Traffic in the Hood
If there is a second most commonly discussed category of concern that neighbours have about living in St. Luke’s Precinct — one which directly affects our quality of living, it’s cars; the speed and volume of cut-through traffic.
Anyone who lives here or visits enough knows speeding and cut through traffic is relentless and getting worse. And neighbours are simply stressed out about it, saying that the speed and volume directly and negatively affects the safety for their children at play, diminishes the once felt sense of peacefulness and creates an emotional separation between sides of the street. It erodes community and quality of living.
Speed limit change on the way
Late winter the Province of Ontario adjusted their laws surrounding management of the roads which in turn allowed municipalities to better control their local speed limits. It was announced that all or part of the precinct would see a reduction in the limit down to 40km/hr from 50. This is great news as a start to curbing the bad behaviour of drivers of course, but as everyone knows it will be meaningless without enforcement.
Keep your eyes open for new signs which we were supposed to see in the spring.
But what of cut through traffic? As development continues to intensify around the precinct it is causing adjustments in driver routines leading to them sourcing diagonal routes through the neighbourhood to shave that precious minute from their trip. What is simply one quick trip for that driver is adding up to hundreds, perhaps thousands of similar speedy mindless cuts through the neighbourhood daily.
This is a big challenge. We know the downside — cut through drivers’ attitudes about speed and safety, their distracted rushed focus and lack of connection or care for the neighbourhood they pass through is amounting to a dangerous daily life. Every neighbour has a recent story of nearly being run down at the stop sign in front of St. Luke’s Montessori, or car crashes at the ambiguous intersection of Burlington and Caroline, or parked car rear endings by distracted drivers on all streets, or animals run over, or believe it or not, we’ve almost been hit by a car driving the sidewalk because the street was too narrow for them to pass an oncoming vehicle.
But what can we do to try to curve this?
The first action we must all take is to begin the conversation and voice our concerns to each other and importantly the city. Speak up. Tell them what you see. Recall the situations that have gone unreported and make visible the situation that we are experiencing. It’s critical since a lot of the city staff and policy influencers don’t live here and unless one does, the problem is invisible.
Next, we can begin to ask hard questions of the city about their plans for traffic management, especially in light of future development around the core neighbourhoods as well as directly on our borders such as the future developments at Ghent and Brant Street — one of our doorways.
These 4 corners of Ghent and Brant are about to see many years of redevelopment leading to a large population density increase. What will that mean for the neighbourhood as current traffic begins to reroute from the construction congested Brant through the neighbourhood? What pattern will the potential 1000 new residents take to get from the west end up to their units?
What will the city do to ensure the quality of life in the St. Luke’s neighbourhood isn’t diminished due to poor planning and inevitable bad behaviour? Let’s try to influence that as a neighbourhood of voices.
So what to do:
1. Connect: Get involved with the neighbourhood and voice your concern. Sign up for the Neighbours of St. Luke’s Precinct newsletter/emails and stay informed on this issue and the actions that influence it. (Sign Up Here)
2. Communicate: Contact the city and inform them about your concerns and cite situations that have raised your level of concern. (Your Ward Councillor)
3. Participate: Attend city developer meetings and ask tough questions about traffic planning and demand that there be a solution to the current issues as well as a responsible game plan for the future when the projects at Ghent and Brant as well as others on that corridor are in construction and complete.
More to come.
Public meeting Nov 13 on proposed redevelopment of Locust/Elgin
Date: Nov 13, 7pm, Rm 305, City Hall
Residents of St. Luke's Precinct, please attend this meeting and voice your opinion on this development that so far proposes to require zoning changes. Zone changes anywhere within the precinct will cause a precedent of further zone change as stated by planning. Hang on to your zoning and protect your hood.
Stay tuned for more info.
A neighbour of the St. Luke's Precinct has informed us that surveyors have been measuring the Dalewood Apartments property at 1367 Elgin Street.
Part or all if this property is owned by Maurice Desrochers development group / Executive Furnished Rentals. Desrochers has previously indicated a desire to rezone this property for 8 story condominiums.
A site rezone of this nature would mean a precedent rezone for the whole precinct.
Stay tuned for more information.
Confirmation from the city is that the developer is intending on building 2 detached single family homes. They have begun the first on the south most lot but have yet to propose a plan for the 2nd. This first house will conform to the current zoning and needs only minor variance approval.