This week marks the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims.
Every single day Canadians of all ages die on our roads. Surprisingly, the leading cause of fatal collisions is not speed nor alcohol. The #1 cause of death on our streets is driver distraction.
That’s why governments, health agencies and community groups are trying desperately to reduce driver distraction. Yet stunningly, Metrolinx remains the only government agency that is actively trying to increase driver distraction on our provincial highways. Continue reading
[note: this is cross-posted from spacing magazine]
Bathurst and Davenport cross each other just below the steep shoreline of ancient Lake Iroquois. The intersection is lush with greenery and steeped in history.
On one corner lies the TTC Hillcrest Yards, where our streetcars have been repaired and rebuilt for ninety years. A recent makeover has transformed the landscape adding new shrubs, trees, interlocking brick and public benches to the corner.
Across the street is a public park, the home of Toronto’s historic Tollkeeper’s Cottage museum.
Just steps away you’ll find the Wychwood Park neighbourhood, a former artists’ colony and the first residential zone in Ontario to be granted heritage status. Walking north on Bathurst, you’ll find yourself in a picturesque Toronto scene with large trees leaning across both sides of the wide street casting a broken leafy shadow on the streetcar tracks below.
And then suddenly, like one musical instrument terribly out of tune with the rest of the band, something sharply interrupts the thick green grove of trees. Steel structures protrude from the maple branches, inserting two massive commercial billboards into the scene.
Someone might ask themselves “Who would possibly allow billboards like this to get a sign permit?”. It turns out the answer might be: nobody would, and nobody did. In fact, I have been told by City Staff that they do not have any records of permits for these signs. This is not an isolated scenario. It’s quite possible that dozens of billboards across Toronto, if not hundreds, are illegal signs without any proper permits.
I’m in Los Angeles, spending an entire week with the Department of Neighbourhood Empowerment. I’ll be posting updates each day!
Four years ago, I was researching innovative methods of citizen engagement for the upcoming Fourth Wall exhibit, hosted at the Urban Space Gallery.
I stumbled upon a group in Los Angeles called the Department of Neighbourhood Empowerment. It sounded too good to be true: a city-funded program that promotes public participation in government and coordinates 90 autonomous locally elected Neighbourhood Councils.
Four years later, I decided that I needed to see it for myself! So I’m here in LA for one week, embedded at the Department as a foreign researcher/admirer.
The Downtown De-Fence Project is at it again, and we need your brawn to help us out!
No experience required. Bring a pair of pliers, if you have any. (Available at Dollarama)
Each time we take down a fence, we liberate a lawn, and our hearts.
Open neighbourhoods say “hi“. Fences say “go away“.
Learn more about the Downtown De-Fence Project, and then join us on Sunday!!
Neighbourhood Fence Removal
Sunday June 16, 2pm
50 Campbell Ave
This week, I had the privilege of spending some time with Steve Paikin, and talking about the merits of municipal ranked ballots and runoff voting.