North York community council debates traffic-calming

After the events at city hall last week, members of the North York community council were ready to get back to concentrating on issues in their wards at their regular meeting. Traffic was one of the topics discussed during the council meeting on Nov. 19, with councillors seeking ways to curb speeding vehicles in residential areas.

A motion to have all-way stop control signs at two intersections of Combe Avenue was put forward by James Pasternak, the councillor for Ward 10, who stated that it would make the intersections safer for residents.

“This is a high-density area,” said Pasternak. “There is a very high young student population in this neighborhood. After talking with residents, this would help slow down drivers, and reduce the risk of accidents.”

Councillors Denzil Minnan-Wong and Shelley Carroll both opposed the motion, with Carroll stating that there has been little need for the motion.

“This street has both stop signs and traffic calming measures…. They’ve gone a long way,” Carroll said.

The request was originally denied in a report from the city’s transportation services department, because the roadway and traffic conditions did not warrant the introduction of an all-way stop control. As a result, the motion was deferred to this council meeting.

Pasternak also discussed passing the motion of having speed bumps along Codsell Avenue between Wilmington Avenue and Goddard Street. In a report to city council, he stated that residents were concerned with vehicles travelling at high speeds. Councillor Anthony Perruzza, who stated that he was opposed to speed bumps, argued they would only slow down emergency vehicles passing through.

“To have a city that works, you need streets that work,” Perruzza said. “What you’re doing is putting in masses, and all it causes is dangerous situations.”

Carroll noted that with the recent circumstances involving Mayor Rob Ford, motions will take longer to be passed.

“We need to be frank with our residents about what happened this week at council,” said Carroll. “We’re going to have to help our residents to understand that sometimes these things will be held up.”

The next North York community council meeting is on Jan. 14.