Glen Road stop sign di­vides Rosedale

Al­le­ga­tions of bil­lion­aire’s in­flu­ence cir­cles through wealthy en­clave

Midtown Post - - News - by Sa­man­tha Peksa

A stop sign re­cently in­stalled at Glen Road and Bin­scarth Road in Rosedale has be­come a se­ri­ous point of con­tention for many lo­cal res­i­dents with ru­mours and al­le­ga­tions cir­cling that cer­tain high-pro­file neigh­bours have ex­erted their in­flu­ence to see the stop sign re­moved.

A 2015 study of traf­fic con­di­tions found 57 per cent of the 4,500 ve­hi­cles that travel daily on Glen Road are ex­ceed­ing the posted speed limit of 40 km/h. Coun­cil­lor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27 Toronto Cen­tre–Rosedale, pointed out th­ese find­ings to the Toronto and East York Com­mu­nity Coun­cil in May when she put for­ward a mo­tion to have two stop signs in­stalled on Glen Road at the urg­ing of the North Rosedale Ratepay­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (NRRA).

The mo­tion was made in re­sponse to safety con­cerns raised by some res­i­dents, and a stop sign was in­stalled in July.

“Glen Road is the long­est stretch of road in a res­i­den­tial area. It’s very per­ilous to try and cross it.… I’ve lived here for 30 years, and there’s never been a way to get across safely,” said one lo­cal res­i­dent who asked to re­main anony­mous.

How­ever, there are others in the com­mu­nity who would like to see the Bin­scarth sign re­moved and have pe­ti­tioned the coun­cil­lor to do just that.

“They took um­brage with the stop sign, and the mo­ment it went in, they started ag­i­tat­ing to have it taken down,” said the 30-year res­i­dent.

This res­i­dent and some other com­mu­nity mem­bers have al­leged two neigh­bours used their wealthy and po­lit­i­cally pow­er­ful friends to ul­ti­mately sway the out­come in their favour.

“I’m all for open dia­logue … but we’re be­ing steam­rolled be­cause of [one res­i­dent’s] con­nec­tion to one of the bil­lion­aires in the city.” Blake Ac­ton is one res­i­dent liv­ing near the stop sign on Glen Road. “I’ve had an enor­mous amount of peo­ple agree the stop sign should never have been there in the first place,” he said. “There are noise com­plaints. There are pol­lu­tion com­plaints. There is just an over­all in­con­ve­nience to the com­mu­nity.”

Ac­ton said he and his neigh­bours can­vassed the com­mu­nity and gar­nered more than a hun­dred sig­na­tures for a pe­ti­tion to see it re­moved. He ar­gued they were the ones who were steam­rolled to be­gin with in favour of a se­lect few who wished to see the stop sign in­stalled. “You would think the ma­jor­ity rules,” he said. Wong-Tam said she met with ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers of the NRRA and a hand­ful of lo­cal res­i­dents re­cently and was told they had found a com­mu­nity-led res­o­lu­tion to this con­flict. She said she was told both sides had agreed to re­move the sign. How­ever, some res­i­dents are still not happy.

Al­though ten­sions re­main high, Wong-Tam said she’s al­ready drafted a let­ter to com­mu­nity coun­cil re­quest­ing the sign be re­moved this month.

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