On-Street Parking – Extension of "Permit Holders Only" Hours

Dear Residents of Victor Avenue:

Early in September, Councillor Fletcher’s office distributed a ballot to residents of Victor Avenue between Broadview and Howland Avenues. The ballot requested each resident to cast their vote in respect of a proposal to extend the current “permit holders only” parking times to include the period from 4.00pm until 8.00pm, Monday through Friday (similar to Simpson Avenue). This ballot was raised following the receipt of a signed petition containing 40 addresses in favour of this change. I collected these signatures in the time period from May until September.

The results of the ballot were 33 to 19 against changing the current “permit holders only” parking times. As a result, a communication was issued from Councillor Fletchers office stating that “guided by the wishes of the majority……I will not be requesting that this change be made”.

Following receipt of this communication, I drafted a response to Councillor Fletcher outlining that while the results of the ballot on their own did not appear to signify majority support for the proposal as presented, nevertheless, the petition containing signatures from 40 addresses on the street did (at the very least) indicate a significant degree of frustration by permit holders in regards to the current on-street parking situation. In summary, I requested the support of Councillor Fletcher’s office in helping to identify a parking solution for permit holders which would be acceptable to the majority of residents on Victor Avenue. As suggestions, I listed the following alternatives:

> create an equal number of “permit holder only” spots on the south side which are effective during the period when the “permit holder only” spots on the north side are not available (i.e. from December 1st until March 31st);

> extending the period when the existing “permit holder only” spots on the north side are available. Currently, they are available from April 1st until November 30th. Perhaps this period could be extended by one month or so, to allow availability of these spots to residents for a longer period of time;

> modify the existing proposal such that the “permit holder only” period is shorter. Instead of from 4pm until 8pm, Monday thru Friday, shorten this to from 5pm until 7pm, Monday thru Thursday;

> Further, since the most difficult time of the year for residents to find a parking spot is from Dec. 1st until Mar. 31st (the period when the “permit holder only” spots on the north side are no longer available), this last alternative could be modified so that it applies only to the period Dec. 1st until Mar. 31st and not for the full year.

My e-mail response to Councillor Fletcher was sent on the 16th of October. To date, I have not received a reply. I’m disappointed and frustrated by the lack of assistance from the Councillor Fletcher’s office.

Despite the results of the ballot and the rejection of the proposal put forward, I feel that majority support for some form of change to the current permit holder parking situation on the street could be obtained providing the proposal was acceptable to both permit holders and non-permit holders alike. Once drafted, my goal is to recirculate a petition to gather signatures in support of this new proposal.

To assist me in drafting this proposal, and to ensure that the new proposal is acceptable to the majority of residents, I would like your suggestions on what the proposal should be. If you are in support of one of the alternatives already presented to Councillor Fletcher in my response above, then please let me know. If you would like to propose another alternative not currently considered, then please feel free to let me know this too.

I look forward to receving your feedback.

Best regards,

Stephen G. McDonnell


Advertisements

12 Responses

  1. Well Stephen, it would seem that there are bigger issues with Ms. Fletcher. She does not respond to anything and i would suggest we take this and other issues on the street ie: speeding to someone higher.

    Who is she accountable to? When she sent the ballot i sent her an email with concerns and got no response. I too, reponded to the outcome of her ballot collection. We are in favour of a time limit but perhap 5-7 or 4-6. What is outrageous is coming home at lunch and not being able to park. I think we have a number of issues to resolve and what i have asked of her is to recommend solutions. She has never responded.

    Any way…..those are my thoughts.

  2. Thanks Stephen for bringing the parking issue to the blog for open discussion. I continue to be extremely frustrated with the parking (or lack there of) situation on Victor. Like Hailee when I voted I made numerous comments and posed questions to which I received no response. I also sent an email when her EA sent out the results and have not received any response from that either.

    I do think we need to find several options that would help to ease the situation. One of the things I would like to see is that front pad parking being re-instated on the street. If you don’t have an old tree on your front yard, are on the north side of the street (so as not to interfere with permit parking on the south side) and agree to “green” the space as much as possible then why shouldn’t we be able to get it? The developers up on Riverdale managed to get parking spots for the new builds that went up last year.

    I like Hailee’s suggestions about changing time restrictions as she indicated. I also share her frustration about not being able to park during the day and have the tickets to prove it! I am also sick of the speeding down this street during rush hour/late at night, cabs racing along, people who are using it as a thorough fare crawling right up your behind as you try to park – NO PRESSURE there. Would anybody be extremely opposed to installing speed bumps on the street?

    Let’s all put our heads together and apply some collective pressure to Councillor Fletcher. I am away on business quite abit this month but in December I would be happy to help with this as i have connections at City Hall, with the Mayor and could probably help with a “push” on making some noise.

