Today Thu Fri
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 23, 2014
Partly Cloudy
10°/1°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 24, 2014
Partly Cloudy
12°/5°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 25, 2014
Chance of Rain
14°/5°

7 Comments

politics

What Did City Council Decide This Week?

In which we follow up on decisions made at the most recent city council meeting.

If you’re reading this, it’s a good bet that you already know about city council’s biggest move of the week, which was to turf all of Mayor Rob Ford’s allies from the TTC board and replace them with LRT-supporting councillors. In these quarters, this was regarded as a good move, but not everyone thinks so.

But the mayor did have a victory of sorts when a compromise he’d helped engineer won council’s approval later that day. (Rob Ford’s compromises are like Apple’s product launches: they happen only every so often and they’re always news.) Under the deal, rather than selling some 600 occupied stand-alone homes owned and used as public housing by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, just 56 vacant homes will be sold for the time being. Meanwhile, a working group will give the idea of selling the occupied homes a little further study. Proceeds from any sales are to be spent on repairs at other TCHC properties.

In cityscape news, council decided to put the Paradise Theatre on its way to receiving a heritage designation, which would make it significantly more difficult for its owners (or potential owners) to knock it down. Council also declared John Street‘s environmental assessment complete, nudging it closer to an eventual pedestrian-friendly renovation. They also approved a measure that will make stopping for long periods of time within 15 metres of pedestrian crossovers on smaller streets punishable with a $60 fine.

Also, city hall press gallery rules will be getting tighter, thanks to council’s approval of a measure to formalize an ad hoc security-badge system. City Hall won’t be getting a spit-shine—at least, not for the time being—because Councillor Crisanti’s demand to that effect was referred to committee. And we don’t actually know what the hell happened with the 311 email service, because the item was amended and the clerks haven’t posted the changes yet. (We’ll update when we can.)

Correction, March 7, 2012, 1:10 PM: This post originally said that city council had instituted a fine for “no stopping” violations at all pedestrian crossovers, whereas the actual decision was to institute that fine only for crossovers on smaller roadways. (A similar fine was instituted for main streets in 2010.) The post has been amended accordingly.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    “They also approved a measure that will make stopping within 15 metres of a pedestrian crossing punishable with a $60 fine”
    So what do you do at a red light if there’s a crosswalk?

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, that requires clarification. The regulations would apply only to pedestrian crossovers without traffic signals.

      • Skeezix

        It still doesn’t make sense. You’ll be fined if you don’t drive through all pedestrian crossovers? What?

        • Anonymous

          “Stopping” does not appear to be defined in the municipal code, but the provincial Highway Traffic Act defines it as “the halting of a vehicle, even momentarily, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or of a traffic control sign or signal.” (Emphasis mine.) The intent of the item seems to be to prevent people from stopping in front of crossovers for no reason, but I’m going to check on that.

      • Skeezix

        Oh, okay, I just read the City report. It is intended to harmonize the rules applying to local roads with those that already apply to arterials. Cars will be fined if the pull over to the side of the road to park and/or idle within 15 metres of a pedestrian crosswalk, as the stopped vehicles can affect the sightlines of oncoming vehicles vis-a-vis the crosswalk. It does not appear to have anything to do with moving vehicles.

  • Nick

    Re. cancelling 311 email service: this to save $280k a year. Interesting bit of math: if Webster had not been fired, we’d have two years of funding right there for this. I actually use the email version of 311 quite often, as one has to otherwise wait on hold for quite some time for the phone version. Oddly, I just saw an ad in a bus shelter yesterday for the online 311 service.

    • David C

      Yes, I too often use the email version of 311. It surely allows 311 staff to spread demand over a 24-hour day and avoids long waits online. If the reason is that they often get emails without enough information surely they can have a macro response saying “We are unable to respond to your email request due to insufficient detail, please phone 311.”