Today is the national holiday of Portugal, which is celebrated on June 10th each year by Portuguese people throughout the world. It commemorates the death on June 10 1580 of the country's national poet, Luis de Camões. The first celebration of Portugal Day took place in 1880. It became a national holiday in 1919. Google released a special Doodle to celebrate Portugal Day today.
Time for Oshawa to review the e-scooter program is now. Kelowna did after 45 days & added more than 19 new rules and restrictions!
Last Monday, May 29th, in response to my request that a motion be heard related to the shared e-scooter pilot program, 8 members of Council including the Mayor made no comments other than their NO votes.
So the e-scooter motion Councillor Neal and I were attempting to move and be brought before Council was not read or discussed.
Later in the week local reporter Reka Szekely published an article “Oshawa opts not to reconsider e-scooter pilot project after woman’s death” which contained comments made by Oshawa’s Mayor.
The Mayor did not acknowledge the many concerns and complaints the public have been raising. Not acknowledging them does not make them go away. The narrative on the shared e-scooter issue in my opinion should not be that one sided.
There is an on-going police investigation into 20 year old Kaitlyn Pollock’s death while driving a shared e-scooter. I extend my deepest condolences to her family and friends and all devastated by her tragic death which occurred May 17th in the Taunton and Harmony Rd. area.
Irrespective of when the police investigation is completed, the police really have no say when Oshawa Council may advance an investigation to determine what, if any additional restrictions or rules need to be put in force for improved safety. Tomorrow will be the 45th day since the City of Oshawa's agreement with the two vendors, Neuron and Bird, was launched.
I sincerely hope Oshawa staff and Council look at the example the City of Kelowna provides on how to respond to public e-scooter concerns. In April 2021 Kelowna launched its shared e-scooter program.
By June, 45 days later, Kelowna Council was intent on making improvements. Two Council meetings in June were held to address the many issues. At the first meeting, "after nearly three hours of presentation, deliberation and comments, council endorsed 19 changes to the program...to help remedy those issues"
"Changes ...included a ‘pledge’ that users are sober; helmet selfies that earn riders rewards, restrictions on late-evening scooting and
limiting the speed of first-time riders, quicker retrieval by operators of improperly parked scooters, sidewalk stickers to remind riders to keep off the sidewalks, and limiting scooter density by requiring operators to place no more than 30 per cent of their scooters downtown."
According to one councillor who did not mince his works, ‘the rollout was reckless and haphazard and there are far more negatives than there are positives. Change is needed rapidly.’
Physicians at the hospital in Kelowna were were saying the public needs to know the e-scooters are ‘fracture machines’.
At the second Council meeting later in June more restrictions were passed.
In November the Kelowna General Hospital provided the City with a report on the incidence of scooter related injuries and suggested policies to mitigate injuries.
"Studying KGH e-scooter head injury data in conjunction with consistently high rates of head injuries and low rates of helmet use from the studies discussed above points towards an urgent need for stringent policies regarding helmet use for e-scooter riders.”
Imo this type of dive into how the Oshawa shared e-scooter pilot project can be improved is necessary and should be welcomed by Council sooner rather than later.
My one page summary - June 5, 2023 Economic Development Committee meeting Agenda
Monday June 5th's 1:30 p.m. Economic Development Committee meeting Agenda is a long one with 11 Items in the Public Session and 9 Items in Closed Session plus 2 Applications for the Planning Act public meeting session at 6:30 p.m.
Below is my one page summary of the Agenda.
The meeting begins with the Parsons Inc. consultant making a presentation on the land use and transportation plan around the planned Oshawa GO Station at the former Knob Hill site in Central Oshawa.
Below is a slideshow of the 13 Slides for the Presentation on new Oshawa GO station.
Also below are pictures related to:
1) the massive Columbus Part II plan with a last minute major reduction of park size from the March 6 2023 public meeting, and 2 school sites removed, which City staff are recommending both Oshawa Council and Region Council now approve as is and be added to the upper and lower tier Official Plans;
2) ED staff's $800,000 project for a Northwood gateway sign at 4 sites around the Northwood Business Park, Taunton Rd. W. /Thornton Rd. N./Conlin Rd. area (Council to choose one of 3 sign designs); and
3) ED staff project for temporary Photo Art display coming to Ed Broadbent Waterfront Park (picture of site where display will be located.)
