Life in Leaside – death, taxes…and traffic

You know the saying about the only things certain in life being death and taxes. And then there is traffic.

No part of Leaside is immune from traffic infiltration of one type or another. Speeding drivers. Drivers who ignore stop signs or other kinds of signage. Congestion, or heavy volume, at many times of the day. Parking problems. Trucks using streets with signs clearly marked “No Trucks.” Inability to get out of your own driveway before traffic gives way.

We think these issues are bad now, but they are likely to get even worse, as the city expands. There is a level of traffic saturation beyond which neighbourhoods are damaged beyond repair. We do not want this to happen in any part of Leaside. It is not NIMBYism to work toward creating safer streets.

But now is the time to plan, and to act as a single community to support traffic-calming measures which address all of Leaside, not just piecemeal sections of it.

As I write this, residents of North Leaside, having reached the limit of their patience with their traffic problems, contemplate a cul-de-sac proposal to prevent car access to and from Bayview Avenue north of Eglinton Ave. While they are being polled by the City to measure their opinion, the Leaside Property Owners’ Association is hearing from South Leasiders who are concerned about resultant diversion of traffic into South Leaside.

The problem with looking at North and South Leaside separately from each other is that it is likely to be divisive. It is too easy to turn the traffic problems which we all share into an us versus them matter. It is too easy for residents of one part of Leaside to claim that their problems are worse than those of other parts of the neighbourhood. The result of that would likely lead to no improvement at all, for any of us. Divided, the status quo will continue.

The LPOA is being asked what the association will do, if the North Leaside cul-de-sac design is implemented. Will we support something similar for South Leaside?

Our position has been clear from the start. Only a traffic calming plan which looks at ALL of Leaside, working as an interconnected system as a system, can be truly effective in reducing speed and flow, and be mutually supportive. ALL of this area deserves help and improvement. Street versus street action, or section versus section, has the potential to harm all of the community, as it has stymied progress in past efforts.

Although happening more slowly than we would like, the LPOA’s neighbourhood-wide study proceeds. We have met with City traffic staff and will continue to do so. We will hold a Leaside-wide meeting as soon as we can, likely late in the fall, after the municipal elections. Whatever happens with the North Leaside poll, we will be putting forward a positive set of proposals for all of Leaside.

Let’s not let the serious traffic concerns, which we all share, divide us.

Our next LPOA board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6th at 7:30 p.m., in the Trace Manes building. We invite you to attend, whether for help on local matters, to share your opinion or give advice, or just to hear more about what is happening in our community. Contact us anytime via our website, lpoa.ca.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 65 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Property Owners' Association, and is Chair of the LPOA's Traffic Committee. Over the years, she has served on numerous East York and City task forces. Now a retired television producer (TVO and CBC), she writes Leaside Life's monthly LPOA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.