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Residents seek speed humps where boy, 11, died near Scarborough school

Some argue traffic-calming measure won’t help save lives

Scarborough-Mirror March 22, 2018 Mike Adler

Cannongate Trail

A makeshift memorial for Duncan Xu, a student at nearby Kennedy Public School who was stuck by a car and killed on Feb. 27, remains on Cannongate Trail in L’Amoreaux across from a footpath which has been closed. Neighbours want speed humps installed on the road. – Mike Adler/Metroland

Speed humps are rare on Scarborough streets.

One reason why is the process to get some “takes forever,” says Coun. Jim Karygiannis, who wants it shortened to two months, maximum, after residents demonstrate they want humps or other traffic-calming measures.

 

Karygiannis, who represents Scarborough-Agincourt, stood Monday on Cannongate Trail, where faded bouquets and bowls of rice still mark where Duncan Xu, 11, was killed returning home from Kennedy Public School on Feb. 27.

People want speed humps on Cannongate to keep children safe, and “we need to do it immediately,” said Karygiannis.

Other local councillors, though, are hostile to humps. In 2012, Scarborough Community Council voted to remove them on Oakridge Drive, after Michelle Holland, the local councillor, suggested they should be banned city-wide as a hazard.

“Speed humps don’t work,” Glenn De Baeremaeker, a Scarborough Centre councillor, declared this week, adding there’s no proof humps would have saved Duncan.

Humps slow impatient drivers but also fire trucks and ambulances, De Baeremaeker argued, so if someone in a subdivision has a heart attack, “that person might die.”

Holland, an assistant reported this week, “continues to believe that speed humps have many challenges – emergency vehicles, snow removal, actual effectiveness and impacts on safety.”

Nevertheless, Denis Lanoue of Heathwood Ratepayers Association expects to plead the case for humps to Scarborough councillors on June 6. A decade ago, Lanoue went door to door trying to get some installed, but couldn’t get enough signatures.

“We’ve tried everything else,” added Keeble McFarlane, another resident, who called Cannongate a shortcut for drivers avoiding traffic around Kennedy Road and Steeles Avenue.

Mayor John Tory chose another Scarborough school, Cornell Junior Public, to launch a Slow Down Toronto campaign he said would include new signs – some placed in the road – pavement markings and photo radar in school zones.

Humps and other physical barriers weren’t mentioned.

Norm Kelly, another councillor, said he would support approving speed humps “as of right” when they’re flanking schools.

In 2015, volunteers in Dorset Park gave Kelly a petition for humps on Antrim Crescent, but they didn’t gather enough signatures and Antrim didn’t have enough traffic, he said.

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