CCRA president Kathy Rowe is asking the city for a crosswalk at Meadowvale and Lawrence. The bus stop on the south side forces TTC passengers to jay-walk across Lawrence. Photo: René Johnston, Toronto Star

By Denise Bacon

In case you missed it, our neighbourhood was featured on the front page of the Toronto Star on November 2. Specifically, the intersection of Meadowvale Road and Lawrence Avenue was highlighted as an unsafe pedestrian crossing point.

CCRA had brought this concern to Councillor Jennifer McKelvie last April when a safety issue was identified regarding elementary school aged children and staff of Saint-Michel elementary school at 29 Meadowvale Rd. The bus stop on the south side of Lawrence at Meadowvale forces TTC riders, including the children from Saint-Michel, to jay-walk across Lawrence, which has six lanes at that section of the road. Compounding this safety issue is the fact that traffic moves very fast along this stretch of Lawrence since there are no traffic lights for a 1.7 kilometre stretch between Centennial Road and Bennett Road.

Councillor McKelvie’s office brought this serious concern to Transportation Services at the City of Toronto right away and, despite much follow-up, the city has not yet taken any action to study this intersection nor to propose any safety remedies like a crosswalk or traffic lights.

The Star reporter, May Warren, reported “only 22 crosswalks have been put up across the city from 2014 to 2018, while more than 700 have been requested, a rate of about three per cent. Those low numbers, and the red tape that goes along with them, conflict with the city’s Vision Zero road safety approach, argue two city councillors, who say it’s time to make it easier and faster to get crosswalks, especially as the death toll on Toronto’s streets continues to climb.”

City spokesperson Hakeem Muhammad said the traffic count for the Lawrence and Meadowvale intersection is expected to be done by the end of November, and that doing studies near schools can take more time as they need to be conducted during the school term.

Councillor McKelvie said the feasibility studies should look more at access to public transit, kids and seniors crossing, and distance from schools.

CCRA will continue to follow up with Councillor McKelvie’s office on improved pedestrian safety across Lawrence Ave. at Meadowvale Road and will keep residents updated.