Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dundas West BIA and Parking Issue

This is How a Councillor You Elect Can Hurt You

I walked the Dundas West parts of ward 18 today and saw again what Adam Giambrone's TTC ambitions have done to local constituents. Through an appalling lack of consultation (like Lansdowne Avenue narrowing), he forced through changes that hurt residents and businesses.

Most of us know - or should - that parking was removed in both instances. On Lansdowne - it was in the name of "traffic calming" - never realized. On Dundas West , it was to speed up transit TTC and reduce gridlock. The result there is plain to see: during rush hours, gridlock no savings in time; off peak hours, close calls for pedestrians avoiding speeding cars and TTC...

* side note: Anyone notice yet how many pedestrian close calls and accidents we have because of TTC related incidents?

Another real cost has been to the businesses along the Dundas West BIA. What was touted as a 'pilot project' no one wanted became permanent. Businesses suffered - and are STILL suffering. I spoke with business owners and staff who said the effect of taking away parking ranged from 'I lost my house' to 'it bites'.

PARKING ON DUNDAS WEST was a big issue at the start of this campaign and before, and will continue to be a hot issue button right up to and after election day (Oct 25). Inside Toronto community news agrees:

Mayoral candidate George Smitherman today promises to compensate businesses for construction delays (refers to the Roncessvalles mess, St Clair TTC?) ... yet that does not go far enough. If the city through lack of consultation and proper planning neglects to take into account the impact on businesses, they should be on the hook for losses they cause. Wonder if Smitherman or any candidates will go that far?

It is certainly something that needs much more consultation, no matter what!

My take on this? What do we do?

  1. Plain and simple: The city MUST compensate business owners for loss of business for the period past. No ifs, ands or buts
  2. The TTC Chair should be an elected and SEPARATE position from local councillor. It is to me an obvious conflict of interest when one person looks after city-wide transitr issues and (supposedly) his local ward issues. Advantages, besides what I just said? Getting a transit-savvy set of skills going into the job and enhancing city-wide transit as an important vision (most of our city budget).
  3. Remedy the parking situation in Dundas West with city Green P parking lot (probably a structure too). Roads are for moving, yet we need compromise.

*** Update: September 20th Ana Bailao announce she is making parking a campaign issue. (Kind of late isn't it?)

And, as always, as most of us candidates are saying: CONSULTATION...CONSULTATION...CONSULTATION !

because..... Davenport Deserves Better