With Coucillor Gary Crawford
By Gary Crawford
It’s hard to believe that we are already half way through summer, but that definitely is the case as we’ve now reached the start of August. Summer always seems to pass by in a flash and that might be one of the few constants in this year full of unexpected challenges.
This certainly has been an unprecedented summer in a number of ways, including the increased amount of activity in and around Bluffer’s Park. Since the start of the season, my office has received a number of communications from residents expressing their concerns about overcrowding and illegal parking. In response to these concerns, I have worked with City staff to implement a number of measures, which I spoke a little bit about in last month’s issue of the Monitor. Such measures include the overnight closure of the onsite parking lot and improved traffic management at Kingston and Brimley
Since then I’ve kept channels of communication open with City staff to continue pursuing a variety of additional measures. In early July, I held an emergency meeting with senior staff from Toronto Police Services, Parks, Transportation, Solid Waste, Parking Enforcement and By-Law divisions to discuss both short term and long range strategies in addressing this matter. These efforts began with intermittent towing blitzes on some of the streets where illegal parking has been more problematic, such as Larwood Boulevard, Gradwell Drive, Barkdene Hills, St. Quentin Avenue and Thatcher Avenue. Special constables were also deployed to reinforce ongoing parking enforcement efforts. I understand that it can often be difficult for park patrons to obtain parking, but parking on side streets, such as those mentioned above, is illegal and has a detrimental effect on the daily lives of local residents.
As for additional efforts, the Solid Waste department has also conducted clean ups each morning, beginning as early as 5:30 am, in a concerted effort to keep up with the increased volume of litter. Going forward, I will continue to follow this situation closely by leading meetings with City staff on a recurring basis. I will also be holding an onsite public meeting to provide residents an opportunity to contribute to discussions surrounding problems and potential solutions (details will be posted in the very near future). In the meantime, I thank you for your continued patience and cooperation, as I endeavour to restore Bluffer’s Park to a safe and enjoyable space for both local residents and park guests alike.
Another issue that a number of you have contacted my office about is the recent installation of temporary cycling lanes on Brimley Road. The majority of you have communicated that you find this new addition frustrating, due to issues stemming from increased congestion. These lanes were installed in accordance with the City’s ActiveTO initiative, which has been mandated to take a measured and data driven approach to support essential trips, front-line workers, and vulnerable road users in the wake of COVID-19. With that being said, I would like to remind you that the current lanes are temporary and have been installed in support of these research efforts. Extensive monitoring, evaluation and public feedback will be collected prior to reporting back to council by the end of 2021. Over the last few years, it has become apparent that an increasing number of Torontonians depend on cycling as a significant mode of transportation and the resultant research will determine whether or not these lanes should become a permanent addition to Brimley Road, as well as other locations across the City.
If you feel for any reason that these lanes have been to the benefit or detriment of traffic along Brimley Road, I recommend that you voice your concerns to the relevant City staff via the following email address: active_TO@toronto.ca. It is imperative that the City receive your feedback to ensure that Brimley Road meets the needs of those who use it on a daily basis. For additional information on ActiveTO, please visit the following link: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-protect-yourself-others/covid-19-reduce-virus-spread/covid-19-activeto/
As we approach these final days of summer I hope you all enjoy the warm weather, while continuing to abide by the most up to date COVID-19 guidelines.
If you have any comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. We are always happy to do our very best to assist you with any municipal matters.