Pedestrian fatality on O’Connor Drive sparks local petition

A petition addressing “dangerous intersections” and speeding on O’Connor Drive, following the death of a man crossing the street Oct. 19, has already drawn far more than its target number of signatures.

“We were alarmed and saddened to hear of the death of an 81-year old pedestrian in our neighbourhood this week,” states the petition’s preamble. “We were not, unfortunately, surprised as every day we experience close calls with drivers who are speeding, driving recklessly and/or are distracted, or see emergency vehicles dealing with dangerous collisions.”

The petition, addressed to Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher and the city’s transportation services department, has already drawn 518 signatures, less than two weeks after the fatality.  Its stated goal was 300 signatures.

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It calls for a transportation services report recommending safety measures for the Pape and Donlands avenue intersections — in the works since mid-2019 — to be expedited.

“O’Connor Drive and Pape Avenue have few features designed to keep vehicles to the speed limit,” the petition says. “Visibility and sight-lines are poor at the Pape/O’Connor and Donlands/O’Connor intersections, making them dangerous even when everyone is following the rules of the road.”

Fletcher is the councillor who requested the transportation services report more than two years ago.

‘Wildly busy’ street

“The tragic news that an 81 year-old pedestrian was struck and killed on O’Connor was sad and upsetting for everyone in the neighbourhood,” Fletcher says in a statement on her website today.

She calls O’Connor a “wildly busy thoroughfare that bisects the residential community.”

The report on Donlands and O’Connor safety is expected in January 2022, Fletcher says.

She is also organizing an online meeting with city staff and residents on the issue of O’Connor safety, she says, although no date has been set yet.

In the meantime she is asking anyone interested to email her about their experiences in the area and suggestions to make O’Connor a safer street.

As the petition states, “We don’t want to see one more person injured or killed due to dangerous roads in our neighbourhood.”