The great Rosedale stop sign debacle 2.0
Neighbourhood residents concerned over Glen Road improvement project
The controversial stop sign on Glen Road
A city improvement plan proposed for Glen Road has reignited concern over the potential removal of a stop sign in the neighbourhood, a point of contention that divided the usually placid, leafy north Toronto enclave of Rosedale less than a year ago.
Shortly after the city distributed letters to the Rosedale neighbourhood last month outlining plans to improve the stretch of Glen Road between Summerhill Avenue and Beaumont Road, Post City received emails from concerned residents who suggested that removal of the stop sign was back on the table, hidden in the bafflegab of an overall improvement plan.
“It’s déjà vu,” said local resident Sandy Kilgour, via email. “This plan, similar to the failed attempt by the councillor and the NRRA [North Rosedale Residents’ Association] to remove stop signs at the intersection of Glen and Binscarth roads, does not involve a public meeting nor does the NRRA appear to wish to consult with the local community ahead of plan implementation and removal of the stop signs which have served the neighbourhood well in terms of public safety and reducing average traffic speeds through North Rosedale.”
Despite concerns, councillor Kristin Wong Tam said the improvement plan represents “one of the first new roads in the city purposefully built to embody the safety principles of Vision Zero.”
Last year, stop signs were installed along Glen Road after a request by the neighbourhood. But, upon installation, others Rosedalians raised a well-heeled ruckus and pressured Coun. Tam and the city, demanding the signs’ removal. The feud got so contentious that the pro-sign residents took to the streets to protest and were successful in saving the stops.
According to the city, the Glen Road plan is already included as a line item in the 2018 city budget, a once-in-a-decade project that includes new road beds and other standard maintenance. The timing allows for affordable safety enhancements to the public realm while roadwork is underway, such as shorter radius curbs at intersections and sidewalk bump outs, providing increased safety for cyclists and pedestrians as mandated under Vision Zero.
The plan does not absolutely include the removal of stop signs.
“The stop signs are still under review,” said Cheryl San Juan, a City of Toronto spokesperson. “Glen Road was up for reconstruction this year, and this provides an opportunity to make larger improvements that would be too costly otherwise.”
Any modifications to the stop sign would need approval from Toronto and East York Community Council, according to San Juan.
“The road design is going forward, and the residents are welcome to call with questions or to discuss plans,” she explained. “As for the stop sign at Binscarth Road, the best method for feedback is still being determined.”