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March 14, 2018 – Immediate changes are required on the means we install mitigating traffic measures in front of schools for student safety.

Traffic Mitigating Measures in front of Schools for students safety.

I am Jim Karygiannis, Councillor for Scarborough-Agincourt Ward 39.

On February 27th, there was a fatal accident near Kennedy Public School.

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My condolences go out to his family and the school community. The student was killed coming out of a pathway which runs behind the school. In order to help prevent any further accidents, the City has temporarily closed the pathway.

The school, parents and residents want us to take mitigating measures to help protect their children. They have asked for speed bumps.

Unfortunately, the process at Toronto City Hall to get those speed bumps installed is anything but simple – it’s a bureaucratic nightmare that could take months to complete.

I want to thank Matt Elliott of Metro News for his article and clear analysis of the process.

First you need a petition, which lead to staff reports.

The second step is a consideration of area-wide impacts. Third is a review of the current road design. Fourth is consultation with the TTC and emergency services.

Fifth is a traffic study. Sixth is a consideration of options and alternatives. Seventh is transportation staff writing a report, summarizing all their findings and analysis.

The eighth step it comes back to the community council meeting, where we, the politicians, finally vote on the traffic calming measures. But, even if we back the speed bumps, the process isn’t done.

Step nine requires the City to conduct a formal poll of households on the street, asking if they’re really sure they want speed bumps. For the result to be valid, the City requires that at least 50 per cent of ballots mailed out get returned and that 60 per cent need to be in favour — a threshold that far exceeds what’s needed to elect politicians at any level of government.

Whether the ballot results is in favour of speed bumps or not, the tenth step is another community council meeting, where the politicians vote again. If the response threshold on the ballot is not met — and it often isn’t, because getting 50 per cent voter turnout is next to impossible — the politicians can opt to approve the speed bumps anyway.

In the area where this 11 year old student died, the affected community does not want to wait. They want action now.

It is time that we change the speed calming measures in School Zones in order to keep our children safe. There has to be a better way.