Beach Metro News, 19 November 2013
Sketch by Jennifer Cline
The Beach community is in a bind at present, between OMB’s antiquated antics in favour of inappropriate and ill-judged development proposals and the lack of vision in the municipal government’s representative, who is too busy micromanaging day-to-day affairs to be able to adopt a vision for Ward 32: a vision of a progressive and sustainable infrastructure that will go beyond the preservation of heritage buildings or of compromises with developers, which are always followed by more aggressive development.
Thus, Beach residents must take a different approach, not only to protect but also to create an attractive infrastructure toward social, economic and environmental improvement, to increase livability in an
inviting and unique community, to stimulate tourism and to serve as an example to multitudes of stereotyped and hackneyed communities.
That includes the re-allocation of road space on Queen Street.
This is a congested street, smothered by space and air pollution, making it difficult to navigate, and inaccessible to all modes of transportation. Our infrastructure is not enjoyable, it is mundane and hectic.
Improve the street between Woodbine Avenue and Glen Manor Road, by “widening” the sidewalks to accommodate pedestrians and cafes; establish one car lane each direction beside the streetcar space, and install a bicycle lane each direction.
No parking should be allowed in that section of Queen Street, while deliveries can be made early in the morning or late in the evening.
Note that studies both in the US and Europe indicate that people who walk, cycle and use public transport have a positive impact on local shopping areas. Sustainable transport users are likely to visit shopping areas more frequently and spend more time shopping in the area, compared with car drivers. Parking subsidies are an inefficient way to support downtown economic development.
Adopt a sensible response to a changing transportation environment, with a clear social upside in terms of better public health, less traffic and lower emissions. Commission public art to be placed on strategic locations in the area, to enhance and beautify a livable community in a New Urbanism environment.
Air Pollution Coalition