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FORUM: Build a more livable city, together (Jan. 2020)

January 31st, 2020 · No Comments

Bike lanes, affordable housing, parkettes, and road safety

By Mike Layton

I want to begin by wishing everyone a happy 2020 and a wonderful start to the new year. I am renewed in my commitment to working closely with you all to build a more livable and equitable city, and I want to thank the many residents who have been volunteering their time to better our ward.

This year, I am resolved to expand on existing projects that directly affect our day to day lives. We need to continue working on the creation of deeply affordable housing, the Bloor bike lane expansion, strengthening our parks, preserving our ravines, and accelerating Transform TO with new actions and targets. 

Pedestrian fatalities are preventable and I know there is so much more we can do to effect change.

Locally, 2020 will bring with it the completion of the construction plans for the Bloor Street Watermain Replacement, Road Re-Surfacing and Street Revitalization Project. With the Bloor bike lanes officially confirmed as a permanent part of the landscape, this stretch will serve as the basis for the upcoming expansion of the lanes to the east and west.

Alongside the completion of sidewalk reconstruction and the replacement of the 142-year-old water main, the parkettes have been a great example of the good that can come from strong community collaboration. 

I want to thank the Bloor Annex BIA for their unique vision and dedication towards growing our city’s green spaces through the design of the area’s new parkettes: Howland Street Parkette, Brunswick Street Parkette, Major Street Parkette, and Robert Street Parkette 

The revitalization has been an intensive community process, and not without its surprises — one of which has been the unearthing of a 1.5-billion-year-old boulder. The 2,000 kg boulder, which I was told travelled via iceberg to the Annex from Georgian Bay approximately 15,000 years ago, has now become an interesting and unexpected feature of the pollinator planting area at the Howland Street Parkette.  

Another local change for 2020 will be moving forward with the Automated Speed Enforcement Camera installation under the Vision Zero plan. Vision Zero is always top of mind for me. I have worked to fast-track implementation of safety measures related to the plan, and believe strongly in lower speed limits. Pedestrian fatalities are preventable and I know there is so much more we can do to effect change. 

The upcoming enforcement system uses a camera and a speed measurement device to detect and capture images of vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limit. The images will be reviewed by Provincial Offence Officers with tickets being issued to the owner of the vehicle, regardless of who was driving. Penalties will be fines with no demerit points issued.  One of the first installation spots within Ward 11 will be locally on Huron Street between Bernard Avenue and Lowther Avenue. It was selected using a data-driven process, with spots around the city being rotated every 3 to 6 months.

As always, you can contact me with your questions or concerns at councillor_layton@toronto.ca or by calling 416-392-4009.

Mike Layton is city councillor, Ward 11 University-Rosedale.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion