Let’s make 2023 the Year of Safer Streets

Within days of your reading this article, Toronto’s newly elected and officially sworn-in City Council will be at work.

There’s lots to do, not to mention challenges.

Action on the Leaside Neighbourhood Transportation Plan (LNTP) will resume. Back in the summer, Ward 15 Councillor Jaye Robinson recommended that there be a report to the first meeting of the North York Community Council with an update on the LNTP. This should include an overview of what has been undertaken so far, plans for future public consultation, and a time line for the next phase of the plan.

I know that Leasiders are impatient for details, and, more importantly, assurance that there is hope for effective traffic calming to create safer streets throughout the neighbourhood. So am I! Over the years the Leaside Residents Association has initiated and supported studies and designs which never got implemented in spite of support from residents. Speeding remains a big problem, as is increased traffic volume, even on inner streets.

Then there’s a major and growing source of heavy traffic: rampant development. Wherever you look you’ll notice large signs indicating that “a proposal” has been made to develop properties, especially on the arterial roads surrounding Leaside.

We are very concerned about the impact that the provincial government’s policies promoting and facilitating Ministers Zoning Orders will have on Leaside, and the rest of the city, ordaining more and more high-rise density throughout. The result: more pressure on our already overloaded roads and municipal services such as water and sewage capacity, not to mention on Leaside’s already over-capacity schools.

Meanwhile, construction-site-related trucks continue using local streets, in greater numbers than ever, and at all hours, thanks to all of the construction taking place in and around Leaside. The LRA, and city councilors, hear frequent complaints about building sites which spill over onto – or completely block – sidewalks and occupy road space, endangering pedestrians and cyclists as well. We hear about “near misses,” accidents averted only at the last minute, as truck drivers speedily turn off Bayview, Eglinton or Laird into otherwise quiet residential streets. 

Let’s work with the new City Council, and our recently re-elected Councillor Robinson, to make 2023 the year we make real progress in creating safer streets. It’s essential that a traffic plan for all of Leaside be put into place before our streets become even more dangerous. 

The board of the Leaside Residents Association meets via Zoom on the first Wednesday of every month, at 7:30 p.m. These meetings are public, and we invite you (encourage you, even!) to join us. It’s a great way of getting up to date on current and potential issues. Our next board meeting is on Wed., Dec. 7th.  If you’d like to participate or watch, please let us know by that date and we’ll send you the Zoom access details. You can find us at www.leasideresidents.ca.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 139 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, and is Chair of the LRA'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 LRA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.