More on the Lansdowne Narrowing Project

   12 June 2007, early morning

Kevin Beaulieu, one of Adam Giambrone’s assistants, has posted a detailed message on the Dufferin Grove mailing list about the Lansdowne Narrowing Project. I am still of the opinion this will be a good thing. (I’ve highlighted what I think is important in the message below.)

Just some quick clarification on the Lansdowne project—both the project itself and the consultation history.

The renewal project will mean improved streetscaping in the Bloor-Lansdowne- College neighbourhood, where it’s badly needed, including:

  • wider driving lanes
  • wider sidewalks
  • parking bays
  • pedestrian bump outs and improvements to the crosswalk at Whytock
  • a new lansdcaped boulevard with trees and grass on the east side
  • flower beds and entrance features on the west side in front of MacGregor Park, West Toronto Collegiate, and at Bloor and Lansdowne.

It will reduce the environmental footprint of the street, improve the aesthetics, and provide a safer environment for pedestrians, cyclists, children, seniors and the disabled.

These improvements will be achieved in part through the removal of one lane of parking on the east side. Currently, counts show that overnight parking is below half the available capacity, and will remain below capacity after the improvements are made.

Traffic counts show that the road is currently operating at roughly 1/3 capacity, and will operate at roughly 1/2 capacity after the improvements are made. In other words, Lansdowne is more than capable of handling the traffic.

This project was initiated as part of the regular road reconstruction maintenance schedule. Due to the efficiencies and cost-savings associated with making changes to a street that is already under reconstruction, this renewal is being achieved at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Although no consultation is formally required in law or policy for such a project, Adam considered consultation appropriate and took it upon himself to:

  1. Hold a public meeting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, 2006. Flyers were distributed in both English and Portuguese and the meeting was well-attended.
  2. Canvass the street about the project in the lead-up to the November election. Subsequent declarations collected and provided by some community members confirm at the very least that this canvassing took place.
  3. Distribute a flyer on Lansdowne in April of 2007, in English and Portuguese, advising residents of the project and inviting further input.

A meeting with some residents who have requested one has been arranged for later this week. That was the nature of Adam’s commitment, conveyed by Chris at the BIG meeting, and he will keep it.

— Kevin Beaulieu to the Dufferin Grove Mailing list

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Comments

  1. I am always concerned when the community isn’t properly consulted about projects that affect their community.Sadly there seems to be a trend with this council to make decisions then make some “last minute” meetings that truly make no difference to the outcome of citizens input.If it is true that the citizens on lansdowne ave don’t want this project even at this late date, shouldn’t the council be representative of their wishes and just stop it now?Or does an elected councillor really represent a party and not the people who elected them?When will the people have control over their own government,they already pay the bills!!!

  2. I am a new resident in this section Lansdowne and I was very happy to get the proposal in the mail. The street desperately needs any kind of improvement. I talk to friends who live close by and they outright avoid using this street whether on bike/foot or car. Just because I don’t have a “pro-narrowing” sign on the lawn doesn’t mean I am against the improvements. I would rather blog and talk to people then put a big yellow sign on my lawn. If you look closely at the number of signs you’ll see that there are just as many lawns with signs as lawns without signs. I believe the ones without signs are actually for this proposal. The signs don’t leave much room for negotiation. There is a rather direct “You’re either with us or against us” mentality to this thing which I find discouraging.

  3. Burton, welcome to the neighbourhood. I’ve been working since april to get some exposure to this issue in hopes that our councillor will be accountable. And its been down right discouraging. I am neither pro or con the physical features proposed for the road, partly because I still don’t know what they actually are.
    But I am absolutely opposed to the treatment this neighbourhood has recieved. That all residents including those in favor have not seen appropriate consultation, and by this I mean even their possible input has been ignored. It doesn’t matter if your for or against this project, this is the kind of treatment your neighbours have recieved, don’t imagine your self exempt from this kind of treatment. I hope that minimally this gives you pause for concern, and gives you cause to be active in the community.
    No one is saying, consultation would have prevented the road being narrowed but it could have provided amendments to the plan that would of only served to help those in our community who have accessability and safety issues.

    (if I come across as angry, its because I voted for him based on a letter he sent out Sept 27/06, just before the election, promising community consultation in 2007, never happened. So yay I feel like an idiot. Every time he lays claim to a survey, in a community where some residents don’t even speak english; that enrages me.)

  4. Sorry, but don’t buy this. I live on St. Clarens Ave (1st street east of Lansdowne), there are cars always parked on Lansdowne… so don’t know where the under utilized assessment came… also we drive on Lansdowne all the time and nights and weekends it is always bumper to bumper… those of us can tell when there is a problem on Lansdowne as the traffic on our street increases… lastly the change on Lansdowne will impact the St. Clarens residents, we have never ever been officially informed of this proposal, nor ever consulted on proposed changes… since the majority of our cars exit St. Clarens through the laneways onto Lansdowne, it will have a major impact on us…so if we supposedly live in a Democracy, where is the consultation process with the residents?

  5. It’s cool that you don’t “buy this”, but the city sent people out to sit and count cars and do a proper study on the matter. That’s one way to do things. The other way is to look stuff up in your gut. It's certainly easier. You don't need to go to school and study about traffic to do that.

  6. Interesting my earlier response on Jun23, 2006 to ramanan was deleted. Well will post again. I have lived in this community for 43 yrs. As I walk up and down Lansdowne there are always cars parked out there. I was out earlier today, and there were cars parked on both sides from Bloor to College except in front of the park. So don’t know who determined it was underutilized. As an accountant I know figures can be manipulated. I believe my 43 yrs gives “my gut” some rights in determining the dynamics in this community. Case in point, Giambrone determined that St. Clarens Ave should have alternate parking. Even before the measure took place we told him it would not work as our street is too narrow. I was told it worked on Argyle, my reply was very nice for Argyle but this is St. Clarens different animal. Guess what after 6 months Giambrone had to finally admit defeat. Handicapped buses couldn’t get up the street. Trucks were blocked from getting up here. It was a mess. So I believe our gut counts for something. Also, why where th4e Dufferin Grove residents entitled to 2 public meetings about a toilet in the park and the residents here weren’t accorded the same?

  7. I don’t know why they get such preferential treatment from Adam. I suppose it's a form of collective bargaining: the park residents represent a reasonably sized voting bloc. Junta is pro Giambrone. My guess is that most people that use the park are likely to vote, and would probably vote for him.

    Also, I haven’t erased any of your comments here, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

  8. Ramanan,
    This is something I honestly don’t understand: in the city report, it references specifically 2 handicapped spots no longer needed(contrary to the report # 435 is needed). The author of the report is also listed (if you call him he’ll tell you where he got his information). How is it this family has been so blantly ignored?
    Street Narrowed or not, are people that oblivious to the impact the current road plan will have on this family? How is it that does not give people pause for concern.

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