Summary of the John Street North meeting of January 20

Summary of John St. North meeting.

On Wednesday January 20th, the North End Neighbours and the Beasley Neighbourhood Association held a meeting at 294 James St. North, to discuss the current state and future of John St North. John Street is home to two schools, a health centre, a recreation centre and many family homes. It therefore attracts large amounts of child and elderly pedestrian traffic. So pedestrian and student safety is a constant concern for residents. Including most of the 45 people who attended the meeting.

The decision was made to hold this particular meeting after both Neighbourhood Associations were contacted by several residents who live in close proximity of the CN bridge on John Street concerned about rumours that a newly designed vehicle bridge might result in the expropriation of their houses.

As the Neighbourhoods Associations, we made it clear to those in attendance, that to our knowledge, CN and the city have yet to design the new bridge. Therefore, we encouraged caution in terms of speculating about possible expropriation. But we encourage CN and the city to be proactive in engaging with the us and our fellow residents on their plans for the John Street bridge.

The meeting was constructive and positive, allowing residents to both voice their concerns, as well as bring forward their ideas for how to improve safety on John Street North. Some of the concerns raised were: speed of traffic coming off the bridge into the neighbourhoods; poor visibility when crossing from Strachan onto John for both pedestrians and motorists; a lack of school crossing guard at Simcoe and John; the effect of LRT on James Street; and the prospect of John Street becoming a primary artery into the new West Harbour development.

Some of the suggested solutions included further traffic calming measures like stop signs, the addition of speed cushions especially around the school zones, adding a mirror to the top of the bridge to aid motorists and pedestrians crossing at Strachan, closure or pedestrian conversion of the current bridge.

We look forward to continuing to work with the City’s traffic engineers to find a balance between the vehicular access that most at the meeting hoped that the John St. bridge would continue to provide and the priority that complete-streets and pedestrian safety must be given. Especially since both Neighbourhood Associations have endorsed Vision-Zero, which is an international movement that strives to achieve zero traffic fatalities through traffic calming and improved multimodal infrastructure. 

North End Neighbours would like to thank everyone who came out to the meeting. We will notify the neighbourhood as soon as CN and/or the City has contacted us with their plans for the bridge.
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