Below is a copy of the Land Use and Road Map from Report ED-23-117 Columbus Part II Plan
Below are the 3 design options and location options for the Northwood Business Park $800,000 sign project being Report ED-23-118
Below is location may where staff recommend the temporary public art photograph display be located in Ed Broadbent Waterfront Park
Report ED-23-125 pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=12573
This evening's Planning Act public meeting had two pretty smart looking 22 and 21 story apartment building proposals for the downtown.
The 22 story one is at 88 King St West (former roller derby site) with 220 condo apartments Picture renderings of the building are below.
The application submitted by GHD on behalf of 2702758 Ontario Ltd. for lands at 88 King Street W. is for a mixed-use building containing 220 residential apartment units ( 142 one bedroom units - 72 two-bedroom units - 6 three-bedroom units) 180 bicycle spaces and commercial space in two ground floor retail units. (There is an error in the report (ED-23-120) where it states 200 parking spaces - the GHD consultant told the Committee the parking space number should read 176.)
The request is to amend the Oshawa Official Plan to add a site specific policy to permit a proposed residential density of 1,467 units per net hectare; and to amend Zoning By-law 60-94 by rezoning the lands from CBD-A.T25 (Central Business District) to an appropriate site specific CBD-A (Central Business District) Zone, to implement the proposed development with site specific conditions to permit certain performance standards such as, but not necessarily limited to, increased residential density and building height and reduced parking and building setbacks to street lines above 12m in height.
The Oshawa Official Plan guideline indicates that High Density II in the Residential category generally permits 150 to 550 units per hectare (60 to 223 u/ac.) within the Downtown Oshawa Urban Growth Centre.
However, the density for this project is proposed to have a net residential density of 1,467 units per hectare (593 u/ac.) which is greater than the High Density II Residential classification.
HIGHER BUILDING HEIGHT
The current zoning would permit a new mixed use building with a maximum height of 25 metres (82 ft.) (generally 8 storeys)
The application is for 22 storeys.
The proposed building includes parking on three aboveground levels and a mezzanine
incorporated into the podium of the building with driveway access from McMillan Drive.
The proposed building also includes the following features:
A rooftop garden/amenity area on the fifth floor;
A rooftop amenity area on the roof of the tower;
Private balconies along the east, west and south elevations for each apartment unit;
Communal indoor amenity spaces; and,
The Applicant is proposing to install and utilize an automated parking system.
To park their vehicle using the automated system, drivers would first drive their vehicle into an elevator device, then exit the vehicle and use a control panel to automatically park the vehicle on the mezzanine level and floors 2 to 4 in a stacking system.
To retrieve their vehicle, drivers would use a control panel and their vehicle will be automatically retrieved in an elevator. The driver would then get in the vehicle and drive out.
This feature allows more parking to be provided over the same floor area than a traditional parking structure that utilizes ramps.
Here is a link to the Report: https://pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx...
The 2nd proposed apartment building, 21 stories high, 198 units, at 10 Mary St, is behind the 7 storey 70 King St East (former Genosha Hotel). It actually is a revised application to the one made last year, but with an improved 'Smart' new look, one that frames the former Genosha making 70 King St. E. look even more special!
What a turn around! I said previously I was not keen at all on the infill project previously proposed, but now, it seems a much more promising project, one to bring new vibrancy to the downtown streetscape. . Here's a link to the report pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=12577&fbclid=IwAR3oQhK27WMG803jCkmawbugqE7BLyxE5rV-mJWnfie-OjUXszLnz6kRiu0
BELOW FIRST ARE RENDERINGS OF THE 88 KING ST WEST PROJECT
10 Mary St. Project renderings below:
Summary of Agenda Items for Mon June 5, 2023 Corporate & Finance Committee meeting
This, imo, is unfortunate. "Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch called it “disturbing” that the provincial government shot down legislation that would have allowed municipalities to essentially fire city council for bad behaviour. The province decided not to do anything at all,” he said.
This bill has come forward for the second time, the exact same bill. It was passed unanimously in the Legislature previously. But Wednesday, he said “all the Conservatives voted against it — all the other parties spoke in favour of, spoke about the need for it.”
