Can 30 be the new 40?
Right now, the posted speed limit is 40 km/h around Vermont Square (including St. Albans Boys and Girls Club, St. Albans Daycare and Bill Bolton Arena) and Palmerston Public School. We’ve all seen (and may have driven) cars that have exceeded 40. Can we commit to 30 and encourage others to follow?
October 2013 Traffic and Safety Meeting with Arshad Nazir of City’s Transportation Division: Traffic and Safety Minutes Oct 10 SVRA Meeting
Action taken by Mr Nazir/Transportation:
Further to our traffic meeting with the Seaton Village Residents Association on Oct 10, 2013, the following actions have been taken:
· Forestry Services was requested to trim trees at various locations on Palmerston Avenue, Vermont Avenue,
Rossmore Road, and Clinton Street;
· Traffic Signals at Bathurst Avenue and Wells Street are in the process of being modified to display pedestrian walk signal during all westbound green phases, regardless if push button is used; – PLS NOTE – this signal was very problematic and was again corrected in the late winter of 2014! Thanks to Rebecca Keenan at Ward 20 office for overseeing this!
· We reviewed signs in the area and additional “Do Not Enter” signs will be installed at the intersections of Palmerston
Gardens at Palmerston Avenue and Euclid Avenue at Follis Avenue. No other signage deficiencies were found;
· Waste bin at the intersection of Bathurst Street and Wells Avenue was relocated away from the TTC stop; and
· Crosswalk will be installed on the west leg of intersection of Vermont Avenue and Bathurst Street as soon as scheduling
and weather permits.
Other suggestions were mentioned, including physical barriers (bollards, railings) and painted or textured crosswalks. We advise that bollards are usually installed to discourage motorists from mounting the curbs while stopped to undertake loading activity. They do not provide significant protection to pedestrians. Similarly, railings are intended to keep pedestrians from stepping on to the roadway and provide negligible protection from vehicles leaving the roadway. Raised or textured crosswalks have been shown to have minimal benefits and they have a significant cost. As a result they are not typically used as a traffic calming measure.
Residents also brought up concerns with the recently signed “island parking” on Barton Avenue causing traffic congestion. They requested a copy of our review so the attached link is provided.
2013.TE24.55 – Traffic Management Plan – Barton Avenue, from Christie Street to Bathurst Street http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.TE24.55
Traffic on Barton Ave has generated concern and heated discussions for many years. Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers have experienced and witnessed frustration, injuries and collisions as traffic has increased about 50% in the last decade.
Summary of history:
1) 13 years ago a traffic plan (our current maze of one way streets) was adopted for Seaton Village in reaction to the introduction of Loblaws to the neighbourhood. The idea was to discourage the anticipated extra traffic from Loblaws from using the side streets within Seaton Village
2) Barton Ave is the sole collector street north of College street. A recent City survey suggested Barton St. currently accommodates 3500 cars daily which is 10 times greater than any other street in the neighbourhood. Barton is also designated as a bike lane. This means a significant amount of pressure for Barton Ave – speed and volume as well as the “temperature” of traffic have been identified as problematic by the neighbourhood. Furthermore, enrollment at Palmerston school has increased significantly over the past few years and that includes students being bussed in from other areas of the City. There are 3 schools along Barton (Lowther) Street from Shaw to Huron as well as schools placed less than a block north of Barton Street (for example ICS, Huron).
Local residents formed to voice their concerns about Barton Ave traffic 3 years ago, and they approached the SVRA for support. Conversations and problem-solving strategy sessions involving Barton Ave and concerned Seaton Village residents, the SVRA and Councillor Vaughan took place.
In late 2009, a no left turn from 7am – 7pm was suggested by Adam Vaughan. The idea met with a significant amount of resistance and emotion by the community although the recomendation was passed by the City. So, in February 2010 Adam Vaughan hosted a meeting in cooperation with the SVRA to create conversation and discuss potential solutions to the challenges posed by the quality, quantity and temperature of traffic on Barton Ave.
