Speeding on Glen Road has been a problem for decades. Traffic studies done by the City of Toronto and the North Rosedale Residents Association (NRRA) show that of the 4,000 to 4,500 daily drivers on Glen Road, more than half travel above the 40 km/h speed limit, with approximately 15% travelling at or above 50 km/h. Residents rightly view speeding on Glen Road as a safety issue. Unfortunately, there has not been broad community agreement on how to address this problem.
The TTC 82 bus route that runs along Glen Road prevents traditional traffic calming measures such as speed humps. Active police enforcement of speeding is not available at all times.
Residents have suggested the use of stop signs to slow traffic. The Ontario Traffic Manual, used by all municipalities, is clear that stop signs "are not intended to be used as speed control devices. Their usage should be limited to the control of right-of-way conflicts." Transportation Services state that stop signs are the wrong tool for controlling speeds, as they can cause delays that can frustrate motorists and increase other kinds of road conflicts, such as rear-end collisions. City staff studied the introduction of stop signs at both Roxborough Drive and Bin-Scarth Road at Glen Road in 2009 and 2016, and concluded there is not enough traffic, nor a history of collisions, at either intersection to warrant all-way stop controls.
With the knowledge that the stop signs were not warranted for traffic control, I was asked by the NRRA to have the stop signs installed. I asked the NRRA to confirm that there was broad support for these stop signs amongst the local residents. They distributed surveys to local area residents and spoke to local stakeholders.
In March 2017, on the basis of what the NRRA identified as sufficient community support, my office was asked to proceed with the installation of all-way stop control on Glen Road at Roxborough Drive and Bin-Scarth Road. The motion was approved by Toronto and East York Community Council in May 2017. By early July, staff installed the new stop signs as requested.
Very quickly, local residents on Bin-Scarth Road started contacting our office for more information about where these signs came from. Many were not NRRA members, and expressed that they felt "blind-sided" by this process. While they shared the concerns about speeding on Glen Road, these residents did not believe they were adequately consulted. The NRRA reflected on their consultation process and determined that their process, while well meaning, was flawed.
In August, the NRRA then asked our office to re-open the May 2017 approved item and remove the new stop signs at Glen Road and Bin-Scarth as soon as possible. Importantly, the NRRA wanted to use the time and opportunity to re-engage with the community as to how best to control speeding on Glen Road again, since they believed their original process was flawed. Transportation Services who did not support the stop signs in the first place recommended that they be removed as soon as possible to avoid further confusion. I agreed to the request and at the September 6, 2017 meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council, the removal of the new stop signs at Bin-Scarth Road was unanimously approved.
Safety along Glen Road continues to be a high priority for myself, the City and the NRRA. I have fully supported the City's Vision Zero Road Safety Plan that will implement changes on our city streets to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads. As the affected portions of Glen Road are planned for reconstruction for in 2018, I have already asked Transportation Services to review physical alterations to the road that will ensure long-term solutions to reduce traffic speeds.
In light of the broad community discord, I have requested that Transportation Services halt the removal of the stop signs. I intend to ask Transportation Services to rescind the removal order and will set up a working group with subject matter experts to explore options to redesign the road to further safety in anticipation of the Glen Road reconstruction.
I strongly believe that the North Rosedale community will be able to come together with the City in a collaborative and forward-thinking manner to promote greater community safety. I look forward to hearing from you and your family as we begin this next phase of work together.