“We’ve seen time and again in this province councillors get away with absolutely disgusting and egregious behaviour...When councillors who commit such acts are not held to account, it denies justice for those who’ve been harassed and creates an environment that prevents others from coming forward. He said without that legislation, local leaders can operate by a different set of rules when they should be held to a much higher standard...when councillors who have harassed municipal staff or their fellow councillors can retain their positions, no matter how serious, it creates and protects toxic workplaces; which in turn has an adverse effect on mental health in the workplace and throughout the community.”
But, go figure, the majority of Oshawa Council REFERRED IT TO STAFF (which I commented on previously on my blog) —it is not the sort of matter to refer to staff, it is like a confidence vote, a personal, subjective matter specifically for those in municipal elected office...
imo the referral to staff was like ducking going on record making a decision to support or not support, which was odd considering
1) that 156 municipal Councils in Ontario gave their endorsement of Bill 5 including Oshawa's neighbouring municipalities, the City of Pickering, Town of Ajax and Town of Whitby; and
2) Oshawa's 6 Regional Councillors (who make up a majority of Oshawa's 11 member Council) gave their unanimous support at Region Council in April, but less than a week later would not confirm their support when I asked at the May 1st Oshawa Council meeting.
Oshawa declares June 1st-30th Pride Month and raises the Progress Pride Flag at City Hall
The rainbow pride flag was launched in 1977 when gay politician Harvey Milk had activist Gilbert Baker design "something positive that celebrated queer love. Inspired by Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow," each color has symbolism: Hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic/art, indigo for serenity, and violet for spirit".
Pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes, and the six-band version, simply known as the “Gay Pride” flag, has been the most well-recognized symbol of the LGBT movement since 1979. As the original designer advocated for its evolution over the years there have been some redesigns. Today, there are over 50 flags representing various subgroups among the 2S+LGBTQI community.
In 2017, Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs introduced black and brown stripes to the Pride flag to recognize queer and trans people of color. One year later, the Oregon-based graphic designer Daniel Quasar added the trans flag’s stripes as a horizontal chevron to make the Progress Pride Flag. 2021 brought another version from Intersex Equality Rights UK, featuring a yellow triangle and purple circle to represent the intersex community, or people born with a reproductive anatomy that doesn’t fit typical male or female definitions.
(from 2021 article in The Atlantic").
THE ACRONYM 2SLGBTQI+
from the Canadian government website on gender equality — " 2SLGBTQI+ is the acronym used by the Government of Canada to refer to the Canadian community.
2S: at the front, recognizes Two-Spirit people as the first 2SLGBTQI+ communities;
I: Intersex, considers sex characteristics beyond sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression;
+: is inclusive of people who identify as part of sexual and gender diverse communities, who use additional terminologies."
Planning Act Public Meeting Monday June 5 6:30 pm for a 22 story building at 88 King St W
This June 5th 6:30 p.m. Economic and Development Committee Planning Act public meeting will take place in the Council Chamber, Oshawa City Hall, 50 Centre Street S. It is also available to view on-line from the link on the Council & Committee meetings Calendar
The application submitted by GHD on behalf of 2702758 Ontario Ltd. is for lands at 88 King Street W. The proposed development of the site is for a new 22 storey mixed-use building containing 220 residential apartment units ( 142 one bedroom units - 72 two-bedroom units - 6 three-bedroom units) 200 parking spaces, 180 bicycle spaces and commercial space in two ground floor retail units.
The request is to:
Oshawa Fire Chief Clark retiring & Deputy Chief Barkwell to be New Fire Chief August 1
At Council Monday May 29th, the City announced the upcoming retirement of Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark and appointment of Deputy Chief Stephen Barkwell effective August 1, 2023
Pictured: Chief Clark on left, middle is Deputy Chief Barkwell with his wife and mother, on right is Deputy Chief Todd Wood.
Chief Clark is the longest-standing member of Oshawa Fire Services with a career spanning nearly four decades with the department. He held a variety of roles within the organization since his hiring in 1986 . He was promoted through the ranks and held the positions of Acting Captain, Training Officer, Chief Training Officer and Deputy Fire Chief before being appointed Fire Chief in 2016.
Deputy Chief Barkwell joined Oshawa Fire Services as a firefighter in 1999 and has served in various positions including Qualified Training Officer and Acting Captain. He was active with the Oshawa Professional Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 465 including as vice-president and president. In January 2018, Deputy Chief Barkwell was appointed Deputy Fire Chief.
