At its last board meeting the LPRA continued to discuss the ongoing development and implementation of the LP Road Safety Plan. Three specific road safety measures were discussed: 1) improving safety around Blythwood Jr. Public School, 2) best choice for immediate action to curb vehicle speeding, and, 3) reduce congestion at the intersection of Blythwood Rd. & Mt. Pleasant Rd.
As a result of the upcoming October 22, 2018 municipal election, yesterday’s (July 4,, 2018) meeting of the North York Community Council (NYCC) will be the last one until December 6, 2018. Two important LP road safety requests were approved at yesterday’s meeting.
Blythwood Jr. Public School road safety measures
The safety of children is of paramount importance, especially around schools. Several risk factors were identified by the Blythwood Jr. PS Parent School Council and its Traffic & Safety Committee. These included several parking issues, illegal U-Turns and vehicle speeds in the School Zone.
Several options to resolve these issues were explored. After final solutions were chosen; they were reviewed by City staff, Blythwood Jr. PS parents were solicited for feedback, and finally Councillor Robinson was asked to advocate for the solutions to NYCC.
The following solutions approved yesterday by NYCC are:
- Add to the length of the Drop-Off/Pick-up zone in front of the school to facilitate more vehicles during drop-off and pick-up times.
- Change the 10-min parking during AM & PM to ‘No Parking’. Area in front of the school will be treated like an airport drop-off zone during the Drop-Off and Pick-Up times.
- Change ‘No Parking’ in mid-morning and early afternoon to ‘15-min Parking’ between 9am – 3pm. Allows time to quickly run into the school during the school-day.
- Prohibit U-Turn on Strathgowan Cr. between Blythwood Rd. and Glengowan Rd.
- Change ‘No Parking’ in area south and north of Drop-Off/Pick-Up Zone to ‘No Stopping’.
A timeline for these changes has not been determined but the hope is that they will be implemented prior to the start of the new school year in September. Information regarding these changes will be conveyed as it becomes available.
Reduce posted speed limit to 30 km/hr.
In an effort to decrease vehicle speed around Blythwood Jr. PS a petition to reduce the posted speed limit on Strathgowan Cr. was completed. Within a number of weeks eight (8) more local streets had submitted petitions to have their speed limits reduced as well.
The LPRA was asked to consider whether it was in the best interests of all LP residents and everyone who uses LP roads to reduce the posted speed limit to 30km/hr. on all remaining local neighbourhood roads.
Mildenhall Road was not included because it is classified as a collector road. Bayview Ave., Blythwood Rd., Mt. Pleasant Rd., Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave. E. are also not included.
The following information was considered:
- the results of the recent LP Road Safety Survey
- recently completed petitions for nine (9) local streets plus two more petitions in-progress
- three (3) local roads (St. Leonard’s Ave., Weybourne Cr. & Glengowan Rd.) and one (1) other road segment (Dawlish Ave, west of Mt. Pleasant) already had a posted 30km/hr speed limit.
The number of homes on the streets that already have a 30km/hr. speed limit PLUS those that petitioned for it represent approximately 40% of the homes in LP. Conservatively speaking, an average of 69% of neighbours on the petitioned streets approved the reduction of the posted limit. The LPRA board concluded that there was sufficient need and support for the reduction of the posted speed limit to 30km/hr. on all remaining local roads in Lawrence Park and subsequently adopted a motion to reflect that conclusion. A request was made to Councillor Robinson to advocate for the speed limit reduction to NYCC. This request was also approved by NYCC at its meeting yesterday.
More information about when the new laws take effect and when the signs will be changed will be conveyed as that information becomes available. This work will be dependent on available funding and resources to implement the changes.
Although the majority of neighbours agree with reducing the posted speed limit we acknowledge that some thoughtfully disagreed, either because they are comfortable with the current speed limit or felt that the change would have very little effect. We respect everyone’s opinion and will continue to take all ideas into account. Our very strong belief is that a variety of opinions broadens our thinking and leads to superior solutions.
Blythwood Rd. & Mt. Pleasant Rd. intersection
Congestion and pedestrian safety at this intersection have been road safety issues for quite some time. City staff have undertaken to re-design this intersection and make it like the one at Blythwood Rd. & Bayview Ave. A left-hand turn lane will be created so vehicles can turn south onto Mt. Pleasant Rd from west-bound Blythwood Rd. This work is scheduled for sometime this summer/fall. Additionally, a traffic light study is being done along Mt. Pleasant Rd. This may result in a left-hand turning arrow being added in to the existing traffic light to support the left-hand turn lane. This would result in several cars being able to make the left turn prior to pedestrians being allowed to enter the crosswalk. The study is scheduled for completion later this year.
Based on feedback from the Road Safety Survey, interim and permanent traffic calming countermeasures continue to be planned as part of the overall LP Road Safety Plan.
We will continue to advocate to Toronto Police Service (53 Division) to continue (and hopefully increase) enforcement of speed, parking and other laws in the neighborhood that: 1) reminds all of us to slow down when speed gets away from us and, 2) reduce the risk posed by those who willfully ignore the rules of the road and put us all at risk.
We would like to sincerely thank our neighbours who volunteer to lead and/or contribute to the efforts that continually improve road safety in our community.
Heartfelt thanks to Rachel VanFraassen and Lesley Burlie from Councillor Robinson’s office who continue to work with us on so many issues that improve our neighbourhood.
Thanks also needs to go to City Staff for their input and expertise, in particular Shawn Dartsch from Traffic Operations who is the Traffic Engineering Supervisor for our area.
And finally, our sincere thanks to Councillor Robinson for guiding our planning, supporting our requests and advocating for their approval, budget and implementation.