My statement regarding the tragic accident on Parkside Drive

The tragic loss of life on Parkside Dr. is a stark reminder that the work we are doing together to create safer roads is crucial. We have worked over the years on the dangerous speeding on Parkside. From our discussions we developed a plan to make  Parkside Drive safe.

Some parts of our plan have been implemented.

Pedestrian protection barriers were installed at the underpass on the south end of Parkside.

The right-turn channel at the NE corner of Parkside Drive and Howard Park was eliminated to improve pedestrian crossing.

The rush hour evening parking prohibition on the east side of Parkside Drive was removed. By making on street parking 24 hours created a buffer between motorists and pedestrians.

Some other elements of our plan are coming forward.

In 2022, the City will begin installation of a temporary sidewalk on the west side of the southern portion of Parkside. A permanent sidewalk will be installed as part of other capital projects in coming years.

Adjacent to Parkside Drive, the High Park Movement Strategy is underway. This strategy, which resulted from our work together, will look at how people travel to and within High Park, with an eye to promoting walking, cycling and transit and achieving safe conditions for everyone who uses the Park.  The City has just completed an online survey for this project and will be moving to full community consultation this fall.

Some parts of our plan have run into hurdles.

Our community was a leader in getting speeds reduced on local streets. Efforts to get speeds reduced on Parkside have run up against the City’s antiquated road classification system which says that “major arterial” roads cannot be reduced below 50 kph.

Our effort to get automated speed enforcement cameras on Parkside has been held up by Provincial regulations which limit speed enforcement cameras to streets around schools.

I have also been advocating to install metered parking on the west, again to act as a traffic calming measure, but have been unable to get that achieved, yet.

I wish we were further along. Yesterday two Torontonians died. Every day, people who live near Parkside have to contend with unsafe conditions. I will be continuing to work with community leaders to accelerate and expand our plan. If you are new to this conversation and would like to be a part of it, please email me and I will add you to our contact list for getting this plan implemented.

Gord

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