It was over before it started.
Just before a public consultation on newly proposed parking restrictions for Glenvale Boulevard was set to start, local councillor John Parker announced it would all be for naught, as the overwhelmingly negative response the plans received had been heard loud and clear.
“The message is clear,” said Virginia Evoy, executive assistant for Parker, noting the Ward 26 councillor’s office had been “inundated with emails” from residents complaining about the proposal, which had been delivered to Leaside residents on the March 22–23 weekend. “This is the democratic process in play.”
The proposed parking restriction changes suggested harmonized parking rules for the entire street, which runs from Bayview Avenue eastward to Brentcliffe Road. On the south side there would be no parking at any time, and on the north side no parking from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. or from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with one-hour-maximium parking between those time slots, and a three-hour maximum at any other time.
“I think Parker made the right move in backing down,” said Paddy Duncan, board member of the Leaside Property Owners’ Association, who was among 100 Leasiders ready to discuss the proposal on March 27 at Northlea United Church. “Our concern with it was removing parking entirely from one side could increase traffic speed on that street.
“If you make a street wider, traffic tends to move faster.”
Glenvale Boulevard resident Tor Williams said he wasn’t buying the “harmonization” argument.
“All it would harmonize is where you can’t park,” he said. “It would’ve been a field day for (parking enforcement officers).”
Williams was among those who wrote to Parker’s office to complain about the proposed restrictions. Evoy said the emails led directly to Parker’s decision to shelve the proposal.
This is the only case in the two years she’s worked for Parker she remembers where community feedback has killed an issue before the consultation meeting was held, she said.
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