By the time you read this, spring should be, if not fully sprung, then at least springing!
The terrible condition of our streets, both residential and arterial, has become all too clear. Potholes and broken water mains abound.
But not all of the damage is weather-related. In our part of the city, heavy construction vehicles associated with Leaside’s renovation boom are much to blame.
Last month, Councillor Jaye Robinson proposed a fee policy that would allow the city to charge developers on a cost-recovery basis for the congestion their projects create. Has the time come to go beyond charging just for congestion, and to require an additional set of fees for damage caused to our road surfaces?
At the LPOA’s March board meeting, we discussed the need for enforceable neighbourhood character rules for Leaside streetscapes. The LPOA frequently assists homeowners opposed to inappropriate development next door or on their street. The designs we currently rely on to define and protect the ‘look’ of Leaside at Committee of Adjustment meetings were drawn up some years ago and are merely guidelines. The City never officially endorsed them, and as a result the Committee of Adjustment routinely ignores them.
Until Leaside’s neighbourhood character is officially recognized by the City, we will continue to have an uphill fight. We intend to formally make a new case for the City to approve consistent and historically accurate design criteria.
At our March meeting we also discussed potential impacts on Leaside of the provincial government’s recent public musings about increasing revenue generation by rezoning the areas around LRT stations for high-density, high-rise development. The two Leaside area stations at Bayview Avenue and Laird Drive could well be affected if these trial balloons, if that’s what they are, become a reality. Toronto would be required to amend its official plan to agree with provincial policy. The implications for Leaside would be major, and should concern us all.
Once the LRT construction is finished and the line is operating (yes, that day will come) a big question remains: How much surface transit will remain available along Eglinton? Our sources tell us the TTC is hoping to significantly reduce bus frequency along Eglinton, under the theory that the LRT alone will be able to accommodate most of the riders currently using the Eglinton, Leslie, and Leaside buses.
I have written to Councillor Robinson asking that the LPOA be involved when the TTC considers bus route changes affecting Leaside. Unless adequate numbers of buses along Eglinton remain in service, the lengthy distances between LRT stations (Laird to Bayview; Bayview to Mount Pleasant) will actually reduce local residents’ access to public transit.
Our next monthly LPOA Board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3rd, at 7:30 p.m., in the Trace Manes building. Board meetings are always open to the public. We invite you to attend. For more information, visit https://lpoa.ca.