Columbus Part II Plan Report on Monday June 5 Meeting Agenda has many changes since March 6 Public Meeting!
The Columbus Report ED-23- 117 is now on the City's website. It contains the "Columbus Part II Plan" which staff want added to the City's Official Plan for the redevelopment of the Columbus area.
Anyone wishing to speak or write their comments/objections to the Committee before the Monday meeting must email email@example.com by Friday June 2, 2023 BEFORE NOON.
Since the last public meeting there are many changes. The unfortunate key differences between the proposed Columbus Part II Plan presented a few short weeks ago at the March 6, 2023 Planning Act public meeting and the one this month involves a significant REDUCTION IN PARKLAND!
• The Community Park has been reduced in size from 12.0 hectares (29.6 ac.) to 8.5 hectares (21.0 ac.);
• All Neighbourhood Parks have been reduced from either 4.1 hectares (10.1 ac.) or 2.1 hectares (5.2 ac.) to 2.0 hectares (4.9 ac.) in size; and,
•There is no longer a Neighbourhood Park I and Neighbourhood Park II designation. There is now only one standard Neighbourhood Park designation.
•One public elementary school and one public secondary school have been deleted and replaced with appropriate residential designations.
The pictures (below) show the revisions. Comparing them does not install much confidence.
In the City's Official Plan, the Columbus Part II Plan will follow the other Part II Plans, starting back in the late 1990s when the Taunton Part II Plan was added, then in the early 2010s the Windfields Part II Plan, and in 2022 the Kedron Part II Plan, and now, more rushed, with more densification and regrettably now with 2 school sites removed and PARKS that are SMALLER AND FEWER.
The Report is 212 pages and on the Economic Development Services Committee meeting Agenda for Monday, June 5, 2023 at 1:30 pm
If you have any questions the City is directing you to ask planner Laura Moebs 905 436-3311 Ext 2818
Again, anyyone wishing to speak or write their comments/objections to the Committee before the Monday meeting must email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday June 2, 2023 BEFORE NOON.
When one area resident wrote me that although she has objections and contacted planning, her "objections seem irrelevant as are all these meeting." I wrote back to please keep trying and that it would be helpful if the Council Chamber was full with residents saying it doesn't really seem public interest is being best advanced here.
I added that in my opinion this Part II plan should be done in a very improved way from all the other Oshawa Part II Plans. but unfortunately they involve the same players, who are comfortable continuing on their same path.
Besides, why rush with the lands north of the 407, given the MEGA NUMBER of new projects percolating in the background, and planned in the downtown with the large number of high rise residentials, in south Oshawa with 2 MAJOR PROJECT APPROVALS, and with all kinds of infill sites else-where in the City, plus the 11 KEDRON PLANS OF SUBDIVISION, and the Windfields projects underway where you can see 5 cranes on Simcoe St. N. just south of Costco.
What seems very telling recently across Durham Region was the number of developer contributions to election candidates in 2022. They more than doubled from the 2018 election. Who wonders why that occurred...maybe because this 1st half of 2023 has been when the Region was approving its new Official Plan 'Envision Durham' and various tracts of lands instantly became more valuable with approval by the elected.
This, imo, is not as simple as saying the government and developers are 'planning for future growth needs' and anyone questioning is a nimby or has their head in the sand. Those may be handy marketing phrases that set up a dichotomy but ignore the old adage 'follow the money'.
E-scooters & Risk Management. Sorry Council, but imo the time to respond, analyze & plan for improvements is now.
Recap of yesterday's Oshawa Council Meeting - the ask was to waive the rules and introduce a motion CONCERNING the E-SCOOTER PROGRAM. The Votes were: Councillor McConkey Yes, Councillor Neal Yes, and then No and No and No and No and No and No and No and No.
To me, the issue was improving safety. But the Council Procedural Rules for a reconsideration of a previous Council decision do not allow the matter to be spoken to until a reconsideration vote passes.
It ended with the public having no way of finding out what the motion stated and what objections the Mayor and other Council members had against looking into ways to make the e-scooter pilot program safer. The Mayor didn't read the motion out loud, and I was not permitted to read it.
How does the public interpret two member of Council saying yes to opening the discussion and 8 saying no.
