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Written By JOSHUA SANTOS
Caledon Council voted seven to two on amendments to a motion for all day parking in downtown Bolton to mitigate traffic.
It follows a request for the Region of Peel to initiate the pilot program for one year.
In a move by Ward 1 Regional oun. Ian Sinclair and seconded by Ward 2 area coun. Christina Early the pilot will measure the number of accidents, stacking from the King Street intersection during rush hour, traffic counts, speed, business viability including economic activity, response times for EMS, and that traffic counts be conducted on Emil Kolb Parkway, Caledon-King Townline, Caledon-Vaughan Townline and Columbia Way.
An original motion, tabled by Mayor Allan Thompson, called for the Region of Peel to implement a one-year pilot of all-day parking on Highway 50 in downtown Bolton.
Ward 5 Regional Coun. Annette Groves was frustrated the Mayor had no consultation with herself or Ward 5 Area Coun. Tony Rosa prior to tabling the motion.
“This has been an issue in Bolton, not just since last term but for a number of years in Bolton,” said Groves. “It would've been the right thing to do, the proper thing to do, to consult with councillor Rosa and I before this motion was brought forward.”
The motion has created division and tension with community residents and councillors. Many are for or against the pilot program.
“This, I want to make sure on record, in no way I do not, and I'm certain councillor Rosa feels the same, we do not support the safety of our residents,” said Groves. “We all support the safety of our residents.”
Groves said it is not a problem that occurs just in downtown Bolton, but rather, it happens throughout the community.
“It's driver behaviour,” said Groves. “People need to recognize that they're driving through neighbourhoods and they need to slow down. We have issues on Highway 50 going southbound right along Highway 50 from southbound to northbound.”
Groves said they should've sat down with regional staff, and at the Town in the traffic and engineering department to find a number of solutions, without looking at implementing all day parking thinking it will solve the problem.
Former Ward 5 Area Coun. Rob Mezzapelli voiced his support for all day parking in downtown Bolton during a delegation speech.
“When considering all aspects and implications, quite simply, it is the right thing to do,” said Mezzapelli.
Mezzapelli said the issue is not about politics, sour graves or interpersonal differences.
“I have been very clear and very consistent that the only reason I support returning all day parking and the need to have it, to attain the ultimate vision for the core, is because overall, considering all the pros and cons, it is the right thing to do,” said Mezzapelli. “It will improve the core as well as Bolton and all of Caledon.”
Mezzapelli said he wants to see less articles about accidents in the downtown core. He said the motion is a critical and a required next step to create a core that is more focused on visiting, living and shopping in an environment that is inviting, safe and attractive.
“This is not a lofty pie in the sky vision, it is a transformation that many communities around us have done with very successful outcomes,” said Mezzapelli. “This vision is not something that was conjured up out of the blue, indeed it is a common vision for downtown that a number of different multiyear studies commissioned by the Town or the Region, support, including the Bolton Heritage Conservation District, the Queen Street Corridor study, even a study focused on transportation, the Bolton Transportation Master Plan, recommends a core that is more focused on people and less on cars.”
Groves said all day parking is a band aid solution and said drivers will filter to other neighbourhoods causing more safety concerns.
“Parked cars should not be the shield for pedestrians, because those cars are not there 24/7 and there are people walking up and down all the time,” said Groves.
Caledon OPP Insp. Ryan Carothers voiced his opinion in a memorandum note dated on April 24.
“I am not convinced all day parking would assist,” said Insp. Ryan Carothers. “Due to the large volume of traffic during the morning and afternoon commute, I believe this would impede the regular flow of traffic, increase grid lock and increase aggressive driving behaviour. With lanes being reduced drivers will tend to cut in and become more aggressive trying to get to their destination because it's all about (ME). This would also impede and restrict the movement of Emergency vehicles trying to get through. I believe the Region and Town Traffic staff would be best to have discussions with regarding the impact on implementing all day parking or perhaps other traffic calming measures. The problem is, this is a very heavily travelled road.”
Carothers provide additional comments May 28 showing a different tone of voice.
“As your aware this road carries a high volume of commuter traffic and changes to the traffic pattern may have an impact on adjacent secondary roads as drivers avoid, but in saying that, maybe this will force drivers to use the Bypass,” said Insp. Ryan Carothers. “There may be an impact on police response times during rush hour but I believe not significant due to other routes we can use.”
Groves said she was disappointed in Carothers noting his comments were very different than what he expressed a month earlier.
“It makes me wonder if there was any influence there in having a totally different opinion from the inspector,” said Groves. “I agreed with the inspector, with really what he wrote on April 24, is that we all need to sit down with the Region and Town to find the best traffic calming and what types of traffic calming is going to help alleviate the issues we're having downtown.”
Post date: 2019-06-06 11:09:31
Post date GMT: 2019-06-06 15:09:31
Post modified date: 2019-06-13 11:47:17
Post modified date GMT: 2019-06-13 15:47:17
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