The great Rosedale stop sign de­ba­cle 2.0

Neigh­bour­hood residents con­cerned over Glen Road im­prove­ment pro­ject

North Toronto Post - - News - By Ron John­son

A city im­prove­ment plan pro­posed for Glen Road has reignited con­cern over the po­ten­tial re­moval of a stop sign in the neigh­bour­hood, a point of con­tention that di­vided the usu­ally placid, leafy north Toronto en­clave of Rosedale less than a year ago.

Shortly af­ter the city dis­trib­uted let­ters to the Rosedale neigh­bour­hood last month out­lin­ing plans to im­prove the stretch of Glen Road be­tween Sum­mer­hill Av­enue and Beau­mont Road, Post City re­ceived emails from con­cerned residents who sug­gested that re­moval of the stop sign was back on the ta­ble, hid­den in the baf­fle­gab of an over­all im­prove­ment plan.

“It’s déjà vu,” said lo­cal res­i­dent Sandy Kil­gour, via email. “This plan, sim­i­lar to the failed at­tempt by the coun­cil­lor and the NRRA [North Rosedale Residents’ As­so­ci­a­tion] to re­move stop signs at the in­ter­sec­tion of Glen and Bin­scarth roads, does not in­volve a pub­lic meet­ing nor does the NRRA ap­pear to wish to con­sult with the lo­cal com­mu­nity ahead of plan im­ple­men­ta­tion and re­moval of the stop signs which have served the neigh­bour­hood well in terms of pub­lic safety and re­duc­ing av­er­age traf­fic speeds through North Rosedale.”

De­spite con­cerns, coun­cil­lor Kristin Wong Tam said the im­prove­ment plan rep­re­sents “one of the first new roads in the city pur­pose­fully built to em­body the safety prin­ci­ples of Vi­sion Zero.”

Last year, stop signs were in­stalled along Glen Road af­ter a re­quest by the neigh­bour­hood. But, upon in­stal­la­tion, oth­ers Rosedalians raised a well-heeled ruckus and pres­sured Coun. Tam and the city, de­mand­ing the signs’ re­moval. The feud got so con­tentious that the pro-sign residents took to the streets to protest and were suc­cess­ful in sav­ing the stops.

Ac­cord­ing to the city, the Glen Road plan is al­ready in­cluded as a line item in the 2018 city bud­get, a once-in-a-decade pro­ject that includes new road beds and other stan­dard main­te­nance. The tim­ing al­lows for af­ford­able safety en­hance­ments to the pub­lic realm while road­work is un­der­way, such as shorter radius curbs at in­ter­sec­tions and side­walk bump outs, pro­vid­ing in­creased safety for cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans as man­dated un­der Vi­sion Zero. The plan does not ab­so­lutely in­clude the re­moval of stop signs. “The stop signs are still un­der re­view,” said Ch­eryl San Juan, a City of Toronto spokesper­son. “Glen Road was up for re­con­struc­tion this year, and this pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to make larger im­prove­ments that would be too costly oth­er­wise.”

Any mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the stop sign would need ap­proval from Toronto and East York Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to San Juan.

“The road de­sign is go­ing forward, and the residents are wel­come to call with ques­tions or to dis­cuss plans,” she ex­plained. “As for the stop sign at Bin­scarth Road, the best method for feed­back is still be­ing de­ter­mined.”

The con­tro­ver­sial stop sign on Glen Road

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