  3. I also responded to the ballot and this is what I wrote:

    “Although I understand why people are making this request (as I have two houses and no secured parking), I really believe this extra limit to parking times won’t make it easier for me to find a spot on Victor. All it will do is make it impossible for my friends with cars to visit me.

    It seems to be that construction workers and their vans/cars, people who work on Gerrard and, perhaps, allowances for more than one parking space per home are the main problem. Construction workers will continue to park their cars on Victor past a 4pm deadline, as they are continually parking illegally as it is.

    What I would prefer is that residents be allowed to park their cars wherever they can until a spot opens up, somewhat like the many handicap parking cars can do at present. We should be given at least 16 hours leeway (parking at 9pm at night and then having to run out every 15 minutes trying to find an open spot until past bedtime doesn’t strike me as a solution) to find a spot before receiving a ticket.

    While you’re at it, though, there was a petition signed several years back to get speed bumps put on Victor Ave. And nothing ever came of it. If anything, we need speed bumps. I have never seen so much traffic on a side road in any of the areas I have lived before, and at all times of the day. I would love it if we could close off Victor Ave. altogether and allow only local traffic, as I have seen in other areas of the city. Then perhaps I would feel more comfortable letting my children, aged 7 and 10, play in the front yard.”

    I called Fletcher’s office to make sure they received my fax. Someone called back to assure me they had. I also asked about the speed bumps and they said a test had been done and apparently, no one speeds down our street, so we were rejected!

    I would be willing to meet with anyone who would like to try to come up with some sort of year-round solution to the parking. I also like the idea of being allowed to convert front yards into parking pads again. I don’t really see a problem with it. But I also don’t see a problem with being able to park on both sides of the street at any time. This is the way it is now (albeit illegally) and somehow the garbage trucks and firetrucks still get down the street, which is the main reason why we’re not allowed to park that way.

  4. I don’t think its just contractors parking on Victor during the day that causes the parking congestion. I believe many merchants from the Broadview/Gerrard area, as well as people who work at the jail and Bridgepoint Health park on Victor all day because of the restrictions on Simpson. This parking tends to affect those of us closer to Broadview than those who live further in. Many times I come home and can’t park near my home, but then find ample parking closer to Howland. I would like my friends visiting to be able to park, but if we re-submitted something with a different time restriction, I would hope that we could collectively come up with a proposal like Steven’s that we could all agree on.

    About the speeding. I heard from a former resident that the speed bump petition was turned down by City Council because Victor and Simpson are designated thoroughfares for EMS vehicles. I’d be interested to know if that is true, but if it is, advocate to reduce the speed on the street to 30 km/h (the same as streets with bumps) along with “Children Playing” signs, and have it more seriously enforced. Currently, the speed limit for Victor is the same as Broadview, and 10 km/hr more than Langley. There are many children on the street, and I would like us to get something together collectively before one of them is seriously hurt as a result of this.

    Anyone else interested in working on this?

  5. Okay so now we have a dialogue going.
    It would be great if more people could weigh in on this and then as Kelly says let’s collectively determine some next steps and tasks.

    Beth

  6. While we are lucky to have parking, I would like the parking issue for other residents of the street to be resolved and will help in any way I can. I would also like to find out about the speed bumps – living close to Broadview, it seems people just turn onto Victor and stomp on the gas – there are now 5 children under the age of 7 living in the first few houses on Victor. Let me know how I can help.

  7. Dear Hailee Morrison:

    Thank you for your recent email to Councillor Fletcher and my apologies for the delay in responding.

    On Paula’s behalf let me respond to the points raised in your message. First, by copy of this email, I am asking Linda Lu of our office to get in touch with you regarding more traffic enforcement for your block of Victor Avenue. In essence, this means a speed trap. Linda will need to know details of the hours and days when speeding is worst, in your opinion, so Toronto Police can plan for the radar trap.

    Second, regarding changing the permit parking hours. The ballot we sent out was triggered by a petition from several dozen residents asking for the change in hours. From Councillor Fletcher’s point of view the vote was pretty decisively against the proposed change in parking hours. Looking at the figures, of the 52 votes received and counted 33 were opposed as you know. This represents just over 63% – if my math holds – as opposed to less than 37% support. Moreover, the ballot was drafted so as to be as neutral as possible i.e. the Councillor genuinely wished to be guided by residents of the street.

    What are the next steps ? Paula appreciates parking is in short supply. On the other hand, so are City resources i.e. we cannot hold another ballot on Victor Avenue for another change this year. There are several dozen blocks in the ward and we are preparing ballots for other streets on a variety of issues even as I write to you.

    When balloting is held on a street for the installation of speed humps, and the measure is rejected, City staff request that no further poll be held for three years. I would not suggest that you have to wait that long but why not take some time over the winter, talk to your neighbours about what might work, and contact our office in the spring.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Decter, Assistant to
    Councillor Paula Fletcher
    Toronto Danforth – Ward 30
    100 Queen Street West, Suite C44
    Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
    Ph. General: 416-392-4060
    Ph. Direct: 416-338-7184
    Fax: 416-397-5200
    Email General: councillor_fletcher@toronto.ca
    Email Personal: rdecter@toronto.ca

  8. Hi All

    Well i recieved a call from Councillor Fletcher’s office today-i have posted the email sent to me. During my phone call i asked about the parking and was told it is a closed issue.

