Birch Cliff resident Amy Corcoran was already worried about children getting hit by motorists in her area.
Then one struck her four-year-old daughter, Violet Graham, as she crossed Warden Avenue at Freeman Street on her way to school on Nov. 3, 2017 with her caregiver.
“We were extremely lucky that it didn’t result in death or more severe trauma,” she said at a community meeting hosted by Ward 36 Coun. Gary Crawford on Jan. 18 at St. Nicholas Anglican Church on Kingston Road.
At the meeting, which representatives from Toronto Police Services and Transportation Services attended, Corcoran and other locals got the chance to share their stories and comments as well as learn what plans the city has to improve safety on local streets.
The meeting was held in the wake of a pedestrian death at the hands of an alleged drunk driver on Dec. 21 at the intersection of Kingston Road and Warden Avenue, which, according to material provided at the meeting, has been the site of 42 reported collisions, seven involving pedestrians, in the last seven years.
To improve safety in the area, Corcoran said she’d like to see flashing signage, crossing guards, displays that show motorists how fast they are driving, and stop signs before school zones.
These were all measures that Myles Currie, the director of Transportation Services who was on hand, said were possibilities for the area.
In addition, Currie suggested “advance greens” for pedestrians could be added to the Kingston and Warden intersection.
“What we’re starting to look at is giving pedestrians the walk signal before the signal turns green,” he told the about 50 in attendance. “The pedestrians get into the roadway, they become a lot more visible earlier as opposed to entering the road at the same time as a car.”
Staff are mulling adding more time for pedestrians to cross the intersection as well.
Meantime, the city is looking at reducing the speed limit to 40 kilometres an hour on Kingston Road from Victoria Park Avenue to Birchmount Road.
“I’m really not sure if 50 kilometres an hour is the appropriate speed along that section of the road anymore,” Currie said.
Seven per cent of all collisions in 41 Division over a three-year period occurred in the Birch Cliff-Cliffside area, according to TPS.
However, 41 Division Sgt. David Liska said 11 per cent of the division’s enforcement was dedicated to the area.
“There is a significant amount of enforcement that goes on here,” he said.