Letters to the Editor for Jan. 26, 2016

 

Study shows parking restrictions need changing

Traffic through the Beach at rush hour has been the bane of many a Beacher’s existence for years. The 4 to 6 p.m. parking restrictions are meant to ease this pain, but over time traffic patterns have changed and 4 to 6 p.m. is no longer accurate.

Using a digital tally counter with time stamps, for four days in a row all traffic entering the Beach eastbound on Queen Street East at Woodbine Avenue was recorded during the evening rush hour. The counter allowed for right turns, left turns, straight through, transit vehicles, and bicycles. The counter also time stamped every tally, so it was possible to determine traffic counts down to the second.

The city’s existing traffic studies at this intersection do not go past 6 p.m. and the results are broken into large blocks. All of rush hour is in one chunk that cannot determine where the exact peak is, which has been calculated as 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.

Our graphs show that the peak is 5 to 6 p.m., with a major peak just before 6 p.m. This means just as the peak has hit, the parking restriction ends. Our data also show that traffic from 6 to 6:30 p.m. is greater than that between 4 and 4:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. the eastbound lanes on Queen can be empty at times. The traffic at that time is comparable to the rest of the day, so starting at 4 p.m. is too early, even on Fridays.

Parking restrictions should be shifted half-an-hour later, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Also, future city traffic studies at this intersection should have the evening rush hour peaking from 5 to 6 p.m., and future studies need to go later than 6 p.m., as there is still substantial traffic after that time.

Adam Smith

Ward 32 Transportation

Committee

 

Parking enforcement targeting outsiders?

A parking ticket was given to me on Dec. 19, 2015, in the Beaches area of Toronto. The ticket infraction was listed as a code 16: parking within 9m of an intersecting roadway. I had already purchased online a permit for parking in that area for the weekend.

I believe that out of town visitors may be unfairly targeted by potentially overzealous parking agents because, as per the law in Ontario, it is nearly impossible for someone to contest a ticket unless they attend in person or have a representative present in court. As a result, anyone visiting from outside the province is at a clear disadvantage.

It is debatable that our vehicle was within the 9m zone. I counted and ended at 9.5m.

There is NO sign placed anywhere in that part of the neighbourhood informing anyone about the 9m zone. This is disturbing on a number of fronts, but particularly because no out of town visitor can possibly be expected to be aware of all the unwritten rules. I feel this is a very unethical practice.

I took photos that show that locals who parked in exactly the same spot as I did during most of the weekend never received a ticket, further fueling my belief that out of province visitors are unfairly targeted.

I have paid this ticket, but am seeking a reimbursement since as a law-abiding Canadian, I respectfully purchased a parking permit and met all the criteria stipulated on the street signs. The ticket really belongs to the City of Toronto for not placing signs informing people of the 9m rule in that area of the neighbourhood.

I don’t expect much to come of this, since more often than not, the saying ‘you can’t fight city hall’ is applicable, but I am hoping someone in the administration has enough moral fibre to correct the problem.

Gilles Stratti

Saint Lazare, Quebec

 

Unilateral parking changes not wanted

Re: Kew Gardens renovation upgrades nearly double budget, Jan. 12:

I read with sympathy one line in particular: “Wilson says McMahon should have consulted residents …”

This appears to be the councillor’s modus operandi: not to consult with her constituents. I live on Fernwood Park Avenue. Parking, or lack of it, is always an issue down here. We found out by chance that we were to lose three parking spots that have existed for over 20 years at the end of the street because Councillor McMahon decided they impeded the entrance to the bicycle path.

There were no complaints. There was no consultation, and no consideration of the people who spoke at council. Councillors did not even read aloud the emails that had been submitted, as per process for consideration.

We asked that the decision be put on hold as the whole Balmy Beach Club to Fernwood Park area and access to the boardwalk is under review. Denied.

We asked that only one spot be removed and the spots marked so the path is open. Denied.

We asked parking be moved to the east side of the street. Denied.

We asked for the study that suggested this was a danger. None given. We asked for consultation. None given. We gave a signed petition by everyone on the street. Ignored.

The neighbours on the street that went to the council meeting said they have never felt so unheard and ignored by a group of disinterested, dismissive and bored group of people as the councillors appeared to be.

Stephen Bain

Fernwood Park Avenue

 

Kew Gardens plans

In complete agreement with Doug Grinnell [Kew Gardens changes a poor legacy, Letters to the Editor, Jan. 12].

I ask, why are we so poorly served and represented in our community?

I’ve lived in this community since Tom Wardle represented us and, as far as I can see, the only bright light was Thomas.

Now we have another debacle in Kew Gardens with Councillor McMahon. How many BIA members actually live here? This changing of Kew Gardens is for them, as was stated. Councillor McMahon has simply done away with community consultation by coming to “community” meetings with her mind made up in favour of condos, businesses on Queen, whatever.

We do not need Kew Gardens changed and/or renovated, especially in these times when there are more dire needs.

“It’s in a pattern that kind of fades, transitions from one colour into the other and moves towards the water – like a shoreline or drawing sand.”

HELLO? We have a real shoreline with sand. We don’t need a mimic of it. A “Wall of Infamy” is a good idea indeed, to include this “total lunacy.”

June Clark

Fernwood Park Avenue


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