- Adam suggested the no left turn from 7am – 7pm be imposed for a year to study the effect of the turn on traffic (patterns and volume). This was discussed along with alternate solutions, however, the community clearly rejected the idea of a no left turn for any duration and at any time of the day owing to concerns over access to homes and garages. Barton again under study by City Transportation Services;
- Adam Vaughan organized a walk through the neighbourhood with Gil Penalosa (http://www.thestar.com/article/772027–bio-gil-penalosa ) of 8-80 Cities http://www.8-80cities.org to discuss alternate strategies for calming traffic and creating more harmonious and safer roads;
- the SVRA, Palmerston School and Palmerston Day Care resolve to continue to work in cooperation with Councillor Vaughan and staff to develop strategies and enhance communication encouraging awareness of the issue and more mindful ways of getting through the neighbourhood.
January 2011: study completed by City. The staff report and recommendations can be viewed online at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2011.TE4.56.
Barton Ave traffic challenges have been flagged as a priority concern for Councillor Vaughan. He therefore once again organized an open community meeting March 1, 2011 at Palmerston Public Library (notice of which had been sent out to those who provided their contact information at the 2010 meeting, to those on both the AV and SVRA contact lists).
The intention of this meeting was to discuss the Transportation Services Study findings, Adam Vaughan/staff recommendations and find a fair and collaborative response to this very challenging situation with the residents of Seaton Village.
- AV staff to report back to Jenny Foster and SVRA once the results come back from March 22nd Community Council meeting
- JH to post information to website and send out to contact list once information is released by Councillor Vaughan and staff. JH to keep in communication with Rebecca Hewitt at Adam Vaughan’s office.
Councillor Vaughan’s recommendations: To implement staggered parking along Barton Ave from Christie St to Bathurst St., and for Transportation Services to assist in acquiring additional parking spaces on adjoining streets to accomodate the (5) parking spots that might be sacrficed for the plan. This proposal was not supported in the Traffic Services study above.
- AV studied effective case studies from Germany and the Netherlands where zig zag parking proved successful in shifting the volume, temperature and speed of traffic.
- The proposal responds to the very clearly articulated needs of residents in the neighbourhood, it will mitigate cut-through traffic and speed of vehicles. By “pinching” traffic mid block, it will be forced to slow down.
- cost effective
- finite: Councillor Vaughan included a sunset clause as part of the recommendation so that the duration of the plan will last one year from March 2011 until May 2012 with the option to review after one year.
After much lively debate and conversation, those in attendance agreed to support Adam Vaughan’s recommendations with the suggestion that Adam seek the assistance of Transportation Services who will endeavour to find additional spaces along streets off of Barton to compensate fo any lost parking owing to the new parking patterns.
Committee Decision :
On March 22, 2011, the Toronto and East York Community Council approved the implementation of a modified, mid-block staggered parking arrangement on Barton Avenue by adopting the following:
Amendments: Directed the Director, Transportation Services, Toronto and East York District, to determine opportunities to increase the current parking supply on local streets intersecting with Barton Avenue, between Christie Street and Bathurst Street, and report back to the Toronto and East York Community Council in May 2011.
Directed the Director, Transportation Services, Toronto and East York District, to review the effectiveness of these changes and submit an evaluation report to the Toronto and East York Community Council in May 2012.
Please bear in mind, this is a one year trial. The plan will come up for review in May of 2012 – this is written into the proposal.
To view the City’s official file including history and the summary of decisions mabe by Council:
We want to hear your opinion on traffic on Barton and surrounding streets. Please come to SVRA meetings and share them with us(see About section for dates) or write us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we move towards the redevelopment of Vermont Square Park, we don’t want to forget about traffic safety on the surrounding streets. If we’re able to realize the dream of a better park, there will be more users. The SVRA Traffic (and Safety) Committee looks forward to working alongside the parks and playground committees, as well as Councillor Vaughan, the City parks and recreation and traffic services to improve traffic throughout the neighbourhood.
We want your opinions on how we can enhance the streets around the park to emphasize safety and maximum enjoyment.
Many residents in Seaton Village do not have immediate access to a computer or the Internet, and many may also feel challenged communicating in English. If you know someone in such circumstances who would like to contribute opinions, we encourage you to help them participate. If they would like assistance in a language other than English, send us an e-mail with relevant contact info, and we’ll facilitate communication in the appropriate language.
Thanks for looking out for your neighbours!
Exerpts from past SVRA meeting minutes around traffic
January 2011 Seaton Village Traffic update: Councillor Adam Vaughan has taken concerns voiced by Seaton Village residents and some possible solutions to council for approval. Councillor Vaughan is awaiting reports back from City Staff and will be calling an open community meeting in the very near future to discuss the traffic situation and provide reccomendations from the City. Jenny Foster is also working on some neighbourhood-based solutions with St. Alban’s Boys and Girls’ Club such as the creation of some fantastically painted key intersections in the neighbourhood.
It was suggested by a few at the meeting that we consider painting key intersections in a “Zebra crossing” pattern and position larger stop signs at intersections known to be “stoptional.”
A group of Palmerston Ave residents living directly across from St. Albans’ commented on the surge in traffic during morning and evening drop off and pick up times. They are really frustrated by the congestion and commented on serious safety concerns around illegilly parked cars on both the east and west side of Palmerston just south of Vermont.
The traffic calming planters were also suggested to be anything but “calming” and contribute to the chaos and frustration of motorists and pedestrians at the north and south points of the intersection at Palmerston and Vermont. They are perceived as dangerous.
ACTION: Jennifer will discuss this with Traffic Chair Jenny Foster and bring this to the attention of Councillor Vaughan to be discussed at the upcoming City traffic meeting TBA.
UPDATE: February 2011
Councillor Vaughan moved a motion in December, 2010, for Transportation staff to report to Community Council about traffic calming measures on Barton Ave. Transportation staff are set to give their report at the Community Council meeting of February 16, 2011. Though the public can speak and give feedback on the report at the Community Council meeting, we recognize that attending a daytime meeting is likely inconvenient for many members of the community. We also do not yet have a copy of the report for distribution. In light of this, Councillor Vaughan suggests deferring the report to the next Community Council meeting, in March. This would give the opportunity to hold a community meeting to look at the report and discuss its recommendations.
ACTION: The SVRA will report back mid February 2011 and advise when the report will be available for distribution, and the time and date of an open public neighbourhood meeting to discuss.
Councillor Adam Vaughan held a meeting on Feb. 3, 2010 to hear residents discuss traffic safety along Barton Avenue and throughout Seaton Village. Numerous residents attended and participated in a lively, engaging discussion. Councillor Vaughan listened, took notes and promised to follow up on several key issues. You can read Councillor Vaughan’s summary of the meeting here.
What are your thoughts on Councillor Vaughan’s meeting and the issues identified?
October and November 2014: Barton Ave
A two-part meeting was held Tuesday October 21st to discuss and hopefully try to resolve some of the traffic challenges and ensuing safety concerns faced by area residents and those who use Barton Ave – a major flow through street issuing east from Shaw St to Huron St. This street borders the southern portion of our local school, Palmerston Ave Jr Public School.
The matter has been discussed for some time and without significant or satisfying resolution. The latest scheme, proposed/advocated by former Councillor Adam Vaughan involves staggered parking beginning just west of Bathurst ending just east of Christie. Not loved by many Barton Ave residents and, although Transportation assures volume has been addressed by the parking scheme (that is up for debate), the temperature of traffic has risen significantly, problems have arisen with pinched intersections, garbage or other large vehicles blocking the streets and by the erratic behaviour of drivers and cyclists using this route to cut through the neighbourhood, or simply, to access their homes. Increased use has resulted in oft-times intense congestion along this route.
You can check out the history here: https://seatonvillage.ca/traffic-safety/
Part 1) Walkabout to actively discuss current scheme and challenges, including concerns around intersections, gridlock etc
Meeting time: 6:00pm @ the NW corner of Barton St and Palmerston Ave, just north of Palmerston Square
Part 2) Aprox 7:00pm – Inside meeting to continue discussion where it is warm, dry and bright! St Albans Boys’ and Girls’ Club: 843 Palmerston Ave, upstairs in the AV room. It is a rinky dinky space…but that’s all that seems available in these parts J …for free = what is affordable!
Confirmed guests Included: VP Palmerston School Vicky Xenikakins, Interim Trustee Briony Glassco, Ward 20 staff member Brent Gilliard, Arshad Nazir, Transportation Technician for City (absent), Area residents, SVRA members.
Invited guests included: Terri Chu, Albert Koehl, Joe Cressy, Daryl Christoff and yourselves – candidates with signs in Seaton Village. We appreciate this may not be the most democratic route. Furthermore, we sincerely apologise for the late notice and the last minute invitation to the event. We debated including candidates for some time unsure HOW to ensure fairness issuing invitations as well as if questioning whether having candidates present might shift the focus from Barton St traffic and safety concerns.
Also invited were police reps from 14 Division – the police/Enforcement are crucial to successful resolution