The 8 Nos from the Mayor and Councillors (one Councillor missed the meeting) imo amount to a convenient way to keep a lid on things, it's like on the Mayor's signal they were all chiming in unison, saying "we are not having this conversation".
Some of the public may have read the comments in the paper that the Mayor wont say anything because there is an ongoing police investigation.
But really, having the City investigate the program for ways to make it safer is separate and distinct from the police investigation of the fatality.
... and what exactly is the problem with asking for a TIME OUT, a PAUSE,...to those who are afraid of a ban, this program wasn't even active in Oshawa 6 weeks ago so who is over-reacting? and when did a PILOT PROGRAM become something you can't suspend for time to answer pertinent questions and try to fix.
If the shared e-scooter program is 'potentially dangerous' the faster it is improved the more responsible the City is by doing what is right, protecting others in a timely way...because increasing safety reduces liability. Elected representatives should never resort to a CYA process when there is a choice between safety and liability. A choice that continues to risk public safety increases liability. I think this is risk management 101. Respond, analyze, plan for uncertainty.
Below is the motion I placed in front of each Council member before the May 29th, 2023 Council meeting commenced:
Motion re E-scooter Pilot Program in Oshawa Will Require a 2/3rd Vote to be Heard
Picture taken today of Bird Canada e-scooters available to rent at the N/E corner of Harmony Rd. E (60km) & Taunton Rd. E. (60 km )
Note e-scooters in Oshawa are prohibited both from being driven on sidewalks, and on roads over 50km, so why are they placed here?
For Council to investigate the shared e-scooter pilot program, a 2/3rds vote of Oshawa Council is required.
The motion below hopefully can be heard tomorrow, if the vote to waive the rules to allow it is approved:
"Whereas in June 2022 Council approved a shared e-scooter pilot program in the City of Oshawa, which was launched with Bird Canada and Neuron on April 25, 2023;
Whereas a tragedy occurred May 17, 2023 with the death of a young Oshawa woman while driving a shared e-scooter in the Taunton Rd. E and Harmony Rd. N area;
Whereas many public safety questions of the pilot project are being raised, regarding the preparedness of the e-scooter drivers and vehicle drivers; the wearing of helmets, the high risk areas in the City that should be marked or geofenced; and the enforcement of the program rules and regulation by the vendor/city and Durham Region Police;
Now therefore Council suspend the e-scooter pilot program while City staff, the Vendors and Durham Region Police investigate whether the program can be made safer."
Agenda for Monday, May 29, 2023 Oshawa Council Meeting. Before the 4 presentations at the start of the meeting (2 awards and 1 presentation by the Sparks Centre & 1 by Lakeridge Health), when Councillors can add additional items, Councillor Neal and I will try to have Council approve a motion to reconsider the e-scooter pilot program. It will require the Rules of Procedure to be waived (which needs a 2/3rds majority vote)
Special Council meeting happening this Wed. May 31st in Council Chamber starting at 6 pm to ALLOW THE PUBLIC AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE THEIR VIEWS AND/OR CONCERNS to CITY COUNCIL REGARDING ACCESSIBILITY.
It will be a great meeting to attend or tune in to the webstream because there is an exciting guest speaker
Amanda O'Rourke, Executive Director of www.880cities.org
Amanda is to provide a presentation concerning Building the 8 80 City and International good practices in creating accessible and inclusive public spaces for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
NOTE: MAY 28 to JUNE 3 is NATIONAL ACCESSIBILITY WEEK.
An improved, barrier-free downtown, and more accessible places both new and old in the City of Oshawa, are attainable! But it requires people believing and committed to ensuring that no Oshawan with a disability is excluded or left to feel like a second class citizen. The Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee volunteer members are working to encourage others to help bring the lens on accessibility into sharper focus and accomplish more together. It is the way to a better City.
By the way, the hard working Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee members will be in attendance and you can compliment them on their new T-Shirts with the special OAAC LOGO.
I say the OAAC volunteer members are hardworking because I know the hours they put into, not only reviewing the new building site plans and city park redevelopment plan for accessibility, and attending events to promote accessibility like at the Peony Festival and Canada Day when the have a display table. But also, when they attend at various city facilities to check on accessible upgrades needed.
Below are pictures from the OAAC re-audit yesterday of the elevator upgrade at the Donovan Community Centre.
