East York crosswalk initiative falls short

Michelle Grace/Toronto Observer
Jack Aldred has served as a city crossing guard for 22 years. He wants the city to install a complete crosswalk service at the intersection of Mortimer and Carlaw in East York. (GRACE_ALDRED_E)

The councillor for Ward 29 has learned that a petition for a designated crosswalk at a busy intersection in East York may have fallen short.

Recently, Jack Aldred, the long-time crossing guard at the corner of Mortimer and Carlaw avenues, expressed concern for pedestrian safety at the intersection.

The crossing guard launched a community petition urging the city to install a designated crosswalk, including signage and lights. He contacted Coun. Mary Fragedakis for assistance.

“I have received a report from Transportation Services dated Feb. 7, 2011, indicating that the request for a pedestrian crossover did not meet the minimum requirements of the City,” she said.

Aldred, a crossing guard for 22 years, is worried about pedestrian safety at his crossing.

“Cars go really fast and nobody seems to care to stop to allow people to cross when I am not here,” he said.

According to Transportation Services in order for a pedestrian crossover to be warranted there must be a minimum of 200 pedestrians crossing the roadway during the peak hours of a typical weekday, as well as 130 pedestrians waiting to cross for more than 10 seconds.

Since Aldred is only at the crosswalk three times a day for one-hour intervals, he fears that when he is not there someone could get hurt or not be able to cross. Coun. Fragedakis has not given up on the initiative.

“I am awaiting the final petition from the residents to help me assess the mood in the community on this matter and to potentially advocate on their behalf,” she said.

The petition can be signed at the East York campus of Centennial College located at Carlaw and Moritmer avenues. Aldred has also left petitions at local schools around the area during parent-teacher night.