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The Eastern / Leslie / Carlaw BikeLanes Need Your Help!

From the BikingToronto Inbox today:

Hello all, Sandra Bussin need to hear from you regarding safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Leslie St. between Queen and Lakeshore Blvd.

As you may know, the South East Toronto Bicycle User Group (a.k.a. Dundas EAST) met several times. They are asking for bike lanes on Leslie Ave. so that pedestrians and cyclists, children and seniors can enjoy a safe connection to the Loblaws / Price Chopper retail district and the wonderfully renovated Martin Goodman Trail from Leslieville and beyond. Eastern and Leslie are dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Last year Isaac Morkel was killed on his bike while crossing Eastern at Leslie by a truck making an illegal left turn.

Unfortunately, Leslie St. is split between Councillors Fletcher (supportive of bike lanes) and Bussin in the Beaches (not supportive of bike lanes). Eastern has the same challenge.

Sandra Bussin, deputy Mayor and Beaches Councillor is not supportive of bike lanes on Leslie or Eastern as outlined in the Now Magazine article a few weeks back.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2007-03-22/news_story5.php

Then there’s Bussin’s opposition to lanes on Leslie. “Sandra has the other half of that,” Fletcher says, referring to the fact that Leslie divides their wards, “and she doesn’t support it.”

Bussin says Leslie is too complicated, and the lights at Loblaws only make it worse. “The original plan is the wise one: having a lane on Knox. It provides that north route and it’s only a block and a half east of Leslie.”

Bussin calls Fletcher’s Eastern bike lane “industrious,” but she’s skeptical. “To use [bike lanes on] Eastern as a tool to stop traffic is not a good idea. It’s going to create confusion, and trucks will go on Queen.”

Bussin suspects that Fletcher’s bike lane proposal is an attempt to fend off an influx of mega-stores. Coincidentally, Toronto Film Studios on Eastern has recently sold its site to big-box developer SmartCentres. A monstrous Canadian Tire already sits on Leslie awaiting its official unveiling.

“I don’t think you should be using cyclists to traffic calm in an attempt to stop big-box deliveries,” says Bussin. She further questions the approach of “rallying activists”, noting that the best solution is to leave the matter of box stores up to the oracle at the OMB. Ha!

But David Dunn of the city’s transportation services says it’s “not impossible to accommodate bike lanes on Leslie.” If it can be done on Eastern, which has more than twice the traffic and is two metres narrower, it can be done on Leslie. “But it’s very busy and there’s lot’s of turning movements.”

IF YOU ARE SUPPORTIVE OF MAKING LESLIE AND EATERN MORE BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN FREINDLY PLEASE CONTACT COUNCILLOR BUSSIN AND EXPLAIN WHY – ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN HER WARD.

THIS IS AN INVITATION FROM HER TO YOU . . .

Good Morning Residents,
Drop-in to my Constituency Evenings at Community Centre 55 —97 Main Street at Swanwick Avenue.
Due to the Mayor’s Special Budget meeting scheduled for this Monday, the Constituency Evening has been changed to Monday April 30th from 6-8 PM.
I look forward to meeting you. Sincerely, Sandra
********************************************************************************
SANDRA BUSSIN
Speaker, Toronto City Council
City Councillor, Beaches – East York – Ward 32
100 Queen St. West, Suite B28
Toronto ON M5H 2N2
sbussin@toronto.ca
PHONE: 416-392-1376
FAX: 416-392-7444

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