We checked out the area (now set up for 4 PICKLEBALL COURTS and the 6 LANE POOL.
Surprisingly both were empty between 1:30 and 2 pm Thurs. May 25th.
Spread the word Donovan is a great city facility at 171 HARMONY RD S (725-3536)
Active Oshawa's summer recreation programs for sports, arts and crafts, dance, music, fitness, and SWIMMING LESSON REGISTRATION opens today starting at 9 a.m. Visit www.Oshawa.ca/activeOshawa
Below are 6 pages from the 114 page brochure.
It's good when kids are active and occupied in summer rec programs for many reasons, including generating ♥ of their Oshawa neighbourhood!
Kaitlyn Pollock's Funeral was today ♥ Beautiful, Deeply Touching Poem written by her Aunt
Missing: a Coldstream Dr. Accessible Walkway into the SmartCentres Plaza in N/E Oshawa
Concerning the missing pedestrian walkway from Coldstream Dr. into the north east Oshawa SmartCentres plaza,
it seems time to involve some key people in this public safety issue.
I am hopeful Oshawa staff can arrange a virtual meeting with representatives from SmartCentres, Fieldgate, the Bloom, Maxwell Heights Secondary School, the Durham District School Board, Oshawa Mayor Carter, CAO Adams, and the Ward 1 Councillors, myself and John Neal to address this issue as soon as possible.
The timing is important as Oshawa’s 11 member Council will soon be voting on choosing between the 2 options contained in Report CO-23-28 whether to:
The proposed new PXO would be installed near the new Region Transit bus stops on both sides of Coldstream Dr. in front of the Bloom Residence and near the SmartCentres driveway.
There is a well-worn ‘desire path’ made by foot travel along the east side of the SmartCentres Coldstream Dr. driveway. Over the past decade with the record breaking growth in North East Oshawa each year the vehicle traffic and number of pedestrians crossing Coldstream Dr. at the Smart Centre driveway continues to increase.
Google map pictures below show the driveway in 2009 and in 2018. It seems SmartCentres would be aware pedestrians are using the area around the driveway for access to and from the plaza.
Local governments, land planners and developers today in Ontario are to support the development of walkable and transit-friendly communities.
Yet at the Community & Operations Committee meeting this past Monday, May 15th, when City staff made a presentation concerning the 4 page attached Report CO-23-28, Oshawa Mayor Carter and the City Councillors in attendance were told that “SmartCentres does not want to install a pedestrian walkway along this driveway”. It seems this information was persuasive, as the Mayor and 4 Committee members then voted no to installing a new PXO at the Bloom Residence.
Before full Council votes on the PXO at the Bloom I believe it important a fulsome discussion takes place with the right officials concerning the missing pedestrian walkway along the Coldstream driveway.
I write this with no disrespect to any City of Oshawa or SmartCentres staff involved in discussions to this point, but unfortunately as sometimes happens, it seems to me somewhere signals concerning what staff wants, what SmartCentres wants and what the public expects, may have gotten crossed.
I am hopeful a discussion involving other individuals at this stage may help make the reality of the situation clearer:
1. seniors from the Bloom residence,
2. students from Maxwell Heights high school and
3. residents walking west from their homes in the large and still growing Taunton Part II development around Grandview St N.
have been accessing the Smart Centre Plaza from the Coldstream driveway and they do not use the traffic lights at Harmony Rd N. and Coldstream Dr. since it is a longer and less direct route.
I and other Oshawa Council members, along with many Oshawans remain very concerned by the current unsafe traffic and pedestrian situation on Coldstream Drive. Both a pedestrian crossover PXO where many are crossing Coldstream by the SmartCentre driveway, AND a more direct accessible pedestrian walkway to the Plaza along the SmartCentres’ driveway is needed to avoid a tragic accident from occurring.
Irrespective of the traffic calming measures undertaken in the past 2 years, including temporary Radar Message Boards, a Community Safety Zone, and right-in-only vehicle access to the Coldstream Dr. SmartCentres’ driveway, the increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic safety problem continues to worsen, especially since the Bloom residence opened last year with over 200 apartments.
As I wrote recently on another public safety issue, Oshawans Care and Have a Voice. Please email both Clerks@oshawa.ca & Council@oshawa.ca to have your voice heard.
