If elected as Ward 31 councillor, how will you improve Danforth Avenue to reduce gridlock and make the arterial road more accommodating for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians?
Basically I think what we have to focus on is diverting a lot of the traffic, ensuring that the 401 accommodates the traffic and pulling it off the Danforth. Then we can look at possibly doing something about bicycles. Further, I’d also like to create more ambiance at the Danforth and Main and subway stations so that when people come home, they feel like they’re coming home.
I don’t experience gridlock that much on the Danforth and I drive. A lot of it has to do with poor drivers.
I think that first, pedestrians need to learn that we share these roads and an intersection is the most dangerous place that pedestrians and cars come together. They must understand that they should not dawdle in the middle of the street. I think that’s one of the biggest problems in the section east of Woodbine … Pedestrians just hold up traffic at the intersections.
For pedestrians on the sidewalk, I think we should remove these concrete tree boxes. I think that would help a lot. They’re unsightly. I think we should keep the trees. I think it would cost the (Business Improvement Area) much less money if they don’t have to decorate them with flowers. They’re just kitty litter (and) garbage collectors.
I’m not really in favour of bike lanes, but that doesn’t mean I’m not in favour of biking… Bike lanes compete for areas that were designed for cars and they’re just inherently unsafe. And I really can’t endorse something I see as unsafe. I see sometimes parents with kids behind them and they don’t realize how close they really come to getting their kids hurt. It really is bad. People get doored. Not everyone thinks about cyclists. The bike lanes sometime provide a false sense of security thinking that this means the bicyclists’ rights are given a priority and this isn‘t the case. I do believe we need to do something to substitute – maybe take it off the Danforth on smaller roads. It needs to be integrated with larger plans for getting people around the city, especially with the TTC.
There really isn’t much to do except to enforce the by-laws to make sure businesses aren’t blocking the pedestrian ways. That’s a problem in a few spots along the Danforth.
As far as reducing gridlock, in my mind that’s a complex issue, but there’s one really big thing we can do to make that happen and that’s to synchronize the lights. Get the SCOOT system (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) going so that the lights respond to the traffic and it has the opportunity to keep moving …
The answer (to bike lanes) is no because if you put in bike lanes on Danforth, all of a sudden people have no place to park so they’re not going to stop and shop. So that’s a place where cyclists and drivers are just going to have to learn how to share.
I’m not opposed to bike lanes … but I think that putting bike lanes on a place like Danforth Avenue is just dangerous and ill-conceived… I’d be more likely to do something like reduced parking after 6 p.m. or free parking on Sundays or something along those lines.
Ward 31 candidates Peter Agaliotis, Janet Davis, Brenda MacDonald, Rasal Rahman did not return phone requests for interviews by press time.
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