Reducing the speed limit to 30kph on the stretch of Church St. between Carlton and Bloor St. E

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Shrikant Subramanian
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Motorized vehicles tend to not follow the speed limits and there is a threat of the driver losing control and crashing into one of the patios. Given the proximity to the vehicles as they are circulating, even at the speed limit of 50kph, the current wooden fences are inadequate to stop a vehicle before it hits one or more tables accidentally. If the driver is intentionally trying to hit people, as has recently happened, they could easily take out several tables. One false manoeuvre and it could easily ram into one of the patios alongside.

The existing measures in place only offer partial safety. However, there is a big risk of cars ramming into the patios (accidentally or deliberately) by taking down the wooden fence. Additionally, many of us have witnessed cars being driven above the speed limit on Church St. especially on the stretch between Carlton and Wellesley.

The horrific London, ON incident where a car driver committed a hate crime by driving his car onto a sidewalk killing 4 members of a Muslim family serves as a grisly reminder to us that vulnerable sectors of society such as LGBTQ2S+ people could also be under similar threat.

As a matter of fact, last year, a car accidentally rammed into CafeTO patios on Queen St. W during midnight. Thankfully, nobody was hurt as the patios were empty at that time. See the links below to read more about this. This should serve as a warning for all of us to make sure our roadside patios are safe for the general public and vulnerable people like LGBTQ2S+ groups.

 https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/driver-patio-crash-cafeto-mayor-toronto-west-end-safety-1.5716743

 https://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2020/09/car-nearly-plowed-bar-curb-lane-patio-toronto/

After the recent events seen on Queen St. W where drivers accidentally ran down CafeTO settings, and since the village is known for its LGBTQ2S+ community, and hate of all types is still prevalent, it is only a matter of time before the same happens in The Village.

Subsequently, as a concerned citizen and an LGBTQ2S+ person/ ally, I am extending my support to the following proposal to make all the patios in The Village safe from such accidental or intentional hate crime attacks. 

Proposal : Reducing the speed limit to 30kph during patio hours on the stretch of Church St. between Carlton and Bloor St. E along with installing photo radar cameras or increasing patrols to ensure the speed limit is respected.

Furthermore, with the patio season just kicking off, I would request you to flag this proposal as "URGENT" when you bring it up before the City Council.

Official response

planned
Councillor Wongtam
Councillor Wongtam

This proposal has reached the required threshold of support. Councillor Wong-Tam has reviewed the proposal and has submitted a motion to the next Toronto & East York Community Council meeting to reduce the speed limit of Church Street from the current 40km/h to 30km/h.

Sept 9, 2021 Update: Today the Toronto & East York Community Council adopted Councillor Wong-Tam's motion to reduce the speed limit on Church Street between Bloor Street East and Conger Coal Lane to 30 kilometres per hour and directed the General Manager, Transportation Services, to install the relevant speed limit signage as soon as possible. Read the full motion.

Next Steps: Transportation Engineering Staff will now begin the process of planning and implementing the speed limit reduction which is quite complex. A great deal of work is involved including reprogramming each traffic signal to update the timing, reconfiguring the coordination of the signals with each other to keep vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists moving safely, coordinating with the Toronto Transit Commission and emergency services, as well as installing the new speed limit signage. All of these changes are anticipated to be implemented in 2023.

  • Official response

    Councillor Wongtam
    Councillor Wongtam
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    Set status to planned
  • Official response

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    Councillor Wongtam
    Councillor Wongtam
    ()

    This proposal has reached the required threshold of support. Councillor Wong-Tam has reviewed the proposal and has submitted a motion to the next Toronto & East York Community Council meeting to reduce the speed limit of Church Street from the current 40km/h to 30km/h.

    Sept 9, 2021 Update: Today the Toronto & East York Community Council adopted Councillor Wong-Tam's motion to reduce the speed limit on Church Street between Bloor Street East and Conger Coal Lane to 30 kilometres per hour and directed the General Manager, Transportation Services, to install the relevant speed limit signage as soon as possible. Read the full motion.