Recent confrontation related to bike use on new Mimico Linear Park

Message from David Juliusson to Councillor Grimes’ office (Nov. 15, 2012)

I just had my first confrontation on the new Mimico Linear Park. I was riding home from work when a group of people deliberately fanned out across the path and forced me to stop. I was then informed that this trail is a pedestrian only trail and bicyclists are not allowed. When I informed them it is a multiuse trail, I was told I was wrong and to read the information about the Park.

Even before the trail was built it was made clear that there would be problems because the trail was too narrow. I personally brought this up with you and the TRCA representative. You said you would send this issue to Dan Egan to resolve. I did not expect there to be problems this early on, but I expect it will escalate.

How will this issue be addressed?  I will not be intimidated and will continue to use the trail. I know others will too. It needs to be addressed.

Message from David Juliusson to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority official (Nov. 16, 2012)

I had a confrontation on the Mimico Linear Park yesterday.

I know where the people got their information. This is from your newsletter.

“Mimico Waterfront Park is now open to the public! Come and enjoy the completed second phase of the park this fall. Park amenities include a new section of multi-use trail, three sections of pedestrian-only boardwalk, aquatic and terrestrial habitat improvements, landscaping and park lighting. Mimico Waterfront Park connects the waterfront  from Norris Cresent  to Humber Bay Shores.”

I formally object to your statement. It put me in danger. I am a founder of the Etobicoke South Cycling Committee and formally object on their behalf. As a co-captain of Cycle Toronto I am forwarding this to them and asking they object too. Your office had absolutely no right  to imply or state that it is a pedestrian only area. It is deliberately misleading

Fiuthermore, you built an inadequate trail. City Council is already being asked by councillors to widen the trail and provide better infrastructure. The trail is less than a month old.  The park is too narrow, not a bench in sight along either Phase One or Two and nowhere to do park activities like throw a frisbee. It is quickly becoming a dog walking park and is not even adequate for that. It is dangerous for cyclists as Councillor Grimes and Layton are stating. It is only good for walking as long as you don’t wish to stop somehwere.

This was brought to your attention long before building began. I personally talked to you and was totally ignored. The park met many political objectives. It is too bad  the needs of  its users is not one of them.

How do you plan to fix this problem? Simply ignoring me and hoping it will go away is not one of them. I iwill go to the councillors next.

Response from Councillor Grimes’ office (Nov. 16, 2012)

I am sorry to hear about this incident.

There are several ways we are attempting to address it.

As Parks and Transportation had taken no action following extensive meetings that our office has had with them on this issue, Councillors Layton and Grimes made a motion at city council to direct staff to widen the trail and if possible create separate lanes. This should be in the works with Dan Egan’s staff and Parks.

Secondly Parks is working on standard signage for all multi-use trails to better direct pedestrians and cyclists across the city. Right now it is hit and miss and different signage.

I will include a reminder to residents in the weekly e-newsletter.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Letter from David Juliusson to second TRCA official (Nov. 16, 2012)

I just had a confrontation on the Mimico Linear Park. Details are below [in original email].

Their information came directly from your newsletter. Why does the TRCA state or even imply that it is pedestrian only? Why did I have to be put in a situation like this because of poor design and misleading information?

Even more important is [the response from Councillor Grimes; office]. The trail is less than a month old and already it is inadequate. You knew there would be problems before the work began. I personally stated it at public consultations as did others. You and the rest of the TRCA ignored us. Behold the results.

How is the TRCA going to fix it? You built an inferior trail and a poor park. Not a bench anywhere. Too narrow. Phase 2 is rapidly becoming a dog park and it is not good for that. It is only good for walking and only if you don’t wish to stop and have a rest.

I look forward to hearing some concrete solutions

Yours sincerely,

David Juliusson

 

2 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    In response to the message from David Juliusson, the following response has been issued by a TRCA official:

    With respect to your message, I offer the following information.

    The Mimico Waterfront Park project was developed in partnership with the local community. Throughout the environmental assessment process, local stakeholders including cyclists, residents, community groups, and the local councillor’s office, participated in the creation of the preferred design for the new waterfront park. Key considerations in the design were public access along the waterfront, trail connections, and habitat enhancements. As a linear park, one of the key features of the design included a new section of multi-use trail between Norris Crescent and Grand Harbour/Humber Bay Park West, totalling 1.1 km.

    With respect to park amenities, the stakeholders provided many suggestions about what should be included in the park design. In response to a specific request for the separation of pedestrians and cyclists, the shoreline design for phase two included three sections of cantilevered boardwalk parallel to the multi-use trail.

    Pedestrian-only signage has been ordered by the parks department and is scheduled for installation in the next couple of weeks. Once these signs are installed, I trust any misunderstanding about appropriate boardwalk use will be clarified.

    David Juliusson has responded in turn (Dec. 3, 2012):

    Thank you for your response. Unfortunately you didn’t answer my questions so I will ask them again.

    1. What cyclists did you consult with? I am a member of the ESCC and a Ward Captain for Cycle Toronto. I know of cyclists who tried to participate but they were ignored.

    2. The trail is not good enough. Already Councillors Grimes and Layton are asking it be fixed. What is the TRCA planning to do to fix the problem?

    3. Dan Egan was planning to meet with TRCA about the Mimico Linear Park last week. Did the meeting happen? What came out of it?

    4. Cyclists would like to be included in the Mimico Creek trail project. I know of one who has tried to become part of it. He has been pointedly ignored. How can he become part of the project to ensure that proper infrastructure is put in that cyclists can use?

    5. Your newsletter either or intentionally or by default mplied it is a pedestrian only trail. How will your office clarify this?

    I would like some specific answers.

    Reply
  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Below are the answers from a TRCA official, in response to questions from David Juliusson:

    1. What cyclists did you consult with? I am a member of the ESCC and a Ward Captain for Cycle Toronto. I know of cyclists who tried to participate but they were ignored.

    Answer: The Toronto Cycling Committee participated in the development of the preferred option during the environmental assessment process. Please see Chapter 9 of the Environmental Assessment Study for full details on the public consultation process, by following this link:

    http://www.trca.on.ca/the-living-city/green-infrastructure-projects/environmental-assessment-projects/mimico-waterfront-park-project.dot

    2. The trail is not good enough. Already Councillors Grimes and Layton are asking it be fixed. What is the TRCA planning to do to fix the problem?

    Answer: The park design was developed and approved in partnership with the City of Toronto.

    3. Dan Egan was planning to meet with TRCA about the Mimico Linear Park last week. Did the meeting happen? What came out of it?

    Answer: I do not know what meeting you are referencing, please contact Dan Egan directly at […]

    4. Cyclists would like to be included in the Mimico Creek trail project. I know of one who has tried to become part of it. He has been pointedly ignored. How can he become part of the project to ensure that proper infrastructure is put in that cyclists can use?

    Answer: Please contact Chandra Sharma, Watershed Specialist, Etobicoke-Mimico at […]

    5. Your newsletter either or intentionally or by default mplied it is a pedestrian only trail. How will your office clarify this?

    Answer: The Mimico Waterfront Park includes 1.1 km of new multi-use trail, available for all trail users including cyclists. In addition, there are three pedestrian boardwalks provided in phase 2 of the park and one large pedestrian boardwalk at Amos Waites Park.

    Reply

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