Traffic study will aim for our protection

How’s the traffic on your street? Do drivers stop at stop signs? What about speeding? Have you noticed other – and increased –  traffic-related problems in the neighbourhood?

Other than development issues, traffic complaints top the list of matters brought to the LPOA’s attention. Whether they live near one of the busy arterials or on what used to be a quiet street, more Leasiders report concerns about speeding and increased traffic.

Once upon a time these were primarily rush-hour matters, on Monday to Friday only, which was bad enough. Now, these are day- and evening-long problems, every day as drivers from across the city head to shopping areas, particularly on Laird.

This is why, when we reached a settlement with SmartCentre North, $50,000 was earmarked for a traffic study throughout Leaside. The key aspect is that it should be neighbourhood-led, with maximum input from Leasiders to identify traffic problems and to advise on counter-measures acceptable to residents.

Here are the terms of reference we intend to apply:

  • to protect all residential streets, and avoid directly transferring through-traffic to adjacent streets;
  • to reduce through-traffic from the entire residential area (of Leaside north and south);
  • to enhance our residential environment for residents making neighbourhood trips;  and
  • to protect public transit routes, and give priority to public transit.

We are not interested in what transportation engineers call “optimizing our existing infrastructure,” aka moving flow-through traffic “efficiently” through Leaside. We are interested in reducing existing problems and preventing future ones.

We are also interested in working in cooperation with city staff, to share information and statistics. This cooperation will be particularly important if the city decides to proceed with a much more major traffic study, which has been proposed by Councillor John Parker. That proposal includes not just Leaside but also Leslie St. and Overlea Blvd.

Our effort will include questionnaires to residents, with several public meetings to address concerns and hear your comments. Final recommendations will be shaped by you, the people most affected by and concerned with the safety of our streets.

As soon as we receive the settlement funds (which should be by the autumn) we will begin our process of consultation and statistic-gathering. A noted traffic consultant is on board and sympathetic to residents’ input (stay tuned for LPOA’s announcement on who he is)!   We look forward to working with you on this important project. It is not too late to make a difference – for the better.

In closing, I am saddened to report that a former president of the LPOA, architect Denny Maniates, died in early June. Denny worked hard for LPOA in the 1990s, and had in recent months been a keen supporter of  LPOA/Leaside Unite concerns, especially traffic-related. He was a valued member of our community, and we will miss him.

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.