be hard to solve. Only 28 out of 216 stolen car cases in 12 Division were solved last year for a dismal 13% clearance rate. Not encouraging for those who leave their car outside overnight.

There is some good news.

  • Our officers in 12 Division seem to be marginally better at solving crime than their colleagues in the rest of the city. Their clearance rate is 55% for all crime compared to 50% for the city as a whole.
  • Across the whole of Toronto, crime appears to have continued its steady downward trend after a blip last year.
  • February is the month when criminal behaviour is consistently at its lowest here and across the city.

Find the CP24 page at this link.

Crosstown battery storage

The province announced this week that it will work with Toronto Hydro to build a battery-backup farm in Mount Dennis for the Eglinton LRT. The batteries will store energy overnight when it is cheap, and release it during the day to “reduce peak energy use and lower the Crosstown’s overall emissions and operating costs”.

Originally, the LRT was to have a natural-gas generator at the Mount Dennis station, but Metrolinx folded under local pressure and said that it would build a battery backup instead.

Nyctophilia: a rare example of great public art

Nyctophilia, the art exhibit in Mount Dennis that generated a fair bit of controversy when it  opened in 2014, has a prominent role in a deep-think piece on public art. It’s worth the read; public art is neither particularly received nor understood, but Nyctophilia is unusual:

[The artists] found Nyctophilia especially rewarding because they got to work in a neighbourhood where public art might not usually exist. It’s a challenge to uneven urban development, Young says. It suggests there ought to be cultural investment in all parts of the city, not just downtown. 

Art in Condoland