On Thursday I spoke with Oshawa Mayor and separately with 4 other Councillors asking for support to put an immediate pause on the shared e-scooter pilot program. They all said the same thing, they want to wait until the police investigation is completed.
However I don't see how the police report affects a Council decision to take a second look at its pilot program. Is Council to wait for the police to say the City should or should not reconsider the e-scooter program???
A couple Council members opined that the 'accident' was no different than a bicycle or other fatal traffic accident. Several have been saying this on social media too. I don’t accept that view.
A young Oshawa woman, Kaitlyn Pollock, driving a shared e-scooter, was killed in our City Wednesday May 17, 2023.
The City sanctioned the shared e-scooter pilot project. Although the accident could have happened in another way, like any accident know that, first at the Provincial level and then at the Region, the shared e-scooter program was approved as a PILOT project -like an experiment. Then at the City of Oshawa it was approved in June 2023 by Report DS-22-163 https://pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx... Lastly on April 25 2023 Oshawa became the 1st municipality in Durham Region to launch an e-scooter pilot. Therefore, in my opinion now all 3 levels of government have a shared responsibility to investigate if there has been adequate due diligence to ensure public safety given how the vulnerability of participants in the program has been made horribly clear.
Those Oshawans who have concerns and suggestions for improvement, PLEASE VOICE THEM TO THE CITY by emailing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org because right now it seems unless the public speaks more forcefully the program will continue unchanged.
In order to have a second look at the shared e-scooter program in Oshawa, a 2/3rds vote of the 11 member Council is necessary. This is the Council procedure to reconsider a previous Council decision.
5 members of Council have indicated to me they are not in support of putting a halt to the program at this time, so public pressure may be the only way to make it clear the public expects a review.
This is not a question of whether either driver made errors or had equipment malfunction and I find it disgraceful that that keeps cropping up. Pointing fingers does not mitigate the onus on the City to ensure its streets, boulevards, lines of sight, speed limits and shared space for the new micromobility devices have been set so they adhere to the Vision Zero policy to achieve zero traffic deaths and serious injuries.
Durham Region municipalities have agreed to support bringing urgency and accountability to ensuring transparency on the progress and challenges with respect to attaining Vision Zero’s 9 goals.
”Vision Zero starts with the ethical belief that everyone has the right to move safely in their communities, and that system designers and policy makers share the responsibility to ensure safe systems for travel.
The Vision Zero approach recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the
road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes
do not result in severe injuries or fatalities.
This means that system designers and policymakers are expected to improve the roadway environment, policies (such as speed management), and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes."
Mindful of the above, Council should not delay taking a second look at the e-scooter pilot program and ensuring measures are in place that will work.
People are emailing, messaging and phoning me with serious concerns.
Even a first responder in the know about what happened May 17, 2023 wrote he cannot believe the City ever approved the pilot program.
I know many who have purchased private e-scooters or have used the shared Neuron/Bird ones are against pausing the program for a reconsideration.
Obviously the reconsideration would only apply to the shared program.
The City of Oshawa suddenly late last month was saturated with a seemingly ‘fun’ product, without the public having been adequately informed and educated about its risks.
I put up the post 'Oshawans care and have a voice' on my Facebook page and here too, in the hope that the public voice is raised high enough in emails sent to the City requesting changes at this time, if not asking for an immediate halt or pause, in the very least then, asking the City to
1) mandate helmets for all e-scooter users
2) mandate no go zones and mark them for the public to see where they are located
3) mandate a user license signed, not on the e-scooter app (who really reads the text closely when loading an app) but acknowledging acceptance and understanding of the e- scooter program rules in writing at city hall before operating a shared e-scooter
4) mandate designated parking zones (end the 'free floating' and ensure return to 'identified docking stations')
5) have the vendors liable for non-compliance of the above, and
6) publish a weekly report on the city’s website for transparency of all e-scooter complaints data made to the city & to the vendors.
With sincere sympathy on the tragic loss of life of a young 20 year old Oshawa resident. https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-pollock-family
Durham Region Police report 20 year old fatally injured riding e-scooter in Oshawa
Awful. More than sad, horrific considering how many vulnerable inexperienced e-scooter drivers are in Oshawa since the shared micromobility pilot project was launched 3 weeks ago. Imo Council should end it without delay. Too much risk with too little preparation.
It is too clear to me that Oshawa does not have the infrastructure for this program at this time.
