Traffic woes – steam coming out of my ears?

Traffic in Leaside. Staff photo.
Traffic in Leaside. Staff photo.

When the Leaside Residents Association met with the project management team of the City’s Leaside Traffic Management Plan (LTMP) in late August, we were quite optimistic we might see some progress fairly soon. The LTMP has been operating for well over two years now. Rather than wait until a final traffic plan for North and South Leaside is devised, we hoped that priority would be given to install a few interim measures (whether temporary or experimental) to provide some relief and greater safety to Leaside streets.

In September, I wrote to Eric Chan, manager of the LTMP, reiterating the need for some visible action, and asking for information that we could share regarding details and estimated timing. I am sorry to report that in a subsequent conversation, I learned that Eric felt that installing interim or experimental measures now would be both premature and unjustifiable. He said that his team still need to know more about the current situation and decisions should be deferred until the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been in service for a while (2022? 2023?) to gather more data on the impact of the LRT on car traffic patterns.

I replied that with or without the LRT we all already know that there will be the same directional flows and entry/exit points for flow-through traffic from the major residential developments on Eglinton East, not to mention the expected impact from the Celestica site and major retail-related pressures on Leaside’s periphery. And that in the meanwhile our streets would not be becoming any safer.

After all this time (including the many years LRA has spent on our own traffic studies), you can imagine my reaction.

Although experimenting with a few interim traffic calming measures might provide “quick wins,” Eric stated they might not achieve any win at all, or even trigger worse situations. They might need to be altered or removed eventually. Better to wait. In the absence of further information, I let Eric know that I would be reporting our conversation in this, my next Leaside Life column.

Despite this seeming lack of progress, it is always worth persevering in a good cause! Leasiders’ desire for action has not gone unnoticed. There is positive news.

Councillor Jaye Robinson, her office staff and City staff, are planning a town hall in December to discuss the LTMP and what Eric Chan describes as a facilitated “quick win discussion.” Eric gives the evening of Mon., Dec. 13th as the town hall’s tentative date, and urges us to “stay tuned for more information to come.” (**see note below)  As soon as the date and time are confirmed, the LRA will send out an e-blast. The councillor will be publicizing the event as well. Contact information will be supplied at that time.

This will be an important meeting for all Leasiders, a real opportunity to ask your questions, and to have your say. Please attend!

**Transportation Services have advised that the meeting has been pushed out due to the availability of the Public Consultation Unit. They are working on having it re-scheduled as early as possible in the new year.

Our next board meeting is on Wed., Dec. 1st via Zoom. You are always welcome to attend any of the LRA’s monthly meetings, which take place on the first Wednesday of each month. If you’d like to come and watch, or participate, please let us know by Dec. 1st so we can send you the Zoom details. You can also find us at www.leasideresidents.ca.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 118 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.