"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Sound And Fury

'Tis a tale told by an  idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Tonight Council will consider a review of the remaining "traffic calming measures" in the north east quadrant. Recommendation from General Committee  is to "refer the matter back to staff for an analysis of current traffic calming measures and the impact of new buildings under construction in the area and
That the community  have an opportunity to provide input with regards to the "diversions."
Councillors have received  nineteen e-mails from residents in the area; one in support of removing the "diversions" .All others opposed and  horrified by the prospect.
The staff report has already indicated if  the "diversions" were to be removed, traffic would increase.
"Diversions" are obstructions. Purpose of which to  block the flow of traffic.
Blocking the flow of traffic is exactly opposite to the purpose of  public rights of way.
Road patterns are designed to interconnect and provide for the safe, efficient, smooth movement of traffic.
Millions of dollars are spent on engineers to design the system. Water and sewer collection and distribution are incorporated in the roads.
In any development, infrastructure comes  first. Llots are created to fit the road system. The design not only contemplates movement of traffic and other utilities, emergencies, garbage collection and snow plowing are planned for efficiency.
Before the traffic calming plan was  received by the last  Council I requested  public works director and fire chief put into writing, the impact  on fire protection, snow plowing and garbage collection.
They did.
Even while the City ofToronto were removing chicanes because of neck injuries to fire  fighters , the letter from the Fire  department  gave assurance there would be no impact.
The Public Works Director  who denied all responsibility for the traffic calming plan ,stated  chicanes would not slow response time.  Fire trucks would just drive right over them,he said. .
Which was true  and the reason firefighters had neck injuries. And chicanes were in the course of being removed even as we planned to install them
At the time the plan was being considered. an election was imminent. Estimates for the project were
$100,000. Three candidates were in the running for the Mayoralty. Any one  of them would have sold the crown jewels for  the political advantage that  might achieve.
Contrary professional advice would have fallen on deaf ears.
It was not provided anyway.
Any more than it is now.
If roads are  to serve the purpose of safe,smooth efficient movement of traffic. "Diversions"or  blockades have  exactly the opposite effect.
Where is the logic  of spending millions of dollars of  hard-earned tax dollars from  the town's general revenue  fund on roads designed by engineers  on the public payroll, for the safe, smooth, efficient movement of traffic, while at the same time  constructing  chicanes, blockades , and speed bumps to achieve  the exact opposite and literally remove said traffic from said streets.
Staff have indicated  removal of  the "diversions" ( closed off streets)would result in  traffic increase.
Well , Duh!
It is a tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
What happens when  residents of other streets in the heart of town demand their streets  be closed to through traffic and effect artificial obstructions  in order for the clock to be turned back a century when the town had a busy, thriving, growing  metropolis with a population of four thousand souls? 
How do we say ;  
NO . What is there about that word you do not understand 


Anonymous said...

Ah, but councillor Gaertner still claim that their installation of chicanes was a ' noble experiment '. Gotta love that woman. Everything they did was good, honourable, transparent, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me councillor, but why should the community not have an opportunity to provide input?

You have indicated already why they would not want them to be removed "traffic would increase".

Traffic calming has ZERO impact on water and sewer... why bring that up? The size of the streets are not being changed... why are lot sizes mentioned?

How many times does a CYFS vehicle travel down these streets in a week? How many times create the "neck problem"?

Are these streets there to provide "safe, smooth efficient movement of traffic" or are they there for the local traffic to get to/from the arterial roads meant to carry the traffic that used this area as a fast shortcut?

Where is the logic in spending hard-earned tax dollars to remove things that have already been paid for?

I think the the solution is simple. 1. Leave things as they are. 2. When other residents ask for similar, they answer is "NO, it did not work before, it cost too much and we are not going down that road again." 3. When these "calmed streets" require reconstruction or resurfacing 15-20 years form now, include the removal then.

Draw a line in the sand. Live with what is there and look to change later.

Anonymous said...

The town can spin it's wheels & waste $ on OMB appeals but ' infilling ' is coming. And the # of residents who bitch & complain about the threat to their ' way of life ' is minimal.
Still, I fully expect our council to dither at the meeting and come up with a wishy-washy do-nothing ' plan '.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect the town's historic core to be regarded and managed in the same manner as the areas of modern, 'cookie cutter' suburban sprawl.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 8:57 for your non nonsense practical response. Smart, simple and efficient, and there is no way council could ever come up with this.

Anonymous said...

3:39 PM
It is so impressive when you compliment your earlier comments. Not.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I totally disagree with 8:57 and 3:39.

Council should learn from its mistakes and correct them where possible. Leaving a total mess in place for 20 years make absolutely no sense to me. Fix the problem and don't make the same mistake again. Just like voting for council.

Anonymous said...


With all due respect, how is it a total mess? It seems to me that the residents still want it. It will cost money to remove it. Why bother?

I am also 8:57 but not 3:39 - thanks for the comment of ignorance Mr./Mrs. 6:49pm

Anonymous said...

If motorists haven't been able to figure out how to travel through this area by now, Lord help us. Don't throw more good money after bad, it really doesn't affect most of the towns people. When the roads need redoing, get rid of everything then. Ms. Buck, I agree that the original calming was designed to help a 'select few', but I can't see how spending more money at this time will solve anything. Just make things more 'just'.