Winter is Coming…

It’s that time of the year again – winter!

A Canadian winter can sometimes mean a lot of snow, and the City of Toronto is ready.

Here are a few things that you can expect as we gear up for another winter in Toronto.

Prior to the onset of a storm, Transportation Services will be applying a layer of salt brine to hills and bridges throughout the city.  The application of salt brine is intended to prevent the snow from bonding to the pavement and to make it easier to plow the snow to the side of the road.

As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and main roads.  Local roads and laneways are salted soon after this.  When two centimeters of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when five centimeters has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete.

When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimeters, local road plowing will begin.  Plowing on the local roads is usually completed between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling. During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311.  Residents are also asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed.  Residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.

After clearing ice and snow from some bike lanes as part of a pilot project for the past three years, the City has identified a priority network of bike lanes and cycle tracks in the downtown core that will receive enhanced winter maintenance this winter, including snow plowing and salting to improve safety for cyclists.

The City will only open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimeters of snow has fallen. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed.  The service is meant to only open up a width of about three metres – not the full width of the driveway.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place. To learn more about sidewalk snow clearing in Toronto and to view a map of the areas where the service is provided, click on http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/snow/sidewalks

If you need more information about the city’s plans for snow clearing, visit toronto.ca/transportation.

And, the City of Toronto has created a webpage that enables residents to see the location of city plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and when their street was serviced by the city’s winter operations crews.

The new webpage uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS) installed on plows and salt trucks to determine when a road was serviced by crews, by using a colour coded system. If a road was serviced within the last four hours, then the road is shown with a green line. If a road was serviced within the last four to 12 hours, the road will be shown with a blue line and if serviced between 12 -24 hours, then the colour would be red.

The webpage can be accessed at toronto.ca/plowTO.

Here’s an important tip about shoveling snow.  Please don’t push snow back onto the road.  It’s against the law, hampers snow clearing efforts and is very dangerous for motorists.

Winter, and the snow that comes with it, is a part of what makes us Canadians.  By working together, we can make sure that Toronto continues to be a safe and accessible city in which to live, work and play.

PRESTO is coming to Lawrence East Station

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As part of TTC’s modernization efforts, PRESTO electronic fare payment systems are  being installed in stations across the network.  Here are the details related to Lawrence East Station:

  • PRESTO is coming to Lawrence East Station.
  • Construction will begin on November 9 and will be completed by mid-December.
  • The collector booth will be open for sales and you can continue to enter the station through that aisle. You can exit the station beside the hoarding.
  • During construction the fare line will be removed, the floor will be dug up, refinished and the gates will be mounted to the new floor. This work will be done behind construction hoarding. You may notice some noise from inside but it should be minimal.
  • During construction, you will be able to access the station using tokens, tickets, TTC passes or cash.
  • After construction you will be able to access the new fare gates with a TTC pass or PRESTO card only. Anyone paying by tokens, tickets or cash must enter via the collector booth aisle. PRESTO customers must tap their card on a reader.
  • Signs will be posted and messages will be shared externally via social media and platform video screens.

Construction updates on Presto installation across the network  are available on the TTC site at the following link:

http://www.ttc.ca/Service_Advisories/Construction/PRESTO_construction.jsp

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Metrolinx Regional Open House Meeting November 28, 2016 at Jean Vanier CSS

The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is now home to nearly 7 million people and heading towards 10 million by 2041. Metrolinx is bringing more transit and more connections to more places within the GTHA. As we grow, our transit system needs to grow too. Every community transit project big or small plays a vital role in shaping the regional transportation plan. We want to share our plans and get your feedback.

Please join us at our community Open houses to learn about key transit projects relevant to your community, provide feedback and talk to our staff. Open houses start at 6:30 pm with presentations beginning at 7 pm. Topics include:
• Review of proposed mitigation strategies
• Feedback on Environmental Assessment (EA)/Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) to build new track and electrification infrastructure in the following areas:
• GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP (Hydro One as co-proponents)
• Barrie Rail Corridor Expansion TPAP
• Lakeshore East – Don River to Scarborough Expansion TPAP
• Review of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) providing the opportunity to formally
incorporate new insights into the plan, while ensuring we maintain momentum on the projects underway.

Open houses start at 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm. Presentation starts at 7pm.

Monday, November 28th
Jean Vanier Catholic
Secondary School
959 Midland Ave.
Scarborough, ON, M1K 4G4

Gatineau Corridor Trail Construction

The City of Toronto is proposing to extend the Gatineau Hydro Corridor Trail from Victoria Park Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East with a possible extension in the future westward to Bermondsey Road.

Once completed, these two new sections of the Gatineau Corridor Trail would connect to a larger trail network system across North York and Scarborough from the Don Valley to the Rouge Valley.

Construction for the first phase between Victoria Park Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East is exptected to start in Spring 2017 and to be completed in Fall 2017.

Public Open House
Learn more details, view large drawings and speak directly with staff:

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Drop in any time between:  5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Victoria Village Library (184 Sloane Avenue)

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Pharmacy Avenue Resurfacing: What went wrong? A message from Michael.

As you know, there have been some extensive disruptions to Pharmacy Avenue as the City completes a major road resurfacing and curb replacement project from Ellesmere Road to the CPR bridge.

The contractor started construction on July 21, 2016, and construction was scheduled to take place over 14 weeks with an original completion date of October 31, 2016. As you know, this completion date was pushed to November 30, 2016 due to an error. This is unacceptable and as taxpayers and residents, you deserve answers. I have demanded these answers from the engineers in charge of the project and have spearheaded an investigation into the events, errors or oversight that led to this problem.

The Problem:

During the design phase (before the contract was tendered), some locations along Pharmacy Avenue were observed to have curb that was higher than the existing sidewalk. This was impeding drainage of stormwater along the boulevard, which, in turn, raised safety concerns.

To remedy this, the design of the grades for the proposed curb and gutter along Pharmacy Avenue was adjusted to improve the drainage along the boulevard.

However, once the curbs with the adjusted design grades were constructed, the newly installed gutters were found to be 50mm to 150mm lower than the existing asphalt roadway.

The Solution:

To address the issue encountered with the installation of the new curb and gutter, work on Pharmacy Avenue was temporarily suspended and a geotechnical consultant was engaged to propose possible mitigation measures. The consultant proposed several options before the City determined that removing and replacing the newly installed curb and gutter to a new profile was the most preferred option with the least impact on residents. However, this will result in an additional cost to the project of approximately $250,000. Who is responsible for bearing this cost will be determined through the course of the investigation.

At this time, the City is continuing its investigation into the omissions and/or errors that led to the need for replacement of the newly installed curb on Pharmacy Avenue. It was stressed to me that an error of this nature is a very rare occurrence. However, you deserve better. Once the investigation is complete, I will ensure that the necessary steps are taken and procedures implemented to prevent future occurrences of this nature.

I have already asked that preliminary changes be made to this project to improve this project and Engineering and Construction services has committed to the following:

  • Improving the lines of communication between field staff and management staff;
  • Establishing additional pre-planning investigation and criteria to ensure that the appropriate work activity is selected for the project‎;
  • Developing additional protocols for our project management staff to ensure that they provide ‎the necessary oversight on certain project activities at the various critical stages of the project.

Should you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact either my office at (416) 397-9274 or Dan Christensen, the engineer in charge of the project, at (416) 396-7175 or dchrist4@toronto.ca.

Sincerely,

Michael Thompson
Councillor
Scarborough Centre, Ward 37
Chair, Economic Development and
Culture Committee