I was in Montreal last weekend and it does. 100% But to pretend Oshawa is suitably equipped for this is a harmful pretense. Elected representatives have a duty to ensure public safety and I have sent this message to Mayor Carter and my colleagues.
Although I can picture all the e-bike drivers and the clearly very efficient BIKEWAYS in Montreal, I now realize I can only see in my minds eye the blue shared e-bikes... looking up Montreal's e-scooter program and it seems they banned LIME and BIRD in 2020 after a short pilot project in 2019 that created a lot of problems when riders kept breaking the rules.
But before the e-scooters in Montreal were banned, unlike in Oshawa, the City of Montreal required the e-scooter drivers "to wear a helmet, be 18 or older and be licensed to drive a moped." and be parked in designed parking spots. www.mtlblog.com/montreal/montreal-lime-and-bird-scooters-officially-banned-after-riders-kept-breaking-rules?fbclid=IwAR2qVHmK817uU1Ya4m5QGdy5fsLkDHlCAgkA5XTlswd5irTh4QJ1qu0WLTQ
Shared E-scooters VS. Durham Region Municipalities Adoption of Vision Zero Policies
Oshawa Council needs to make the right choice and strongly support VISION ZERO over its agreement with the two e-scooter vendors BIRD and NEURON.
In my opinion following today's gut wrenching tragedy at Harmony/Taunton the e-scooter pilot program should be shut down in Oshawa.
It seems the design of the City's road network and preparedness of both shared e-scooter and vehicle drivers at this time are too poorly suited for the safe use of the current, recently launched shared e-scooter program.
It is much more than a matter of personal responsibility. Individuals can buy them and drive e-scooters in Oshawa. But the pilot program the City signed up for the sharing of e-scooters changed the landscape and perspective, minimizing the inherent vulnerability e-scooter drivers. At this time Oshawa's road network has a dearth of real BIKEWAYS needed for a truly safe e-scooter program and many dangerous areas that should be no-ride zones, like Harmony Rd N and Taunton Rd. E, the two busiest streets in North Oshawa.
May 15 C&O Staff Presentation & Report on Options for Coldstream Pedestrian Crossover
At this Monday's 9:30 a.m. Community & Operations Committee meeting there is a report on adding a pedestrian crosswalk on Coldstream in front of the Bloom Senior Residence, where Durham Region Transit has installed two bus stops. The options to the Committee are to install, or not install a Pedestrian crosswalk at a cost of $85,000.
DO IT FOR PUBLIC SAFETY!
In my opinion the option is clear, INSTALL THE CROSSWALK!
Thank you to R Small, a resident in The BLOOM, which opened last year on Coldstream adjacent to Maxwell Heights Secondary School. Mr. Small has been strongly advocating for this and the public has been voicing their support!!
Below is the Staff slide deck presentation and 7 page report.
Special Committee meeting Thurs May 18, 2023 @ 1:30 pm on Expanding the Residential Rental Housing Licensing Program
All agenda items from the 3 City Committee meetings Monday May 8th will be before full Council on May 29. The agendas for the 2 Committee meetings this Monday May 15 (Community & Operations) at 9:30 a.m. is here https://pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx... and (Safety & Facilities) at 1:30 p.m. is here https://pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx...
MEANWHILE PLEASE NOTE there is an important and possibly polarizing new by-law change coming to a SPECIAL COMMITTEE MEETING NEXT THURSDAY, MAY 18th at 1:30 PM. Imo it is one that many Oshawans hopefully will take the time to review and give feedback.
It concerns proposed new policy Options for the RESIDENTIAL RENTAL HOUSING LICENSING PROGRAM and Other Rental Housing Regulatory Considerations. The options are whether to expand the current residential rental licensing program from just the area around the COLLEGE UNIVERSTIY to CITYWIDE. See map of current area below.
Originally Oshawa's residential licensing program set up in 2008 around the College/University was modelled after the City of London's program which is City Wide.
I see Pros and Cons on both sides. At this point I am undecided. and would appreciate if, after reading the description of the 4 proposed options and what an expansion will entail, how it will be enforced and the costs, hopefully Oshawans interested will share their opinions. Email me at RMcconkey@oshawa.ca or call 905-436-5615
Here is the link to the 114 page Report SF-23-18 : https://pub-oshawa.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx..