News on the traffic front!

On Tues., April 2, after several months’ delay, North York Community Council will try to decide on a solution for what continues to be a safety problem in South Leaside. The location: Bayview Avenue at Sutherland Drive. The issue: to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, and easier access for the TTC Route 88 bus.

You will recall that this past autumn City of Toronto traffic staff proposed that a traffic light be installed there – a proposal which raised a lot of neighbourhood concerns, not to mention questions. How and by whom would it be operated? Would it increase drive-through traffic on Sutherland? Had alternatives to a traffic signal been considered? These questions (and many others) were raised by the Leaside Residents Association (LRA) and numerous nearby neighbours. 

The item was sent back to staff for explanation. We look forward to learning more about their rationale, and what alternative approaches they may propose for making the intersection safer.

Security on the TTC

Representing the LRA, I attended an interesting TTC consultation meeting regarding proposed policies to improve security on public transit, based on recommendations made by Toronto’s ombudsman. We have all occasionally read disquieting reports about arguments or violence on streetcars or buses, or in the subway, whether linked to mental health or other problems.

The purpose of this meeting was to look at de-escalation, rapid response, data-recording cameras, and accountability, among other considerations. An important point: this is not an expansion of powers.

We enquired how the TTC and responders on site can identify a reasonable use of force while respecting dignity; the use of transit property for shelter by homeless people; the varying kinds of training needed for different types of incidents, from fare evasion to violence; and suicide prevention.

Our feedback is meant to be used in identifying which current practices and policies need improvement. A final report will be presented to the TTC board soon.

Property tax time!

Once again it is property tax time, which is always controversial, to say the least. Back in the era of Toronto’s amalgamation, I was co-chair of a province-wide committee comprising local officials, economists and councillors.

We were searching for a more equitable type of municipal/provincial taxation than Current Value Assessment, CVA, which is based on potential sales values of house and land, rather than on the levels of municipal support services used.

The result of the CVA tax system? Residents, especially those on fixed incomes, may be house rich, but too often are cash poor, as neighbourhoods become gentrified. Is it worth re-examining the assessment system again? I’d be interested in your thoughts.

The LRA board of directors meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, at the Trace Manes building on Rumsey, just south of Leaside Library. You are welcome to join us there. Depute on issues important to you, ask questions, have your say, or just listen.  

Our next monthly meeting is on March 6th. For more details and updates between now and then, or to become an LRA member, visit www.leasideresidents.ca and press the Contact Us button, or www.leasideresidents.ca/contact-us.

 

About Carol Burtin Fripp 140 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.