The WPRA and community members are continuing to engage and advocate for a solution that satisfies the needs of our community
Letter to City Staff
Letter to City Staff
6 March 2023
Mr. Michael D’Andrea
Engineering and Construction Division
City of Toronto
Members of Toronto East York Community Council
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop
Senior Engineer Saidur Rahman
Re – Railway Bridge Reconstruction at Scarlett Road / St. Clair Avenue West / Dundas Street West and Gooch Avenue
The Warren Park Ratepayers’ Association is a volunteer-run organisation aimed at collective action to maintain or improve our neighbourhood’s public spaces and facilities. We advocate for the interests of the hundreds of residents from the Humber River on the west, Gooch Avenue on the east, St. Marks Road on the south and Dundas Street West on the north.
We request that:
- the proposed barrier across Gooch Avenue be removed from the final design;
- a public consultation be held prior to any report on this project being considered by Community Council or City Council;
- the public consultation be called as soon as possible this spring and that a local site, like the Warren Park Community School or the Lambton Community School, or Lambton House, be used for this consultation;
- Toronto Fire Services as well as Toronto Police Services and Toronto Ambulance Services be requested to review accessibility for emergency vehicles with the proposed
barrier, particularly fire trucks coming westbound from the Jane Street Fire Hall to a call at the Toronto Community Housing Building at 3725 Dundas Street West at Gooch Avenue;
- school bus operators be consulted about their accessibility with the proposed barrier;
- morning and evening RUSH HOUR restrictions be implemented from eastbound Dundas Street West onto Humber Hill Avenue and onto Gooch Avenue, similar to the restriction at Humbercrest Boulevard; and
- morning RUSH HOUR restrictions be implemented on southbound Scarlett Road traffic restricting access to Humber Hill Avenue and to Gooch Avenue.
Barrier Dangers and Restrictions
The barrier proposed at Gooch Avenue and Dundas Street West will likely cause significant concern for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles that will not be able to access the community quickly or safely, particularly the Community Housing Buildings at 3725 Dundas Street West at the corner of Gooch Avenue. No iteration of this proposal should move forward without explicit and transparent consultation with all safety and emergency services, as well as school bus operators who service the apartment buildings and the rest of this community.
Included at the end of this letter are excerpts from reports on the Scarlett Road / St. Clair Avenue West / Gooch Avenue / Dundas Street West reconstruction of the railway bridge. Specifically, the components that are the subject of our concern relate to full four-way access at Gooch Avenue and Dundas Street West. Such traffic management measures were promised to our community during consultations in the 1990s and in a report about 20 years ago when David Miller was our Councillor and ensured that the report at Council confirmed full access at Gooch Avenue. It is again noted in the 28 November 2017 report Q and A section where is states “The current plan is for 4-way access to/from Gooch Avenue”.
Our community is very concerned that the current iteration of the project planning document now shows a significant barrier on Dundas Street West blocking full access/egress at Gooch Avenue. This must be removed and full, four-way access ensured, not just as a convenience but a necessity in our valley neighbourhood with only three steep roads for access/egress. This is a safety issue for all residents of our community.
Currently we have east/west and northbound access / egress at Gooch Avenue and Dundas Street West/Scarlett Road. The proposed barrier significantly reduces this flow, restricting Gooch Avenue traffic movement to only eastbound exit and only eastbound access. However, southbound Scarlett Road, in the restructured bridge design, is able to access Gooch Avenue, which should be restricted during rush hour. This barrier
design is completely unacceptable and likely dangerous as we expect that folks will use U-Turns at the barrier to retain at a minimum, the current traffic flow.
Lack of Public/Community Consultation
The City has seriously failed our community by not holding a follow-up public/community consultation to the erroneously called meeting in summer 2022.
Summer consultations seem designed to ensure the least number of participants; we did request that it be held when people are likely not away on vacation and that it be held in this community. The location of the consultation was completely out of our community, which again seems a deliberate way to ensure that fewer people could attend and participate in a process that should be accessible to all affected. We asked that it at least be held locally, but got an unacceptable response that indicated full investigation into local venues had not been conducted. We asked then for a properly held public consultation during the fall 2022 and we ask again that this final draft report be brought to a public/community consultation in our community during this next few weeks, with the exception of the spring school break, 13 – 17 March!! before Community Council or Council considers this report. All affected communities must be fully and transparently involved in the redesign process to ensure that the proposal’s features are accessible and feasible for those who will be regular users of this intersection and who rely on this intersection as one of the few access point to and from the valley, especially during snow events.
Scarlett Road Bridge & Road Improvements
Public Consultation Summary
Prepared by Stephanie Gris Bringas
Senior Consultation Coordinator
Public Consultation Unit
A public meeting was held on November 28, 2017
Significant concerns about traffic volumes and speeds from the intersection of Dundas St. West and Scarlett Road into the Humber Valley, via Gooch Avenue, during and after construction.
· Turn restrictions and restrictions on through traffic to Gooch Avenue should be considered, as well as other traffic calming methods.
· Need the option of a left-turn onto Dundas Street or north onto Scarlett Road from Gooch Avenue.
· Do not want cars to be able to turn right [from Dundas] onto Gooch Avenue as it will create a cut-through.
· If there will be any changes to Gooch Avenue, there needs to be another community meeting.
· Consider the addition of a speed bump at the school crossing on Gooch Avenue at Skylark Road.
· Take a look at the 'desire line' of people accessing Loblaws from the apartments.
Recommendation to install pavement markings to indicate a location of conflict, and prompt vehicles to slow down.
· Concerns about Gooch Avenue being used as a shortcut to Jane Street.
Question & Answer Session
Q: What is the plan for traffic going southbound on Gooch Avenue? Will access to Gooch Avenue be signalized as part of the intersection? Will there be 4-way access to and from Gooch Avenue? Can we ensure there won't be a cut through southbound to Gooch from Dundas St. West?
A: We are at 30% design. The City will look into measures for the Gooch intersection through the next stage of the design process. The current plan is for 4-way access to/from Gooch Avenue.
Call to Action
The Gooch Avenue barrier is a significant concern for the Warren Park Valley residents – and has been over several iterations of this proposal for 25 years. We strongly request that the City hold another public consultation, in our community, in the next few weeks, with the final draft of the report, removing the Gooch barrier. Should the proposal still recommend a barrier at Gooch Avenue and Dundas Street West, we request Councillors to reject the proposal with respect to the barrier and direct staff to have it removed, replacing the traffic barrier at Gooch Avenue with full four-way access in the new intersection.
Toronto has existing, relatively new, examples of broad, inclusive intersections upon which to model the Scarlett Road/Gooch Avenue design, including, Bloor Street West, South Kingsway, Mossom Road and Riverview Gardens; Jane Street, Annette Avenue and BabyPoint Road.
Thank-you for your immediate attention to these requests.
Railway Bridge and
Scarlett Road/St. Clair Av W/Dundas St W/Gooch Avenue Reconstruction
Sub-Committee of the
Warren Park Ratepayers’ Association