North Leaside traffic discussed Wednesday evening

A meeting to discuss traffic calming and volume in North Leaside was held Wednesday night at the William Lea Room in the Leaside Arena. The meeting was organized by the Leaside Property Owners Association. It heard from Traffic Consultant Gene Chartier of Paradigm Traffic Solutions and from the chair of the North Leaside Traffic Committee, John Gaitanakis. Paradigm has advanced a series of concepts presented in previous meetings which include radar cameras and red light cameras (but only a few because of the cost). The main staples are prominent crosswalks (laddered stripes on the road) raised crosswalks which provide visibility for pedestrians, elongated “traffic cushions” (which narrow the street and slow cars) and signs which announce to drivers that they are entering a controlled area. Much of this attempts to harness psychology. A proposed speed reduction is also on the table. The meeting heard from residents of streets such a Glenvale, Broadway, Donlea and others about traffic volume and the presence of cars owned by outsiders. Among these are those who drive to midtown to park for free on the streets before taking transit downtown. Residents of east-west streets said drivers were avoiding construction on Eglinton. Others speculated how traffic will find its way to as-yet unopened places like Whole Foods at 1860 Broadway, 660 Eglinton (Sunnybrook) and the Overlea Costco. Mr. Gaitanakis said all planning is for the purpose of a traffic plan which will be made permanent only if residents agree.