Main Street traffic concerns aired

Residents say drivers are using neighbourhood streets to make unsafe shortcuts north of Danforth Avenue and Main Street.

That was a common concern heard at a traffic safety meeting hosted July 23 by Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis at the Secord Community Centre.

“No one intersection fix is ever going to do anything about it,” said one of the several Doncaster Avenue residents who joined the group of about 40 people.

“It’s a much larger issue – people are using our neighbourhood as a racetrack to avoid Danforth Avenue.”

One particular concern is the intersection of Doncaster and Main, where a 14 year-old girl was injured in a hit-and-run last November.

A recent City of Toronto traffic study of the intersection found it does not warrant installing traffic lights, but the study did recommend better pavement markings.

A similar study found traffic at the Secord and Eastdale Avenue intersection does not warrant a four-way stop, but in that case the results were so close that the study may need to be redone. However, the TTC is also opposed to a four-way stop there because it would slow bus routes.

Roman Oleskij, a city traffic engineer, said many of traffic volume counts in the area are outdated and will be redone after school resumes this fall. Studies that assess whether an area warrants some kind of traffic intervention is needed can be redone every two years.

Besides looking at ways to slow or stop drivers who try and shortcut Danforth Avenue via Doncaster and Secord, residents asked that the city look at ways to ease rush-hour bottlenecks along Danforth Avenue, including better synchronized traffic lights on the stretch from Woodbine to Victoria Park.

Along with ideas such as different turn signals or an all-pedestrian crossing at Main and Danforth, residents said a designated taxi stand would help traffic in front of nearby Main Street subway station.

Councillor Davis said illegally parked taxis in the area are a long-standing problem, but currently the only place a taxi stand could go is right in front of the homes north of the station, which can’t be done.

A few residents suggested ways to reduce traffic volumes on Main Street north of Danforth Avenue, including making that part of Main  a one-way, southbound-only street.

Councillor Davis said the idea had been raised before and is a complete non-starter, given how it would push traffic to other roads.

One resident thought up an original way to lower the traffic volumes on Main Street north of Danforth—a name change.

He said he got the idea after a lost driver told him she expected Main Street would take her north to the 401 because ‘Main Street’ implies a major road.

“We’ll call it Davis Drive!” he offered as a suggestion.

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