Toronto

'It's pretty scary': Beach residents call on city to get drivers to slow down

Two residents of The Beach say the corner where they live has become so unsafe that they have started a campaign to get drivers to slow down.

2 women on Woodbine Avenue launch petition after several collisions on their street

Neighbors Kelsey Dawe (left) and Angelica Bailey (Right) have started a petition, calling on the city of Toronto to implement speed control on Woodbine Ave (Nathan Swinn/CBC)

Two residents of The Beach say the corner where they live has become so unsafe that they have started a campaign to get drivers to slow down.

Neighbours Kelsey Dawe and Angelica Bailey live where Lake Shore Boulevard becomes Woodbine Avenue. It's been the scene of two accidents in the last five months — both resulting in serious injuries. 

They've started a petition asking the city to add a traffic light where Kew Beach Avenue and Woodbine Avenue merge, increase police enforcement and install driver speed feedback signs.

"Since I've lived here for four years, I've seen on this stretch of road, I'd say, about seven or eight accidents," said Dawe.

She says the speed limit around the corner is 50 km/h, but often cars go 80 km/h and more.

According to Vision Zero, the city's online collision tracker, there was also one fatal accident at this corner in 2010, and one causing serious injuries in 2018.

"It's pretty scary. I don't even like taking my garbage out at night. If I take my dogs to go out to the bathroom, just the average kind of chore that you would do, it makes it terrifying," said Bailey.

"What if I am walking out here with my five year old and something comes off the road," said Dawe. She says she tries to avoid walking along the street altogether, as it's too dangerous.

And it's not just pedestrians who are at risk.

The house where Bailey lives has been struck by two vehicles in the past two years. Other homes in the area have been hit — one as recently as two weeks ago, resulting in more severe injuries.

"People speeding, generally at night around the corner, misjudging the turn or they're intoxicated and what not, and just flying into our homes," Bailey said.

"Force the drivers to slow down," said Dawe.

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      In addition to speed reduction measures, the pair is also asking the city to extend protective pillars all the way down the street. They have contacted their local councillor, Brad Bradford, but the city hasn't acted yet.

      So far, the neighbours' online petition at change.org has collected more than 600 signatures.

      'We need to be making our roads safer,' local councillor says

      Bradford said he is aware of resident's concerns.

      He told CBC Toronto he is working with Transportation Services to review both the short and long term resolutions along this stretch of Woodbine.

      "We will be introducing a number of measures and probably in the next few weeks," he said.

      "We'll have a watch-your-speed sign up there. Data has shown across the city that when people have a sense of exactly how fast they're travelling, they tend to think twice and slow those speeds down."

      Bradford is encouraging residents to sign the petition and says he will share it with city hall.

      "Road safety is not something we can compromise on. Our streets have to be safe for everyone," said Bradford.

      With files from Natalie Nanowski

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