Due to concerns raised at the recent October SVRA meeting and with Councillor Vaughan’s office regarding the installation of a no left turn restriction at Barton Avenue and Christie Street and its possible diversion of traffic flow to adjacent streets, the turn restriction installation has been suspended by Councillor Vaughan pending further discussion with the community.
Councillor Vaughan’s information letter than he is sending out to residents is reproduced below.
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the approved left turn restriction from Christie Street to Barton Avenue. First, I would like to provide you with some background information on how this turn restriction came to be (for those of you who may not have already received it). After, I will explain how I hope to address the concerns that have been brought to my office.
In response to significant concerns expressed by the local community about the safety of Barton Avenue, particularly for children, I supported the installation of a left hand turn restriction from Christie Street to Barton Avenue. Informing this decision was a petition signed by residents throughout Seaton Village and a letter from Palmerston Avenue Public School, which were sent to my office. The Seaton Village Residents Association also raised concerns and worked to help bring the turning restriction into place.
The overall goal of this turn restriction is to make the area safer for pedestrians – this is a concern that I take very seriously. In seeking solutions that would make the street safer, it was suggested that restricting left hand turns from Christie to Barton between 7am and 7pm would help reduce traffic on this well-used street. I believe that this is an idea worth testing.
On September 15, the Toronto and East York Community Council supported the community’s request to test this idea by approving the restriction. One of the reasons that Barton is a popular route for motorists is because it is a two way street connecting Christie to Bathurst and beyond. There are no other streets that directly connect Christie to Bathurst. The intended result of the turning restriction is to deter drivers from outside the neighbourhood from using Barton as an alternate route to Bloor Street.
Because changes to one street often affect others close by, however, the plan was to study how the no-turning change affects other streets over the course of the next year. Based on what is found, we can then make adjustments as the neighbourhood sees fit.
The overall goal that myself and everyone in the community shares is that our neighbourhood streets be safe. Since the turn restriction was approved, I have heard from a number of residents who are concerned about the effect that the turn restriction would have on the safety of their streets. In addition, a traffic committee made up of representatives from different neighbourhood streets — including those who supported the turn restriction on Barton and those who opposed it — has formed to further engage the community in a discussion on how to reach out goal of safe streets. This committee has asked that we take a second look at the left turn proposal in the context of these concerns before moving forward.
I have asked Transportation Services to hold off on installing the left turn restriction from Christie to Barton until further community consultation can take place. I would like to hold a public meeting, and I welcome your participation.
My office will be in touch soon with further details, but you can expect the meeting to be scheduled for the week of December 7.
We will work to inform residents of this meeting through our newsletter, email, word of mouth and with the help of the new traffic committee that recently formed. In addition, my office has compiled an email list of those in Seaton Village who have contacted us with traffic concerns. We will add you name to this list. If you know of others who would like to be added to this list as well, please don’t hesitate to recommend that they contact my office at 416-392-4044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to your ongoing feedback and further working with the community to ensure that your streets are safe for all.
Councillor Adam Vaughan
Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina
The SVRA will work towards setting a date with Councillor Vaughan’s office for a public meeting for Seaton Village residents to further discuss a solution to the Barton Street traffic issue.