    I also said that many were concerned both with parking and speeding and she said my email was the only one they’d recieved on the issue of speeding.

    Odd. Anyhow—–we need to molbilze some response back to Fletcher!

    hailee

  9. I was so disappointed with Councilor Fletcher’s response to parking and Speeding, that I sent the following e-mail:
    Hello Councillor Fletcher:

    I am a resident of 51 Victor Ave., and I am one of many residents on
    my street concerned about parking, but also about speeding. I have
    heard that you have closed the parking issue. I find that unfortunate,
    but would also ask what it would take your office to re-open it?
    Another petition with different time restrictions? We are trying to
    organize with people who voted against to see if there is another
    solution than the one proposed. We all agree that the current parking
    situation is unacceptable.

    As for the speeding. Yes many people go over the speed limit on this
    street, but that is not the only issue. Our speed limit is 40 km/h,
    the same as Broad view Ave, even though we are a quiet residential
    street with many children playing much like Langley, or Riverdale, but
    their speed limit is 30 km/h. This makes no sense. I have been told
    that there was a petition years ago to have speed bumps put on our
    street the same as Langley and Riverdale, but it was turned down by
    Council because Victor and Simpson are designated thoroughfares for
    EMS vehicles. Could someone in your office please tell me if that is
    true? If so, could we have the speed limit reduced to 30 km/h with
    “Children Playing” signs posted, and the speed limit enforced? Your
    office’s response to our complaint about the speeding on the street
    was to make a complaint to Police and your office would propose a
    speed trap. This is not a solution, its a band-aid. Could someone
    from your office please tell me what other options we may have, other
    than what you have proposed?

    Sincerely,

    Kelly Potvin

  10. I would be available to help in any organization of a solution to the parking/speeding situation on Victor. Let me know…

  11. Another thought: I was speaking with some friends who lived on a street with our same problem with parking and their solution was to count the number of spaces on each side to see which side netted the most spots. Then that side had year-round parking. (This is our case, too, but I’m not sure if anyone counted spaces before they picked the side).

    Then they allowed front yard parking on the side that didn’t have year round parking, creating more parking spaces and taking cars off the road, and this also helped.

    Apparently, there were also designated spots created, the homeowner’s own parking space, which then had a meter and parking was allowed certain hours of the day (probably 9-5), so outside people could park on the street, but owners had their spot back when they got home. Not sure if this would even be possible, though.

    Something to consider….

  12. Hey everyone:

    Here is the latest I’ve heard from Paula Fletcher’s office on Parking and speeding.

    Dear Kelly Potvin:

    Thank you for your recent email to Councillor Fletcher. On Paula’s behalf let me respond to the points raised in your message.

    First, I have checked our files and there was a traffic study done in 2005 on Victor Avenue between Broadview & Howland Avenues. According to the letter sent to our office by Transportation staff the street did not meet the warrants for traffic calming i.e. the criteria for installation. Specifically the recorded speed of the 85th percentile of traffic, 41km/hour, was less than 10 km/hour over the posted limit of 40 km/hr. I am passing this on for your information and not to say that our office will not assist you with your speeding problem.

    The easiest step to take would be a request for more enforcement. Our office can ask Toronto Police for a speed trap but they will need to know when speeding is worst e.g weekday evening rush hour. If you would like us to take this step, just write back with your estimate of when the speeding problem is worst.

    I know a speed trap is a stop gap measure. I also know that there is a pretty active group of residents on Victor Avenue who might want try for something more permanent.

    As you know, from the Councillor’s point of view the vote was pretty decisively against the proposed change in parking hours. Looking at the figures, of the 52 votes received and counted 33 were opposed as you know. This represents just over 63% as opposed to less than 37% support. Moreover, the ballot was drafted so as to be as neutral as possible i.e. the Councillor genuinely wished to be guided by the residents on the street.

    What are the next steps ? Paula appreciates parking is in short supply. On the other hand, so are City resources i.e. we cannot hold another ballot on Victor Avenue for another change this year. There are several dozen blocks in the ward and we are preparing ballots for other streets on a variety of issues even as I write to you.

    When balloting is held on a street for the installation speed humps, and the measure is rejected, City staff request that no further poll be held for three years. I would not suggest that you have to wait that long.

    Instead, why not take some time over the winter and talk to your neighbours about what might work not only to improve parking but to reduce speeding. If residents would really like to look at some innovative solutions we can put you in touch with very knowledgeable staff here.

    In the meantime, let us know if you would like us to request a speed trap.

    I hope this is helpful,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: