Traffic lights installed against Transportation Services’ advice

Traffic signals have been installed at the intersection of Finch Avenue and Blackbird Gate after a fatal pedestrian accident there a year ago.

TIMELINE

March 2009
Transportation Services conducts Traffic Control Signal and Pedestrian Crossover studies at the intersection of Finch Avenue East and Blackbird Gate on the request of Ward 42 (Scarborough-Rouge River) Coun. Raymond Cho. They decide traffic signals are not needed based on their studies and Toronto Police Service’s collision reports for the area.

October 2009
A 63-year-old Malvern woman is hit and killed by a car while crossing the street to catch a bus at the intersection of Finch Avenue East and Blackbird Gate.

December 2009
A petition signed by 145 residents in favour of traffic signals is submitted to the community council.

January 2010
Ward 42 (Scarborough-Rouge River) Coun. Raymond Cho presents a petition signed by 147 residents in favour of traffic signals to city council.
City Council approves the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Finch Avenue East and Blackbird Gate.

September 2010
Construction begins on the traffic signals.

Present
Construction is complete but a Hydro connection is pending.

Scarborough’s community council recommended the city install the traffic signals after a 63-year-old woman was struck and killed at the intersection while trying to catch a bus in October 2009.

“They’ll be turned on as soon as Hydro gives us a connection,” said Robert Decleir, supervisor of traffic signals for the City of Toronto.

The community council recommendation went against a Transportation Services report, which deemed the signals unnecessary.

“We do regret what happened there,” said Marko Oinonen, Scarborough district manager of traffic operations. “But to install traffic signals, there has to be an established pattern of the problem. An isolated situation doesn’t necessarily justify or warrant the installation of signals.”

The transportation report included Toronto Police collision reports for the intersection for the four years prior to the fatal accident. The collision reports included just one other accident, which was a rear-end collision involving two cars that was attributed to wet roadways.

Despite the evidence against the need for the traffic signals, Ward 42 councillor Raymond Cho gathered the names of 147 residents in support of the installation and presented it to city council. The recommendation was approved in January and construction began in September.

Cho was not available for comment.