Committees and Councillors continue to gear up towards the 2024 budget being brought to Council December 6th. Several 2024 budgets were discussed at Committee this week, including the Transit and Transportation budgets.
This week Transit Committee received the 2024 Budget and discussed the OC Transpo Route Review. As I mentioned last week, I remain concerned about changes to routes in the ward, particularly in the Crystal Beach area. At Committee, Staff committed to discussing this route and I will continue to advocate for the importance of local routes that ensure to residents to access services and shops and go about their daily lives.
While not a voting member, I attended Transportation Committee which received the 2024 Budget. Several projects for Bay ward are in the 2024 budget, including the Clarenda Street sidewalk, as well as Connaught.
When questioned, staff stated the commitment to ensuring funds for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure on Maitland across the 417. Staff are working in conjunction with MTO on this project, as MTO needs to replace the bridge span. Making this north/south connection safe for active transportation is crucial to the ongoing goals of making our city more walkable and bikeable.
Transportation Committee also receive the 2024 report for the Road Safety Action Plan.
I have noticed several items of particular interest:
Decorative Ladder Markings Guidelines
Staff will be conducting a pilot study to assess the performance and safety factors associated with decorative pavement markings. Other cities, including Winnipeg, have taken to adding art to streets, and are seeing the result of slower speeds because drivers slow down to see what is happening on the street.
In Britannia we had a lovely street mural in the intersection of Britannia Road and Howe, but the paint used proved slippery in winter. I am looking forward to the guidelines for these types of mitigations because they can beautify our neighbourhoods, but also help slow driver speeds.
Joined Pedestrian Signal Phasing
The city will continue to install signal timing feature to allow the walk signal to appear when a vehicle detection triggers the traffic signal to change to side street green, where appropriate.
Recently my office heard from residents about concerns regarding the pedestrian push button at Woodroffe and Anthony. We requested staff created a joined signal phase in order to enhance the safety of families crossing here to access the school. There is also a Leading Pedestrian Interval, which allows pedestrians a “head start” across the intersection, ensuring they are even more visible to drivers.
Traffic Calming in School Areas
Following established program requirements, implement engineered traffic calming measures in the vicinity of 3 schools.
I am pleased to see that the Broadview Avenue Traffic Calming Project, which is partially funded by 2022 RSAP Implementation Plan, is going ahead. Staff will be holding a public meeting in the near future with their recommendations for traffic calming measures on Broadview including raised intersections and bulbouts.
Speed Policy Review Review
Staff will be updating best practices and develop an update to the existing policy. The updated policy will also include a new School Zone Policy for selecting school areas and zone. Updated policy and criteria, as approved by Council, to be in effect by Q1, 2025. I will be looking forward to seeing this new policy and how it can help reduce speeds in school zones across Bay ward.
Transportation Committee also voted in favour of the Implementation of 30 km/h Gateway Speed Limit in Belltown. Belltown will receive 30km/hr Gateway signage, joining serveral other communities in Bay ward that are also 30km/hr.
30km/hr local streets allow drivers more reaction time, a fuller field of vision, and should a crash occur greatly increases a person’s chances of survival- 30km/hr speeds have a survival rate of 90%, whereas, 40km/hr speeds have a survival rate of only 50%. We will be asking staff to review streets for traffic calming measures as well to ensure motorist speeds result in 30km/hr speeds.
Next week will see the 2024 Environment and Climate Change Committee budget tabled, as well as the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan Phase 3 report, and I am looking forward to discussing these items with my colleagues and staff. I am particularly interested in the expansion of the Parks Recycling Pilot project, and the potential for adding more Bay ward parks into this project, including George Brown Park.