No speed humps on Patika?

The city has recommended against building speed humps on Patika between Jane and Pine.  Staff found that too few cars were going too slowly to warrant building the humps.

To get the city’s nod, the fastest 15% of cars need to go more than 10 km/h over the posted limit, and more than 1000 cars need to use the road every day. The 429 daily cars on Patika were not going fast enough to warrant the humps.

Community Council can overrule staff on April 4, when the humps are considered. If they do so, a survey will be sent out to residents.

New transit hub proposed for Pearson Airport.

The UP Express in Weston Station (file).

Pearson Airport is not only Canada’s biggest airport, it’s also an employer of 40,000 49,000 people who travel from all over the GTA along with many more who work in the surrounding region. In 2015 it was North America’s 14th busiest airport with over 41 million passenger trips.

Yesterday, new plans were unveiled proposing to make Pearson a transit hub for modes as well as flight. The idea is to eventually connect with the Eglinton Crosstown Line as well as bus routes from Toronto / Mississauga / Brampton and a possible high speed rail line along the Kitchener Line. Planners hope to be able to cut down on the 65,000 vehicles entering the airport daily.

This is good news because as traffic volumes continue to grow, new links to the hub will provide other ways (in addition to our fast UP Express link) for workers to quickly access the airport using Weston / Mount Dennis as their home. The airport will relocate parking garages to create the hub which will have an entrance on Airport Road. In addition, having a transit hub closer than Union Station will be a good thing for our area.

At the moment, the idea is in an exploratory mode and if approved, would not be in service until 2027 at the earliest.

UrbanToronto has an article on the proposal here.

Today’s Etobicoke York Council Decisions

Etobicoke York Council meets about once a month to deal with local issues. Local councillors discuss matters of local concern and adopt, defer or reject motions which are sent to the full council for adoption and enactment. Today’s decisions that may be of interest to our readers are:

Proposed apartment at 10 Wilby Crescent.

EYC recommends the following:

  1. Staff be directed to schedule a community consultation meeting for the lands at 10 Wilby Crescent together with the Ward Councillor.
  2. Notice for the community consultation meeting be given to landowners and residents within 120 metres of the site.
  3. Notice for the public meeting under the Planning Act be given according to the regulations of the Planning Act.

Decision: Adopted

8 Oak Street demolition

Toronto Building recommends that the City Council give consideration to the demolition application for 8 Oak Street and decide to:

Approve the application to demolish the two storey industrial building without entering into a beautification agreement with the City and the appropriate City officials be authorized and directed to take the necessary action to give effect thereto.

Decision: Amended

Update: The minutes don’t give details of the amendment yet, however, InsideToronto says that Councillor Nunziata asked for a heritage report on the building that will be delivered at the April EYC meeting.

Traffic Calming Poll Results – Rosemount Avenue

The Director, Transportation Services, Etobicoke York District recommends that:

Etobicoke York Community Council NOT to approve installing traffic calming on Rosemount Avenue.¹

Decision: Adopted

All-Way Stop Control – Rosemount Avenue and MacDonald Avenue

The Director, Transportation Services, Etobicoke York District recommends that:

Etobicoke York Community Council NOT approve the installation of all-way stop controls at the intersection of Rosemount Avenue and MacDonald Avenue.

Decision: Adopted

Pedestrian Access to City Laneway – Lawrence Avenue West to MacDonald Avenue

Transportation Services recommends that:

Etobicoke York Community Council NOT approve installing fencing across the laneway between MacDonald Avenue and Lawrence Avenue West, east of Ralph Street in order to block access to pedestrians.

Decision: Adopted


¹(Sorry, we reported this wrong. They did vote to approve speed humps.)

Speed limits lowering around Weston / Mount Dennis

We get outraged whenever a murder takes place in our city, yet people driving cars kill a similar number of Torontonians each year. Part of the problem is that our city has been designed to favour the automobile. Most cities in Europe have extensive traffic-free zones where pedestrians can walk without worrying about traffic.

A quiet Sunday afternoon in the Spanish city of Cartagena. Traffic free streets like this are common in Europe. Incidentally (and completely off topic), notice the lack of overhead wiring and also the use of mid-rise apartment buildings to achieve density.

Cars have been heavily redesigned over the years to protect the occupants in the case of a collision. Nothing is on the outside to help an unfortunate pedestrian or cyclist who is struck by a car.

The old expression goes, “Speed kills”. Logic tells us that the faster a car goes, the greater the impact in a collision. What most of us don’t realize is that thanks to the laws of physics, a car travelling at 6o km/h is almost twice as likely to kill a pedestrian or cyclist as one going at 50 km/h.

Pedestrian and cyclist risks when hit by a car. Data from aaafoundation.org

With greater speed, longer reaction times are needed and braking distance increases.

This Australian video illustrates the dangers of low level speeding.

As part of Vision Zero, a city-wide push to target the huge number of deaths and injuries on Toronto streets, some speed limits across the city are about to be lowered. The ones in our immediate vicinity are:

  • Dixon Road from Highway 427 to Royal York Road – Reduced from 60 km/h to 50 km/h
  • Rogers Road from Weston Road to Old Weston Road – Reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h

In addition, pedestrian crossing times will be lengthened at certain intersections.

All of us are vulnerable pedestrians; let’s think that way when we’re driving.

We’re number 12!

A typical day on Black Creek. From google.ca

As many readers will attest, the stretch of highway along Black Creek Drive between Weston and Trethewey can be a long, tough and tedious slog. Apparently it’s the 12th most congested piece of roadway in all of Canada. It begins as the 400 South and like the 427, was originally intended to bulldoze a path all the way down to the Gardiner. The 1970s got in the way and put a stop to further division and demolition of neighbourhoods. Black Creek drive was the best 1980s road builders could come up with in the space already cleared. This hybrid stretch today is as much fun in rush hour as a hemorrhoid transplant.

The vision from the 60s. From gettorontomoving.ca

Unfortunately, the money saved wasn’t channeled into public transit and today, instead of making transportation decisions around data, our wise leaders are spending billions that we don’t have on a Scarborough Subway that we don’t need.

Read the Star’s article on the topic here.

Apparently nothing changes in Toronto. Our Mayor’s big idea? According to CP24, tweak the lights; oh, and maybe have someone direct traffic. That’ll do ‘er.

Want to be depressed further? Read this article about the refusal of our council (and councillor) to consider data and need over political expediency.

Red light camera coming to Weston and Lawrence

From 730.ca

There is a list of 79 proposed red light camera locations for 2017 and the busy, diagonal intersection of Weston Road and Lawrence is on it. The cameras cost around $100,000 each but no doubt recoup more than their cost in the long run. Many pedestrians use the intersection and the camera may make things safer for them.

Red light cameras only photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red. Motorists nabbed while running a red light are politely requested to cough up a $325.00 fine. For the last five years, Toronto has run 77 RLCs and their statistics are here. Based on the data, accidents at intersections have been significantly reduced where RLCs are used. There is a FAQ list here.

Hopefully, this is not the only council decision that will be based on data this year.

No speed humps for Rosemount?

City staff are recommending against installing speed humps on Rosemount because not quite enough people responded to the survey asking their opinion.

The city sent out a survey on September 28. To recommend humps, the city requires a 50%+1 response rate and a 60% approval rate. In this case, they got a 46% response rate and a 67% approval rate. In other words, it was close.

Community Council can overrule city staff, and it often does. If it does so in this case, eight humps will be installed between Ralph and Queenslea.

City staff also recommended against an all-way stop at Rosemount and MacDonald.