The tragic news that an 81 year-old pedestrian was struck and killed on O’Connor was sad and upsetting for everyone in the neighbourhood. You know only too well that O’Connor is a wildly busy thoroughfare that bisects the residential community.
Since being elected in 2018 to represent the new double sized ward, many of you have shared your concerns about O’Connor with me. In May 2019 I initiated the first ever safety study of the Pape and Donlands intersections and of O’Connor in general. Unfortunately the pandemic diverted City staff away from these transportation studies as they were redeployed to assist with the COVID-19 response across the City. Thankfully they are back now on the job of studying and implementing traffic safety measures. In June of this year the General Manager of Transportation Services came with me to both the Broadview and Donlands intersections to see for herself some of the issues you have told me about.
It's been a long wait, but I want to let you know that the first report on Donlands and O’Connor intersection safety will be coming to Committee in January 2022 and that further improvements should soon be made to the treacherous curve at Broadview and O’Connor. We will work together to address your safety concerns at Pape and along the whole O’Connor corridor.
Many important traffic calming measures – speed humps, turn restrictions, intersection narrowing, pedestrian upgrades, bike lanes, quiet streets, speed limit reductions, new traffic lights – were achieved by working with the community in my previous ward. Now it's time to work with you in this new part of Ward 14 to achieve these same goals and to tame this major arterial to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Community members who live and work in the area have started an online petition asking the City to implement road safety measures on O'Connor immediately. I want to thank them for taking this initiative and thank everyone who has signed so far. Please share their petition with your neighbours.
One huge safety improvement would be adding Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras on O’Connor. The current City program is being implemented by staff and only covers areas immediately adjacent to schools and allows only two cameras per ward which rotate to different locations. The cameras have been in place a little over a year - and we know they work.
I am pushing to add more than two cameras per ward and to expand the program to include dangerous arterial and collector roads. So far city staff do not support this expansion however they have agreed to analyze O'Connor between Pape and Donlands for a possible Automated Speed Enforcement Camera.
In the near future I will hold a Zoom meeting with City Staff to hear directly from you. Meanwhile please let me know about your experiences and your suggestions to make O’Connor a much safer street for all - I want to hear from you. You can reach me at [email protected].
Please share this update with your neighbours who may not have seen it so they can let me know if they want to be involved and their suggestions for making O'Connor safer.
Working for you,
Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth