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Road Safety & Vision Zero Plan

allengeorge

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Current zoning makes it hard (if not impossible) to have these mixed communities. Witness how hard it is to get corner stores approved in residential neighbourhoods in Toronto unless they’re grandfathered in.
 

W. K. Lis

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Current zoning makes it hard (if not impossible) to have these mixed communities. Witness how hard it is to get corner stores approved in residential neighbourhoods in Toronto unless they’re grandfathered in.

Zoning is "evil". Makes "Vision Zero" illegal in most instances.

All the Best Places in Cleveland Are Illegal Under Its Current Zoning

From link.

Cleveland’s first zoning code was written in 1929, and since then it’s been amended in ways that have eroded the walkability of the city. City leaders acknowledge that building compact, mixed-use neighborhoods has basically become illegal under the current zoning code.

But in an exciting development, Cleveland is looking to overhaul its regulations to make the city a better place to walk. City planners told the Plain Dealer that the process will require a “culture shift” to a more urban, less suburban mindset.

Marc Lefkowitz at Network blog Green City Blue Lake attended a recent discussion about the plans:

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley kicked off the meeting, remarking that the Market District in Ohio City and East 4th Street downtown are where locals take visitors to impress them.
But red tape in the zoning code prevents new developments from having the close geometries and design elements that produce a feeling of vibrancy in those postcard locales.
“We already know what a walkable street looks like,” City of Cleveland Planner, Kyle Reisz, said while standing in front of a picture of lower Euclid Avenue. “We need to understand what the DNA is and translate it.”
A form based code will translate pages of text into illustrations of good urban form, Reisz adds.
The idea is to remove barriers and encourage buildings that meet the street, place parking behind, and require a generous supply of windows and doors at the ground level.

The zero setback, mixed use building is currently illegal, he said. The award-winning Uptown development, for instance, required variances.
The city has evolved its thinking about zoning. When the current code was written in 1929, separating factories from residents was top priority. Most Clevelanders were pedestrians, so little was written into the code about preserving the walkable character of the city, said Reisz. Later amendments to the code discouraged walking while enhancing the street and built environment to aid motorists. Town homes at W. 58th Street and Bridge Avenue with parking garages at ground level create a big driveway instead of a sidewalk. An Aldi’s grocery store surrounded by a big parking lot versus the same store built under a form based code — built to the street with big windows, a front door and parking behind.
“The goal is, what you need to do is reachable by foot,” he explained. “It’s more sustainable because you don’t have to drive and put pollutants in the air. And its more equitable because you don’t need to own a car. It also allows RTA to operate more efficiently” (because less parking and more density usually results).

Elsewhere on the Network today: Broken Sidewalk reports that Louisville, a city with a serious pedestrian safety problem, is trying to address it using signals that give walkers a head start. And The City Fix reports on an international summit that drew city leaders together to discuss how to reduce vehicle emissions.
 

CityStay

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Isn't Toronto one of the Cars Driving Into Buildings/Stores/Houses capitals of the world?
It's almost safer to be a pedestrian!
 

pman

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The North Rosedale Residents’ Association is bitching about how difficult the Glen Road reconstruction makes turning onto Whitney from Glen northbound, which is (a) not true, and (b) typically clueless of them. They want the just-finished intersection to be re-rebuilt.
 

ADRM

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The North Rosedale Residents’ Association is bitching about how difficult the Glen Road reconstruction makes turning onto Whitney from Glen northbound, which is (a) not true, and (b) typically clueless of them. They want the just-finished intersection to be re-rebuilt.

LOL no kidding. Literally the only real change the reconstruction affects is making it difficult to make that turn at breakneck speed -- we call that a successful policy intervention.

I drove it last weekend for the first time since the reconstruction and felt safe doing so for the first time ever.
 

jje1000

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Zoning is "evil". Makes "Vision Zero" illegal in most instances.

All the Best Places in Cleveland Are Illegal Under Its Current Zoning

From link.
Overzoning (and over-planning) is a product of the sanitary- and order-obsessed 30s-50s, and has resulted in the strangulation of the natural urbanistic processes that occur in cities.

New districts are zoned and designed so tightly for specific visions that they're never truly born.

Old neighbourhoods are denied amenities seen as noisy or unpleasant (i.e. music halls, corner stores), and so they're gradually deprived of the things that make them worth visiting more than once.

Residential streets are not given the opportunity to evolve into other uses- hence why we haven't seen the rise of more Kensington Markets- nor are they allowed to transition into denser forms (resulting in suburbs perpetually locked into form).

Overplanning demands parking minimums, overprioritizes traffic hierarchy, and its stringent demands make missing-middle development too expensive to be accessible- while privileging single-household structures (to the point where it's easier to turn a previously sub-divided house into one, than the other way around).

As a result, we end up with precious few livable neighbourhoods- which are then priced out of the reach of the ordinary person because everyone wants to live in them.

This.

Fixating on road design, bike lanes, sidewalks, and such is well intentioned but it is fundamentally low-hanging fruit and the yield is limited. Redesigning communities to shorten and/or eliminate trips, and put more destinations within walking/cycling range, is where the big gains are possible.

- Paul
Fixing new neighborhoods is one part of the puzzle (fixable via legislation and planning), but the bigger issue is how to 'redesign' existing neighborhoods to fix those issues which now exist in reality?

Even with the same amenities, some neighbourhoods have autocentric designs locked into their bones- how do you fix a lollipop neighbourhood (especially those that lack elements like cat-walks)?

cul-de-sac-vs-connected-grid-480x244.jpg


This is something that may require a more radical reenvisioning- how intrusive will those redesigns need to be?
 
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W. K. Lis

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I'm sure that many people have seen older storefronts being converted into residential. See link.

4d71ee26c0b411e29d8022000a1fa9ec_7.jpg

76cc806ac0b411e287e222000aaa0aa2_7.jpg

b28c96e4aaa211e2be5722000a9f15cb_7.jpg

f0fa6144a5f811e28faf22000a1f99f9_7.jpg


What we don't see is houses (IE. corner houses) being converted into stores. One problem is that property taxes are higher for "commercial" than "residential". The other is zoning. The worst are the NIMBYs.
 

Towered

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Overzoning (and over-planning) is a product of the sanitary- and order-obsessed 30s-50s, and has resulted in the strangulation of the natural urbanistic processes that occur in cities.

New districts are zoned and designed so tightly for specific visions that they're never truly born.

Old neighbourhoods are denied amenities seen as noisy or unpleasant (i.e. music halls, corner stores), and so they're gradually deprived of the things that make them worth visiting more than once.

Residential streets are not given the opportunity to evolve into other uses- hence why we haven't seen the rise of more Kensington Markets- nor are they allowed to transition into denser forms (resulting in suburbs perpetually locked into form).

Overplanning demands parking minimums, overprioritizes traffic hierarchy, and its stringent demands make missing-middle development too expensive to be accessible- while privileging single-household structures (to the point where it's easier to turn a previously sub-divided house into one, than the other way around).

As a result, we end up with precious few livable neighbourhoods- which are then priced out of the reach of the ordinary person because everyone wants to live in them.


Fixing new neighborhoods is one part of the puzzle (fixable via legislation and planning), but the bigger issue is how to 'redesign' existing neighborhoods to fix those issues which now exist in reality?

Even with the same amenities, some neighbourhoods have autocentric designs locked into their bones- how do you fix a lollipop neighbourhood (especially those that lack elements like cat-walks)?

cul-de-sac-vs-connected-grid-480x244.jpg


This is something that may require a more radical reenvisioning- how intrusive will those redesigns need to be?

To fix hostile street layouts like that, you need bold policy and zoning reform at the municipal level, driven by a progressive council with a strong mayor. The chances of such minded politicians being elected in Toronto are exactly zero to none. I guess we're stuck with this crap.
 

Northern Light

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To fix hostile street layouts like that, you need bold policy and zoning reform at the municipal level, driven by a progressive council with a strong mayor. The chances of such minded politicians being elected in Toronto are exactly zero to none. I guess we're stuck with this crap.

We can change the Mayor and Council; we can choose to be bold.

Changing some of the worst neighbourhoods will take time and money (new streets in order to connect to the grid will mean expropriations) but it can be and should be done.

Don't be defeatist. We will never make change with the belief it can't be done.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
 

Towered

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We can change the Mayor and Council; we can choose to be bold.

Changing some of the worst neighbourhoods will take time and money (new streets in order to connect to the grid will mean expropriations) but it can be and should be done.

Don't be defeatist. We will never make change with the belief it can't be done.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Trust me, I fully sympathize with what you're saying and would love to see such a change, but I can't imagine how a prospective councilor or mayor would be able to convince the hordes of NIMBY's in the suburbs that re-aligning streets and introducing small shops back into these neighbourhoods is necessary. The ensuing vitriol would be unbearable.

I wish I could run for councilor. Guys like Holyday have got to go.
 

Northern Light

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Trust me, I fully sympathize with what you're saying and would love to see such a change, but I can't imagine how a prospective councilor or mayor would be able to convince the hordes of NIMBY's in the suburbs that re-aligning streets and introducing small shops back into these neighbourhoods is necessary. The ensuing vitriol would be unbearable.

I wish I could run for councilor. Guys like Holyday have got to go.

Shhh, I've got a secret to tell you...............There are members of Council now who pushed for a Danforth bike lane............and were prepared to lose an election over it.

That's key.

You have to be willing to take the heat for a good policy change and if that means finding a different job after, so be it.
 

Towered

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Shhh, I've got a secret to tell you...............There are members of Council now who pushed for a Danforth bike lane............and were prepared to lose an election over it.

That's key.

You have to be willing to take the heat for a good policy change and if that means finding a different job after, so be it.

I agree, but I don't think advocating for a bike lane in an urban area is on the same level as telling suburban detached homeowners that a number of houses in their quiet, leafy neighbourhoods need to be expropriated and bulldozed in order to create a denser, more logical street grid.

One is picking relatively low hanging fruit; the other is pushing a boulder up a mountainside.
 

Northern Light

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UrbanToronto should enter municipal politics. A candidate from this forum in every ward. It would be a good way to get around the inability to join a political party. We could rally around them to help overcome general visibility difficulties of entering municipal politics.

Just like UT, @Edward Skira will bankroll the whole thing, and @interchange42 will run to be the City's new Managing Editor! (that would be the new name of the job after he wins)

Members of Council who use unparliamentary language will be warned, suspended and then banned.

City signage will never be the same!
 

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