Traffic, traffic, and more traffic!


A flashing light above a stop sign in Leaside. Photo by Robin Dickie.
A flashing light above a stop sign in Leaside. Photo by Robin Dickie.

In my February Leaside Life column, I suggested the possibility of holding local ‘pop-up’ traffic meetings to discuss the LPOA’s recently presented traffic-calming initiative in more detail, and to hear your suggestions and concerns.

Last month our traffic consultant Gene Chartier and I had a helpful and detailed meeting with Councillor Jaye Robinson, to look at the process for moving the plan ahead. The City’s supervisor of traffic operations also attended. Nothing is going to happen overnight. Transportation Services is undergoing reorganization, and as this occurs we will observe and assess their changes.

I know that most of us become impatient with the slow pace of change (I hear from you about that!), but in this case I believe it is worthwhile to take the time to get the approach right. For instance, there is a new City Hall entity called the Neighbourhood Studies Group, currently being organized and staffed. This office offers an opportunity for very useful dialogue between City staff and ourselves on traffic-calming policy and implementation.

In the meanwhile, holding a number of small-venue meetings with Leasiders on assorted traffic aspects would be very helpful, and provide feedback we can take to the City. You do not have to be a traffic engineer to have worthwhile ideas and suggestions! Living as you do in the community, YOU are the experts, and your input is very valuable.

You can reach me through or via Leaside Life.

And now to follow up on a matter I first raised in my September 2018 column: changes to the signage at the extended crescent-shaped intersection of Astor Ave./Moore Ave./Southvale Dr./Mallory Cresc. Right now there are stop signs for east-west traffic, with flashing red lights (also known as flashing beacons) affixed to their tops.

In order to provide a safer crossing for pedestrians at the intersection, the City had planned to move the westbound stop sign (now on the N/E corner of Southvale/Astor) a few feet farther west, thus allowing for a painted crossing directly across from Moore/Southvale. The flashing light on that stop sign, as well as the flashing light on the eastbound Moore/Mallory stop sign, was to remain.

These flashing beacons improve visibility of the stop signs from afar, an important consideration. Before they were there, this curve in the road provided an irresistible temptation for drivers to speed, especially at night.

I learned at my City Hall meeting that Traffic Operations were planning to eliminate both flashing lights when moving the stop sign locations. I was very concerned that we would end up with a situation far less safe than the present arrangement. To do this without any neighbourhood consultation with nearby residents also struck me as counterproductive.

Since then I have heard that Traffic Operations is now considering at least temporarily holding off on removing the flashing beacons (or removing just the head but leaving the wiring) during a monitoring stage. I am assured that some consultation of residents will take place. The LPOA has offered its assistance with that consultation.

Our next monthly LPOA board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6TH at 7:30 p.m., in the Trace Manes building. These board meetings are always open to the public. We encourage you to attend.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 138 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.